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Deposit at Custodian (DWAC)


Deposit at Custodian (DWAC) is a method used by public companies to transfer new or existing stock holdings electronically through the Depository Trust Company (DTC). The process involves using a custodian bank that acts as an intermediary between the broker-dealer and the company’s transfer agent. This method is efficient and cost-effective as it eliminates the need for physical stock certificates.


The phonetics for “Deposit at Custodian (DWAC)” would be:Deposit – /dɪˈpɒzɪt/at – /æt/Custodian – /kʌˈstoʊdiən/DWAC – /ˈdwāk/

Key Takeaways

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  1. Direct Transfer: Deposit/Withdrawal at Custodian (DWAC) is a method of electronically transferring new shares or paper certificate shares directly to and from the Depository Trust Company (DTC) using a Fast Automated Securities Transfer Service (FAST) agent. This bypasses the traditional physical certificate transfer, providing a faster and more efficient means of share transfer.
  2. Cost Efficiency: DWAC transfers can result in significant cost savings for companies, as they eliminate the need for physical delivery of stock certificates. It also speeds up the entire process as transactions can be completed within several hours instead of several days. This makes it a particularly appealing choice for companies and brokers.
  3. Shareholder Verification: One key aspect of a DWAC transfer is that the company’s transfer agent can verify the shareholder’s identity and confirm the transaction. This added level of security protects against fraudulent activities and ensures the correct handling of shares.



Deposit at Custodian (DWAC) is an essential term in business/finance because it refers to an especially expedient method for trading securities. This system, managed by the Depository Trust Company (DTC), allows for the direct transfer and deposit of securities from the transfer agent to the brokerage firm’s DTC account. The significance of DWAC comes from its efficiency and speed, which facilitates quick and direct transactions, eliminating the need for physical certificates to change hands. Thus, DWAC has a significant role in streamlining trading processes and making securities transactions more efficient, which is critical for the fast-paced world of financial markets.


Deposit at Custodian (DWAC) is used within finance and business realms to facilitate seamless and efficient electronic transfers of securities. Essentially, DWAC is designed to streamline and expedite the process of delivering stocks, bypassing the traditional method of physical delivery of securities. It involves an operation wherein the transfer agent and the broker interact directly instead of the previously slower postal options. The purpose of matching the broker and the transfer agent directly is to accelerate the entire process, reduce potential errors, and lower costs.The use of DWAC also offers a higher level of control over transactions. It allows shareholders to hold securities directly with the company’s transfer agent instead of keeping them with a Broker Dealer. The absence of a middleman in this setup gives shareholders direct access to view and manage their shares instead of relying on the broker to perform these actions. DWAC transactions are faster than traditional transactions, enabling brokers and investors to expedite trade settlements. This method is advantageous to shareholders, particularly when they are required to make quick sales, purchases, or transfers, providing them with a more convenient and quicker access to the marketplace.


1. Direct Equity Investment: When an investor wants to purchase shares from a publicly traded company directly, they can do it using the DWAC method. After paying for the shares, the investor’s broker will send the money to the company’s transfer agent. Upon verification, the transfer agent then deposits the shares directly into the investor’s account. This is a direct application of the Deposit/Withdrawal at Custodian (DWAC) process.2. Stock Option Execution: Some companies offer their employees stock options as part of their compensation packages. When an employee decides to exercise their options and purchase shares in the company, they often use the Deposit at Custodian method. Like the direct purchase example, the shares are then deposited directly into the employees’ brokerage account, eliminating the need for physical certificates and simplifying the overall process.3. Publicly Traded Companies and Share Transfers: When a publicly traded company wants to sell a large number of shares to an institutional investor, such as a pension or mutual fund, they can also use DWAC. Once the shares are paid for, they are transferred electronically via the company’s transfer agent directly into the institutional investor’s account at their custodian bank or brokerage.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is Deposit at Custodian (DWAC)?

A Deposit at Custodian, commonly known as DWAC, is a method of transferring new or existing shares of a public company from a broker’s name into an investor’s name directly. This system is run through the Depository Trust Company (DTC).

Who manages the DWAC method?

DWAC is managed by the Depository Trust Company (DTC), which is one of the world’s largest securities depositories.

Is DWAC a faster way to transfer shares?

Yes, the DWAC method is generally faster than the more traditional methods of share transfers. This is since it eliminates the need for a middleman in the physical transfer process.

Are all public companies able to use the DWAC method?

Not all public companies are eligible. Only those companies that are DWAC-eligible can use this method. Companies must have a relationship with a transfer agent who also has a DWAC relationship with DTC.

What is a transfer agent?

A transfer agent is the entity in charge of the process of transferring the ownership of shares from one owner to another. The agent has a DWAC relationship with DTC for the shares to be directly deposited into the investor’s brokerage account.

Does the DWAC method influence a company’s share price?

The method through which shares are transferred does not directly influence a company’s share price. However, DWAC allows faster transfer of shares which can increase liquidity and trade volume.

What are the benefits of using DWAC?

Some of the benefits of using DWAC include decrease in time and cost for transferring shares, elimination of need for physical certificates, and increase in efficiency of trade settlement process.

Are there any drawbacks to using the DWAC?

Yes, despite its benefits, there can be some potential drawbacks to the DWAC method such as technical glitches or process errors due to lack of a physical paper trail. It also relies heavily on the reliability and efficiency of the transfer agent and DTC.

Can individual investors use DWAC?

Yes, individual investors can use DWAC if their brokerage has a relationship with a DWAC-eligible transfer agent and the company in question. It’s best for the investor to check with their brokerage on the DWAC eligibility.

Related Finance Terms

  • Transfer Agent: These are institutions responsible for transferring the ownership of stocks or bonds from one owner to another. They often interact with the Depository Trust Company (DTC) in the DWAC process.
  • Depository Trust Company (DTC): This is the world’s largest securities depository, and the organization that carries out most DWAC transactions.
  • FAST System: This stands for “Fast Automated Securities Transfer”. It’s the system used by DTC and transfer agents to electronically transfer securities, such as in a DWAC transaction.
  • Brokerage Account: This is the account that an investor would use to deposit their securities after a DWAC transaction. Brokerage accounts are maintained by brokers, who can initiate DWAC transactions.
  • Settlement Date: The date when a DWAC transaction effectively completes, with the selling party delivering the security and the buyer paying for it.

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