How to transfer assets into a Schwab account

How to transfer assets into a Schwab account

Account transfers of like registered Tooltip accounts between two financial institutions are processed electronically using the Automated Customer Account Transfer (ACAT)  system or manually ( non-ACAT Tooltip ), depending on the transfer type, and can be full Tooltip or partial Tooltip . During the transfer process, assets may be unavailable for trading, liquidating or meeting cash needs. Talk with your client Tooltip to determine the most appropriate time to transfer their assets.

For information on the ACAT/Non-ACAT process including DTC numbers, see Top Firms for ACAT and Non-ACAT Transfers.

  • To transfer outside assets to a Schwab account, use the Asset Transfer (TOA) Digital Workflow with eAuthorization on Schwab Advisor Center®. 
    • Depending on the account’s registration or eligibility, you may not be able to choose eAuthorization for approval. In such cases, the envelope will default to the prefilled paperwork option for the delivery method. See the Digital Account Update clickable guide for more information. 
  • Direct your clients to the Client Learning Center for more information about the transfer of asset process. To transfer assets between Schwab accounts, see How to submit a journal request online.

Your clients can also initiate account transfers by accessing at Move Money > Transfers & Payments > Transfer an Account. If your client initiates an account transfer online, you will receive an alert when the transfer process has started and subsequent alert on the end status. To subscribe to Client Initiated alerts, see How to work with alerts.

All asset transfers
  • Schwab account to receive the assets
  • A completed Asset Transfer (TOA) Digital Workflow with eAuthorization or Transfer of Account Form Instructions (TOA / Account Transfer) form
    • Firm name and master account number
    • Client's asset handling instructions (in kind or liquidate), and if the account transfer is partial, the exact list of assets being transferred 
    • Adobe® Reader® or Adobe Acrobat® 7.0 or higher (download the latest version on the Adobe website)
  • Information on the disbursing account:
  • Assets confirmed to be to avoid delays (assets not acceptable for direct transfer will need to be liquidated or left in a contra account)
  • A conference call with the plan administrator and the account holder(s) for the disbursing account to initiate the transfer (typically for qualified plan rollovers)
Not like registered accountsIf the accounts are not like registered, additional documentation may be required
Alternative investmentsVerify there are no alternative investments Tooltip in the account as they require an asset acceptance review prior to submitting transfer of asset paperwork (see How to initiate a transfer or purchase for Schwab Alternative Investment Custody Services for more information)
Transfer instructions not accepted by phoneIf the plan administrator does not accept transfer instructions by phone, request the paperwork be sent to the account holder(s) to complete (if it requires Schwab to sign or attach a letter of acceptance, forward the paperwork to your service team for processing Tooltip )
Depository Trust Company (DTC) Tooltip Transfers

Schwab's delivery instructions to provide the outside institution for DTC-eligible securities. Include the client’s name and Schwab account number for all deliveries.

  • DTC clearing: #0164
  • DTC code: 40 (free delivery)
Form submission method

If using DocuSign® to submit forms:

  • For existing Schwab clients, a complete Schwab Advisor Center profile with the account holder's current email address and mobile phone number
  • For new-to-Schwab clients, the email address and mobile phone number
  • All clients must use either Alliance Authentication (only available when starting the envelope within Schwab Advisor Center), or, both text message (SMS) authentication and Knowledge Based Authentication (KBA) for DocuSign (available in both Schwab Advisor Center and the DocuSign Console) 

For details, see How to use DocuSign.

  1. Go to the Forms library on Schwab Advisor Center (Account Management > Go to Forms library), locate the Transfer of Account form and any additional form(s) required to transfer assets, such as the Second Name Letter/Name Change Form, then click Download PDF.
  2. Complete all necessary fields.
  3. Print the form(s) and obtain dated signatures from the account holders.
  4. Attach the most recent statement for the disbursing account to the signed form as well as any other necessary documentation, and send the signed form to your Schwab service team via a Schwab Advisor Center service request. If applicable, mail any original documents to your Schwab service team.

For details, see Digital Account Update clickable guide

Once the account paperwork has been submitted:

  • Refer to Transfer completion time and follow-up procedures for estimated transfer completion times.
  • Check the Status tab, under Accounts > Activity tabs, on Schwab Advisor Center to see task information, and if paperwork was received, what assets will be accepted in a specific transfer, and the estimated completion date for ACAT and non-ACAT transfers. For more information see Introduction to the Activity Tab on Schwab Advisor Center®.
    • Status is available for all transfer types, including direct from funds transfers.
  • You can see the latest status of your transfer, including the estimated completion date, and if any issues arise that prevent transferring the assets.
  • If you receive notification that the original transfer form is required, follow up by writing the Schwab account number and job number for the transfer on the transfer form and mail the form to your Schwab service team.
  • If there is a partial transfer of assets, your client will receive a partial transfer communication. Your client should contact you with instructions for handling the ineligible assets.
  • If the forms were submitted using DocuSign, see the What's next? section of How to use DocuSign.
  • If you have questions about transferring outside assets to a Schwab account, call your service team.

Go to the Forms library on Schwab Advisor Center and select the forms below.

