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Depository Trust Company (DTC)


The Depository Trust Company (DTC) is one of the world’s largest securities depositories. Founded in 1973 and based in the U.S., it provides electronic recordkeeping of securities balances and acts as a clearinghouse to process and settle trades in corporate and municipal securities. It works to reduce costs and improve accuracy in the record-keeping associated with buying, selling, and transferring securities.


Depository is pronounced as /dɪˈpɒzɪtəri/. Trust is pronounced as /trʌst/. Company is pronounced as /ˈkʌmpəni/. DTC is pronounced as /ˌdiː tiː ˈsiː/. Please note that these are given in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) standards and can slightly vary depending on accents and dialects.

Key Takeaways

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  1. The Depository Trust Company (DTC) is one of the world’s largest securities depositories, founded in 1973 and based in the United States. It keeps records of over 1.3 million active securities from issuers in the U.S. and 131 other countries and territories.
  2. DTC operates as a ‘clearinghouse’ to settle trades in corporate, and municipal securities. It does so by transferring funds and securities between the trading parties, thereby reducing the risk and helping securities trading happen more efficiently.
  3. The DTC reduces costs and improves accuracy through its automated, centralized record-keeping system. This eliminates the need for physical certificates to represent shares of a security, making the process of trading faster and more reliable.

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The Depository Trust Company (DTC) is crucial in the business/finance world as it is one of the world’s largest securities depositories. It was established to improve efficiency and reduce risk in the financial markets by providing a safe and efficient way of managing the electronic transactions of securities. The DTC reduces costs and enhances the speed of securities transactions by maintaining an electronic record of securities balances. This allows for the seamless transfer of ownership, reducing the need for physical movement of security certificates. It handles the settlement for most securities transactions in the U.S. and holds trillions of dollars worth of securities, making it an instrumental part of the nation’s financial infrastructure.


The Depository Trust Company (DTC) is a crucial asset for the global financial market infrastructure. Having been established to aid efficiency and security in the US financial market, its primary purpose is to help lower costs and enhance the accuracy of the clearing and settlement process for financial transactions. The DTC fosters the seamless transfer of securities by maintaining a efficient system for recording and effecting settlement, holding onto securities electronically, and tracking changes in the ownership of stocks and bonds.Its use is not confined to a single subsector of finance, but spans across a variety of financial transactions including equities, municipal and corporate bonds, money market instruments and so on. It plays a pivotal role in simplifying and speeding up transactions, providing centralized custody of securities, expediting receipt and delivery of securities transactions on behalf of clients, and managing the settlement of transactions. It’s designed so all market participants can have timely and accurate settlement of securities, reducing the amount of capital required to operate in the financial market.


1. Charles Schwab: This renowned brokerage firm uses DTC in order to maintain the records of ownership for their investors. The DTC enables Schwab to maintain accuracy while reducing the cost of manual record-keeping. Charles Schwab can better cater to its clients’ needs such as processing trade settlements and securities deliveries because of the DTC system.2. JP Morgan Chase: As one of the world’s most valuable banks by market capitalization, it uses the DTC system for securities processing, aiding in safe and secure transactions for both institutional and retail customers. They utilize DTC for seamless delivery of securities and settling trades effectively.3. BlackRock Investment Management: BlackRock, one of the world’s largest asset management firms, also utilizes DTC for its extensive range of mutual funds and other investment products. Their use of DTC aids in securely handling large volumes of securities transactions, ensuring investor confidence in the security of their investments.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the Depository Trust Company (DTC)?

The Depository Trust Company (DTC) is one of the world’s largest securities depositories, founded in 1973. It’s responsible for providing a safe and efficient way for buyers and sellers to transfer securities, facilitating the majority of all securities transactions in the United States.

How does DTC function?

The DTC operates by retaining custody of securities, balancing the books through electronic book-entry changes, and coordinating with brokers on the settlement of trading transactions.

What type of securities does the DTC handle?

The Depository Trust Company handles a wide range of securities, including stocks, bonds, money market instruments, and even derivatives.

Who owns DTC?

DTC is a subsidiary of Depository Trust & Clearing Corporation (DTCC), which is owned by the major banks, brokerage firms, and dealers.

How does DTC benefit the financial market?

The DTC simplifies and accelerates the process of securities settlement. This decreases the amount of paperwork and physical certificates handling, reduces costs, and increases the efficiency and speed of trading, benefiting both financial institutions and investors.

Who can become a member of DTC?

Only qualified financial institutions such as banks, brokers, dealers, and other participants in the securities industry can become direct members of the DTC.

What is DTC eligibility?

DTC eligibility refers to a company’s securities being eligible to be deposited into DTC for its book-entry services. This is typically a key requirement for securities to trade electronically.

Is DTC regulated?

Yes, DTC is registered as a securities depository and is regulated by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Related Finance Terms

  • Securities Settlement
  • Clearing House
  • Book-Entry System
  • Global Securities
  • Electronic Recordkeeping

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