Difference between NSDL and CDSL

Key difference: NSDL and CDSL are both depositories which hold various securities like money, property, etc. in an electronic form. NSDL works for National Stock Exchange, whereas CDSL works for Bombay Stock Exchange.

NSDL stands for ‘National Securities Depository’, whereas CDSL stands for ‘Central Depository Securities’ Limited. They both are depositories that hold various securities like shares in electronic form. There is no major difference between the two; however there is small difference in their charges and their source of work.  

A depository is an organization that holds securities of investors in an electronic format at the request of an investor through a registered Depository Participant. It assists in the allotment and transfer of securities and securities lending. In a depository, securities such as money, shares and properties, etc. are kept for safekeeping under their or depositary terms. The securities are held in the form of electronic accounts. They carry out their various operations through functionaries called as business partners or a Depository Participant. This system is governed under the Depositories Act by the government. The enactment of this act paved the way for the establishment of NSDL and CDSL.

The National Securities Depository Limited (NSDL) was the first depository in India. It was registered by SEBI on 7th June 1996, as the very first Depository to facilitate trading and settlement of securities in Demat form. It is promoted by institutions of national stature, which are responsible for the economic development of India and have established an infrastructure of international standards. They handle most of the securities, which are held and settled in a dematerialized form in the Indian capital market. Its main promoters are IDBI, UTI and NSE.

Central Depository Services Limited (CDSL) is the second Indian central securities depository. It is based in Mumbai. Its main function is the holding securities either in certificated or un-certificated i.e. dematerialized form; it helps to enable the book entry transfer of securities. It began operating in February in the year 1999. Its main promoters are BSE, HDFC, SBI, BOI and BOB.

The main role and the different functions of a depository are as follows:

  • Maintenance of individual investors’ beneficial holdings in an electronic form
  • Dematerialization and re-materialization of securities
  • Account transfer for settlement of trades in electronic shares
  • Allotments in the electronic form in case of initial public offerings
  • Distribution of non-cash corporate actions
  • Facility for freezing/locking of investor accounts
  • Facility for pledge and hypothecation of securities

Comparison between NDSL and CDSL:





It stands for ‘National Securities Depository Limited’.

It stands for ‘Central Depository Securities Limited’.


November 1996

February 1999


Mumbai, India.

Mumbai, India.


IDBI, UTI, etc.



National Stock Exchange (NSE)

Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE)

Image Courtesy: rupya.com, idealake.com

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