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Custodian

A fund’s custodian holds the fund’s assets, maintaining them separately to protect shareholder interests. Nearly all funds use a bank custodian for domestic securities because the SEC imposes strict requirements on broker-dealers acting as custodians, funds that self-custody their assets, and affiliated custodians. In addition to the SEC, the Federal Reserve Board, the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and/or various state banking commissions also regulate custodians. A fund’s custody agreement with a bank is typically far more elaborate than that used for other bank clients. The custodian’s services generally include safekeeping and accounting for the fund’s assets, settling securities transactions, receiving dividends and interest, providing foreign exchange capabilities, paying fund expenses, reporting failed trades, reporting cash transactions, monitoring corporate actions, and tracing loaned securities. Foreign securities are required to be held in the custody of a foreign bank or securities depository.

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