Photo of Anu Tiwari

Partner (Head - Fintech and FSRP) at Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas. Anu represents Indian and multinational banking, broker-dealer, exchange, asset management, speciality finance, fintech and information/ emerging technology companies on transactional, enforcement and regulatory matters. His transactional practice focus is on public & private M&A, capital raising, commercial agreements and activism matters. Anu advises financial services clients on matters before the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), Ministry of Finance, Enforcement Directorate and appellate tribunals. He can be reached at anu.tiwari@cyrilshroff.com

 

 

FIG Paper (No. 27 – Series. 1): Implications of Digital Personal Data Protection Act, 2023, on Payment Service Providers

Introduction:

The Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) has allowed certain non-banks to operate in the financial ecosystem for payment processing under the Payment and Settlement Systems Act, 2007 (“PSS Act”), in addition to banks. These non-banks are typically operate Cross Border Money Transfer (“MTSS”); Prepaid Payment Instruments (“PPI”); Bharat Bill Payment Operating Units (“BBPOU”); White Label ATM Operators (“WLAO”), etc.Continue Reading FIG Paper (No. 27 – Data Law Series 1): Implications of Digital Personal Data Protection Act, 2023, on Payment Service Providers

FIG Paper - Navigating SEBI’s Definition of UPSI

Introduction:

The objective of the PIT Regulations is to prohibit insiders with access to Unpublished Price Sensitive Information (“UPSI”) from making illicit gains and to ensure timely, adequate and even disclosure of UPSI to the public. Hence, the determination of what constitutes as UPSI becomes necessary. In this regard, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”) has signalled a shift from a principle-based regime to a more prescriptive regime, which is likely to result in increased compliance obligations for the listed companies.Continue Reading FIG Paper (No. 26 – Series. 3): Navigating SEBI’s Definition of UPSI

FIG Paper (No. 25 – Series 2): Shedding Light on Dark Patterns in FinTech: Impact of DPDP Act

Introduction:

The new draft guidelines titled ‘Guidelines for Prevention and Regulation of Dark Patterns, 2023’[1] (“Draft Dark Pattern Guidelines”), released by the Department of Consumer Affairs in September 2023, define dark patterns as “any practices or deceptive design patterns using UI/UX (user interface/user experience) interactions on any platform; designed to mislead or trick users to do something they originally did not intend or want to do; by subverting or impairing the consumer autonomy, decision making or choice; amounting to misleading advertisement or unfair trade practice or violation of consumer rights”.Continue Reading FIG Paper (No. 25 – Series 2): Shedding Light on Dark Patterns in FinTech: Impact of DPDP Act

FIG Paper (No. 24 – Series 1): 
New Data Law – Financial Services Implications

(Indian) Digital Personal Data Protection Act, 2023 (“DPDP Act”) received Presidential assent on August 11, 2023, and is awaiting notification by the Indian Government, which is expected soon. This FIG Paper examines: (i) the existing data protection/ privacy framework for the Indian financial services space; (ii) overlays DPDP Act considerations; and (iii) preferred approach to “gap” analysis, basis global learnings.Continue Reading FIG Paper (No. 24 – Series 1): New Data Law – Financial Services Implications

I. Background:

(i) SEBI notified the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Mutual Funds) (Amendment) Regulations, 2023 (“Amendment”), on June 27, 2023. The Amendment follows a Consultation Paper on Review of Regulatory Framework for Sponsors of a Mutual Fund, which the SEBI had released on January 13, 2023 (“Consultation Paper”).

(ii) The Amendment

Background

On June 15, 2023, Securities and Exchange Board of India [“SEBI”] had released— (i) Master Circular for Investment Advisers; and (ii) Master Circular for Research Analysts.

The Master Circulars serve as comprehensive compilations of all directions issued by SEBI pertaining to Investment Advisers [“IAs”] and Research Analysts [“RAs“]. SEBI’s Master Circulars for IAs and RAs aim to provide easy access to relevant guidelines and promote compliance among IAs and RAs.Continue Reading FIG Paper No. 22: Decoding SEBI’s Master Circular for Investment Advisers and Research Analysts

SEBI’s MUTUAL FUND EXPENSE RATIO CONSULTATION PAPER

BACKGROUND

On May 18, 2023, the Securities and Exchange Board of India [“SEBI”] had placed a consultation paper related to the total expense ratio charged by Asset Management Companies [“AMC”] to unitholders of mutual funds. June 8, 2023 was set as the deadline for submission of public comments. The due date, however, was extended to June 8, 2023.

The proposal is aimed at curbing distributor practices such as unnecessary switching of schemes and pushing new fund offerings for higher commissions. SEBI in its consultation paper proposed to introduce performance fees for funds. It proposed two approaches, but also suggested testing the models under the Regulatory Sandbox.Continue Reading FIG Paper (No. 21 – Series 1): SEBI’s Mutual Fund Expense Ratio Consultation Paper: Impact Analysis

FIG Paper

BACKGROUND

While the Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) had in its August 10, 2022 press release stated that it is examining the First Loss Default Guarantee (“FLDG”) structures, the Digital Lending Guidelines issued by the RBI on September 2, 2022 neither permitted nor expressly prohibited loss sharing arrangements such as FLDGs, but recommended that provisions of paragraph 6(c) of the Reserve Bank of India (Securitisation of Standard Assets) Directions, 2021 dated September 24, 2021 (“Securitisation MD”) be adhered to for financial products involving contractual agreements such as FLDG. Paragraph 6(c) of Securitisation MD prohibits Regulated Entities (“RE”) from undertaking or assuming exposure under “synthetic securitisation” structures. This led to industry-wide confusion regarding the permissibility of loss sharing arrangements such as FLDG.Continue Reading FIG Paper (No.18 – Series 2) RBI’s New Default Loss Guarantee Guidelines: Late but Not lost

New RBI IT Outsourcing Directions Industry Implications

Background

The Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) has issued the RBI Master Direction on Outsourcing of Information Technology Services, dated April 10, 2023 (“Directions”), that will come into effect on October 1, 2023, in line with its earlier Draft Master Direction on Outsourcing of IT Services, dated June 23, 2022 (“Draft Directions”). The RBI’s message to Regulated Entities (“RE”) via these Directions is clear – the liability of Regulated Entities (“RE”) towards their customers does not get diminished due to such outsourcing arrangements or on account of engaging Third Party Service Providers (“TPSP”), nor does it impede effective supervision by the RBI. Outsourcing activities for financial services were already regulated (“Existing Guidelines”), but not for information technology (“IT”) services. In line with the Existing Guidelines, the idea is that core functional areas of RE cannot be outsourced.Continue Reading FIG Paper (No. 20 – Series 1): New RBI IT Outsourcing Directions: Industry Implications

Financial institutions have invested heavily into artificial intelligence (“AI”) and machine learning (“ML”) techniques globally, and in India, over the past decade. There are estimates that AI technologies could potentially contribute towards US$ 1 trillion in additional value for the global banking sector, and a World Economic Forum survey indicated that seventy seven per cent of all respondents (151 fintechs and financial institutions from thirty three countries) anticipated AI to possess a high or a very high overall importance in their businesses in the near future. Tangible use-cases in the financial sector have resultantly sprung, benefitting both customers and investors through robo advisors, portfolio optimisation, and algorithmic trading bots. Financial institutions on their part have benefitted greatly through chat bots handling consumer interactions and grievances, identity verification (including video KYC), predictive analytics to mitigate and minimise frauds, etc.Continue Reading FIG Paper (No. 19 – Series 1)- AI/ ML, ChatGPT: Legal and regulatory considerations for financial service use-cases