In the financial world there are several methods of holding financial assets. A common method frequently used throughout the financial world is to hold assets on so-called omnibus accounts. This is a type of account on which many different items can be held at the same time, instead of needing a lot of different and separate accounts. These accounts are generally held by a custodian: a bank or other financial institution that holds and keeps (records of) their client's assets.
If you trade financial instruments via DEGIRO, you trade via this omnibus structure. The omnibus accounts that are used to hold your assets are held at our custodian(s) and are kept in the name of 4 different special legal entities, called Special Purpose Vehicles (SPV's), that have the sole purpose of safeguarding and administering your assets. All the shares bought and sold by our clients are debited or credited to the related SPV's account. These SPV's are a specific type of legal entity, called a 'stichting' under Dutch law, which obligates them to act only in accordance with the previously established goal of maintaining and administering your investments and thus prohibits them from engaging in commercial activities. More details about these SPV's can be found in our Client Agreement (most notably Articles 1, 17, and 18) and the ISI - Investment Services.