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
(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…
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
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
Across jurisdictions, the mischief of insider trading is sought to be curbed and punished by the market regulators since any securities market of repute would measure its success, among other variables, based on the integrity and fairness of transactions conducted on its platform. As such, the prohibition of insider trading stems from the moral imperative, which demands that there is no information asymmetry between insiders and other shareholders while dealing in listed securities. This effectively translates into restraint being exercised by insiders i.e. the persons who have access to the unpublished price sensitive information in relation to the listed securities in which they deal.Continue Reading Winds of Change – The Recent Judicial and Legislative Developments in Insider Trading Regime
A Working Group on Digital Lending (“RBI WG”), constituted by the Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”), had published its Report in November 2021. It had made recommendations on (i) the legal and regulatory framework for digital lending; (ii) technology; and (iii) financial consumer protection, implementable over the near-term (up to one year) and medium-term (beyond one year).Continue Reading FIG Paper (No. 16 – Series 1) – Impact Analysis of RBI’s Recommendations of the Working Group on Digital Lending – Implementation
On July 4, 2022, the Reserve Bank of India (“RBI”) clarified to all banks and non-bank payment system operators (“PSOs”) that its prior approval would be required for any (a) takeover/ acquisition of control, which may or may not result in change of management; and (b) sale/ transfer of payment activity to an entity not authorised for undertaking similar activity (“Circular”).Continue Reading FIG Paper (No. 15 – Series 1) – Payment System Operators (PSOs) – New M&A Implications