In recent years trust companies, especially in the larger centers, have been prominent as trustees and fiscal agents of large corporations, acting as trustee, registrar, transfer agent or receiver. One of the most common services of this kind is as trustee under a deed or mortgage securing a bond issue. It authenticates the bonds issued under the terms of the deed or mortgage, certifying to the regularity of the issue and the genuineness of the document. As registrar it certifies that each stock certificate and bond has been properly authorized. Bonds are quite commonly registered as to principal or interest, or both. Somewhat related are the duties of the trust company as transfer agent. Stocks and bonds are constantly changing hands, especially if they are active on the stock exchanges, and it is necessary to have the change in ownership recorded on the books of the corporation so that interest and dividends may go to the proper persons. The rules of the New York Stock Exchange require that a company desiring to have its securities admitted to exchange dealings must have a transfer agency and a registry office in New York, but the same company cannot act in both capacities. This is unwisely permitted in some places. As the function of the registrar is to serve as a check upon any irregularity on the part of the transfer agent, different companies should perform these services. In case of default of the company issuing the bonds, it is the duty of the trust company to foreclose on the property to protect the security holders. Frequently a trust company is appointed as receiver for bankrupt or insolvent concerns.
The trust company acts as fiscal agent for all kinds of corporations, political and industrial. It distributes interest and dividend payments to the holders of stocks and bonds; attends to the publication and mailing of notices; manages sinking funds, and attends to other duties of a similar nature. It acts as agent for the corporation in receiving subscriptions to stocks and bonds and delivering the securities when issued. Trust companies have also been active in the reorganization and financing of corporations of various kinds. Sometimes they even act as promoters of industrial corporations, underwriting their securities and holding them as investments.