Pursuant to the issuance of the Companies (Prospectus and Allotment of Securities) Second Amendment Rules, 2023, with effect from September 30, 2024, both public and private limited companies are required to convert the existing shares and issue new shares exclusively in dematerialised form, bringing an end to physical share certificates. While this seems like a small change, this post seeks to trace the transformation of ‘dematerialisation’ from a progressive and secure option for security holders to a compliance requirement, signifying an increased and progressive threshold of regulation. The post also highlights the key challenges that companies and investors may face with this change.Continue Reading Enforcing progressive compliance: Push for digitalisation by dematerialising shares of all Companies
Social media platforms have become an essential communication tool in the post pandemic world. The advent of the COVID-19 pandemic led to a sustained rise of retail investors on the D-Street, in an eager attempt to profit from the great COVID bull run. Ever more, retail investors are looking at influencers on social media platforms for financial advice instead of approaching registered advisors (without evaluating the life alerting consequences it may have).Continue Reading End of the Party for Sin (Fin) Fluencers? SEBI’s Regulatory Crackdown on Finfluencers
In its constant endeavour to combat money laundering, terrorist financing, and financing of other illegal activities, the Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) has, vide a letter dated May 4, 2023, amended the Master Directions on Know Your Customer, 2016 and instructed all banks, financial institutions and other Regulated Entities (“REs”) to comply with the newly added KYC norms for wire transfers (“RBI Instructions”). It is a known fact that money launderers across the world have been using wire transfers for long now, as a means to facilitate illegal acts, owing to less/ no regulatory scrutiny.Continue Reading RBI Further Pierces The Wire Transfer Veil
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (“SEBI”) has recently introduced significant changes to the governance framework for listed companies through an amendment to the SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015 (“LODR Regulations”).
The amendments were signaled by various consultation papers issued by SEBI over the last 6-9 months, including consultation papers on ‘Review of disclosure requirements for material events or information under SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015’ and ‘Strengthening Corporate Governance at Listed Entities by Empowering Shareholders – Amendments to the SEBI (LODR) Regulations, 2015’.Continue Reading SEBI Amendments to the LODR – An Overview of Key Changes
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
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
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
Central banks and other financial regulatory authorities are responsible for influencing major investment decisions and resource allocation through their policies. In India, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has joined a growing number central banks and financial regulators, who have incorporated climate change into their financial stability mandate seeking to frame prudential regulations and/or direct credit towards sustainable projects. We have analysed the recent developments in our previous posts available here and here.Continue Reading Green Central Banks and Financial Regulators – Are they Legally Mandated?
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
Climate change is one of the defining challenges of our times. It is a classic example of a ‘collective action problem’ – one requiring collaborative action between individuals, groups and nations, but where such coordinated action is difficult on account of misaligned incentives. Climate change is likely to result in physical and transition risks that could have implications on stability of the overall financial system as well as the physical safety and financial soundness of banks, financial institutions. Given the potential implications of climate change on monetary policy as well as financial stability, addressing it should be part of the mandate of central banks and financial regulators.Continue Reading Climate Finance for Regulated Entities – Upcoming Trends