Information > Financial Terms > This page

Fiduciary Capacity 
Source: Encyclopedia of Banking & Finance (9h Edition) by Charles J Woelfel
(We recommend this as work of authority.)

Generally speaking, any relationship of confidence and trust involving the highest degree of good faith and loyalty to the interests of another person.  Thus, the term is not restricted to technical trusts, but includes such relationships as attorney and client, broker and principal, corporation director and stockholders, agent and principal, etc.  The term more specifically refers to formal fiduciary relationships such as trustee in technical trusts, executor, administrator, conservator, guardian, committee in lunacy, receiver, assignee, etc., for the benefit of beneficiary, distributee, ward, lunatic, debtor, principal, etc.  A trustee capacity differs from an agency in that a trustee holds legal title to the property for his beneficiary and in that the agency is usually a personal relationship dependent upon the will and continued existence of the parties, whereas the trust is impersonal in nature.

National banks are permitted to act in fiduciary capacities - trustee, executor, administrator, registrar of stocks and bonds, guardian of estates, assignee, receiver, committee of estates of lunatics, etc. - when not in contravention of state or local laws, under grant of a special permit from the Comptroller of the Currency pursuant to the Comptroller's Regulation 9 and Section 1(j) of the act of September 28, 1962 (76 Stat. 668).  In addition to authorizing the organization of trust companies expressly organized with such powers, most states have passed laws enabling state banks to act in fiduciary capacities.

Back to Information