A fee a brokerage or other financial institution charges for safekeeping services. Safekeeping or custody is a service in which the brokerage or financial institution holds securities on behalf of the client, which reduces the risk of the client losing his/her assets or having them stolen. They are also available to the brokerage to sell at the client's demand. Like a bank, custody provides an investor a place to store assets with little risk. Unlike a bank, custodians are not allowed to use the items in safekeeping for their own ends. Assets in custody are not fungible for the brokerage because they remain in the client's name.
The fee charged by a financial institution that holds securities in safekeeping for an investor.