Form: Second Name Letter/Name Change Form
Form: Transfer of Account Form Instructions (TOA / Account Transfer)

Can I use DocuSign to fill out the Transfer of Account Form? 
Yes. Another choice is to complete the form using the Asset Transfer Digital Workflow with eAuthorization. For more information, see the Digital Account Updates clickable guide.  

Note: Each contra firm is different, and some may not accept DocuSign.

Why can't I give Schwab liquidation instructions on an ACAT transfer?
The ACAT system is an automated system to transfer assets in-kind. It does not have the functionality to liquidate assets.

Do unacceptable assets need to be liquidated prior to sending in the transfer form?
If the client chooses to liquidate unacceptable assets, instructions should be given to the delivering firm prior to sending the transfer form. On a mutual fund transfer where the fund is held directly with the fund company, you may use the Mutual Fund Company section of the transfer form to facilitate the liquidation. Liquidation of assets can only occur as part of the transfer process with mutual funds (where the fund is held directly with the fund company), CDs and annuities. See the Asset Transferability tool for more details.

How can I tell if the assets on the delivering firm's statement are acceptable?
Refer to the Asset Transferability tool.

If the client signed the transfer form, and both Schwab and the delivering firm have the Social Security number, why does the client need to send in a statement along with the transfer form?
Schwab must verify the account number, account registration, share amounts, assets and the delivering firm's contact information.

I attached a statement showing what the client owned, but the client has sold everything. Why do you need a new (current) statement?
A new (current) statement is particularly important when a client sells a mutual fund held directly at the fund company. Typically, the fund company moves the proceeds into a money market fund with a new account number. Schwab needs the new money market fund name and account number (listed on the new account statement) to process the transfer.

I'm trying to process a transfer of assets between account registrations that are not like registered. How can I complete the transfer for my client?
Guidance for transferring accounts with unlike registrations can be found in additional documentation. If the transfer can take place, there are two separate processes involved: moving the assets, and changing the registration. These transfers are generally processed on a "best efforts" basis. It is important to be aware that a transfer between unlike registrations is more complex and is more likely to experience complications and delays. No firm is obligated to execute a transfer unless account titles and Social Security numbers match exactly.

The transfer of account is complete, but cash remains in the account at the delivering firm. When and how will this money be transferred to Schwab?
Firms that participate in the ACAT system are required to initiate a residual sweep within 10 business days after the residual credit posts to the account. Some firms conduct a residual sweep daily. The residual sweep cycle continues for at least six months after the initial full transfer is complete. Residual sweeps do not apply after a partial ACAT transfer. The residual sweep system does not apply for non-ACAT (manual) transfers. A call to the delivering firm is usually necessary to initiate the transfer of the remaining assets and the delivering firm may require a new transfer form.

Can I start the transfer process with a Service Request, and follow up with the original transfer form?
Yes. The original transfer form is often required by the delivering firm to initiate a non-ACAT transfer, and you may receive an Alert to send the original signed transfer form. Schwab must send that document to the delivering firm to initiate the transfer.

Can Schwab transfer a margin debit from another firm? What about options?
Yes, the transfer of a margin debit is possible in an ACAT transfer if the account at Schwab is approved for margin and the debit meets our credit requirement. Margin debits cannot be transferred via a non-ACAT transfer. If the Schwab account is approved for options with the appropriate options approval level on file, the options can transfer. However, options will not transfer if they are within three weeks of expiration.

What is the process once Schwab receives the paperwork?
Once Schwab receives the transfer paperwork, Schwab will review the documents for processing within one business day. For transfer paperwork that accompanies a new account application, the review will occur within one business day of the new account being established. If there are any problems with the transfer paperwork, Schwab will notify you.

How long will paperwork be held if any issues are discovered?
In most cases, the transfer will be held for 10 business days to allow resolution of any issues. If issues cannot be resolved during this timeframe, corrected transfer paperwork can be submitted at a later date as long as signature dates are still within 90 days.

Can assets be transferred into new and existing accounts?
Yes. Assets can be transferred into both new and existing accounts.

What are common reasons for failed transfers?
Transfers can be held or rejected for various reasons, causing significant delays to occur in the completion of the transfer. In some cases, the transfer must be resubmitted. See the five most common reasons for held or rejected transfers.

What happens if I transfer in securities with an irrevocable stock power not knowing if it is restricted?
Restricted securities cannot be delivered via DTC or a deposit/withdrawal at the custodian. If the certificate is being sent in physical form and/or with a stock power, then there's a possibility it could be restricted. If you are unsure if a certificate is restricted, submit a scanned copy by Service Request or mail a copy of the front and back to the Advisor Services Restricted Stock Service and we will review the certificate for clarification. For more information see How to trade restricted and control securities.

How to initiate a transfer or purchase for Schwab Alternative Investment Custody Services
How to roll over assets to a Schwab account
How to submit a journal request online
How to subscribe to an investment available on Schwab Alternative Investment OneSource®
How to trade restricted and control securities
How to use DocuSign®
How to work with alerts
Introduction to pledged asset accounts
Introduction to Schwab Alliance
Introduction to the Activity tab on Schwab Advisor Center®