Depository

What is a Depository?

A depository in finance is an organisation which holds securities (like shares, debentures, bonds, government securities, mutual fund units etc.) of investors in electronic form at the request of the investors through a registered depository participant. It also provides services related to transactions in securities.

What is the minimum networth required for a depository?

The minimum net worth stipulated by SEBI for a depository is Rs.100 crore.

How is a depository similar to a bank?

It can be compared with a bank, which holds the funds for depositors. A bank - depository analogy is given in the following table:
BANK DEPOSITORY
Holds funds in an account Holds securities in an account
Transfers funds between accounts on the instruction of the account holder Transfers securities between accounts on the instruction of the BO account holder
Facilitates transfer without having to handle money Facilitates transfer of ownership without having to handle securities
Facilitates safekeeping of money Facilitates safekeeping of securities

How many Depositories are registered with SEBI?

At present two Depositories viz. National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) and Central Depository Services (India) Limited (CDSL) are registered with SEBI

Who is a Depository Participant (DP)?

A DP is an agent of the depository through which it interfaces with the investor and provides depository services.

Who can be a DP?

Public financial institutions, scheduled commercial banks, foreign banks operating in India with the approval of the Reserve Bank of India, state financial corporations, custodians, stock-brokers, clearing corporations / clearing houses, NBFCs and registrar to an issue or share transfer agent complying with the requirements prescribed by SEBI can be registered as DP. Banking services can be availed through a bank branch whereas depository services can be availed through a DP.

Who is an Issuer?

“Issuer” means any entity such as a corporate / state or central government organizations issuing securities which can be held by depository in electronic form.

What is an ISIN?

ISIN (International Securities Identification Number) is a unique 12 digit alphanumeric identification number allotted for a security (e.g. - INE383C01018). Equity fully paid up, equity-partly paid up, equity with differential voting /dividend rights issued by the same issuer will have different ISINs.

What is dematerialisation (demat)?

Dematerialisation is the process by which physical certificates of an investor are converted to an equivalent number of securities in electronic form.

What is Rematerialization (remat)?

Rematerialization is the process of converting securities held in electronic form in a demat account back in physical certificate form.

Who is a Registrar and Transfer Agent (RTA)?

An RTA is an agent of the issuer. RTA acts as an intermediary between the issuer and depository for providing services such as dematerialization, rematerialization, initial public offers (IPO) and corporate actions.

Who is registered owner of Securities?

When securities of a company are held in physical form by an investor, his/ her name is recorded in the books of the company as a ‘Registered Owner’ of the securities. When physical shares are converted into electronic form, the depository becomes ‘Registered owner” in the books of the company and investor’s name is removed from books of the company.

Who is a Beneficial Owner (BO)?

All the benefits of the dematerialized shares are given to the actual investor since the depository holds the securities in a fiduciary capacity on behalf of the investors who have opened a demat account with the depository. Hence, the actual investor is the “Beneficial Owner” (BO) of the securities.

Is it compulsory for every investor to open a BO account to trade in the capital market?

As per the available statistics at BSE and NSE, 99.9% transactions take place in dematerialised mode only. Therefore, in view of the convenience of trading in dematerialised mode, it is advisable to have a beneficial owner (BO) account for trading at the exchanges. However to facilitate trading by small investors (maximum 500 shares, irrespective of their value) in physical mode the stock exchanges provide an additional trading window, which gives one time facility for small investors to sell physical shares which are in compulsory demat list. The buyer of these shares has to demat such shares before further selling.

How I can avail the services of a Depository?

A depository interfaces with the investors through its agents called DPs. If an investor wants to avail the services offered by the depository, the investor has to open a BO account with a DP.

What are the services provided by a Depository?

Following services are provided by a depository to the beneficial owners but of course, through a depository participant:
  1. Opening a demat account
  2. Dematerialization, i.e. converting physical securities into electronic form
  3. Rematerialization, i.e. converting electronic securities balances held in a BO account into physical form
  4. Maintaining record of securities held by the beneficial owners in the electronic form
  5. Settlement of trades by delivery or receipt of securities from / in BO accounts
  6. Settlement of off-market transactions between BOs
  7. Receiving electronic credit in respect of securities allotted by issuers under IPO or otherwise on behalf of demat account holders
  8. Receiving non cash corporate benefits such as allotment of bonus and rights shares or any other non cash corporate benefits given by the issuers in electronic form on behalf of its demat account holders
  9. Pledging of dematerialized securities & facilitating loans against shares;
  10. Freezing of the demat account for debits, credits, or both

What are the benefits of availing depository services?

The benefits are enumerated below:-
  1. A safe and convenient way to hold securities
  2. Immediate transfer of securities
  3. No stamp duty on transfer of securities
  4. Elimination of risks associated with physical certificates such as bad delivery, fake securities, delays, thefts etc
  5. Reduction in paperwork involved in transfer of securities
  6. Reduction in transaction cost
  7. No odd lot problem, even one share can be traded
  8. Nomination facility
  9. Change in address recorded with DP gets registered with all companies in which investor holds securities electronically eliminating the need to correspond with each of them separately
  10. Transmission of securities is done by DP eliminating correspondence with companies
  11. Automatic credit into demat account of shares, arising out of bonus/split/consolidation/merger etc
  12. Holding investments in equity and debt instruments in a single account

Can a demat account be opened directly with Depository?

No. A demat account cannot be opened directly with depository. It has to be opened only though a DP of depository

Can a demat account be opened in the name of Joint Holders?

A demat account can be a opened in a single name or in joint holders’ name. There can be maximum three account holders i.e. one main holder and two joint holders

Can a Demat account be opened for a minor?

Yes. Demat account can be opened in the name of a minor. The account will be operated by a guardian till the minor becomes major. Guardian has to be the father or in his absence mother. In absence of both, father or mother, the guardian can be appointed by court.

Can minor be a joint holder in another demat account?

No. Minor cannot be a joint holder in a demat account.

Can a demat account be opened in the name of a trust?

Yes. A demat account can be opened in the name of a trust if the trust is registered under the Public Trust Act 1860 / Societies Registration Act / Bombay Public Trust Act / Public Trust Act in force in the state. If the trust is a private or unregistered trust then a demat account shall be opened in the name of trustees as an individual account.

Can a demat account be opened in the name of HUF?

No. In the case of HUF, shares can be held in the name of existing Karta on behalf of HUF.

Does a Non Resident Indian (NRI) need any Reserve Bank of India (RBI) permission to open a demat account?

No permission is required from RBI to open a demat account. However, credits and debits from demat account may require general or specific permissions as the case may be, from designated authorized dealers.

Is nomination compulsory for a demat account?

SEBI has mandated that nomination should be recorded for a demat account held by individuals. If nomination is not to be given then the account holder(s) should give a written and signed declaration to the effect.

Can multiple accounts be opened by an investor?

Yes. An investor can open more than one account in the same name with the same DP and also with different DPs. For all the accounts, investor has to strictly comply with know your client (KYC) norms including proof of identity, proof of address requirements as stipulated by SEBI and also provide PAN number. The investor has to show the original PAN card at the time of opening of demat account.