SEBI Asks Investment Advisers To Do Clients’ Risk Profiling
The SEBI headquarters in Mumbai. (Photograph: BloombergQuint)

SEBI Asks Investment Advisers To Do Clients’ Risk Profiling

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To further strengthen the conduct of investment advisers, the Securities and Exchange Board of India on Friday asked them to do proper risk profiling of clients and obtain their consent on the same before providing any advice to such investors.

The regulator also restrained investment advisers from providing free trial for any product and service.

The measures, aimed at further strengthening the conduct of investment advisers while providing investment advice and to protect the interest of investors seeking their advice, will come into effect from Jan. 1, 2020, the regulator said in a circular.

SEBI noted that investment advisers are providing advice on a free trial basis without considering the risk profile of the client

"The IAs shall not provide free trial for any products/services to prospective clients. Further, IAs shall not accept part payments (where some part of the fee is paid in advance) for any product or service," it added.

The regulator said investment advisers will provide investment advice only after completing risk profile of the client based on information provided by them and need to obtain the consent of the client on completed risk profile either through registered email or physical document.

To bring transparency in dealing with the clients, SEBI has asked IAs to accept fees through banking channels only. It has clarified that IAs shall not accept cash deposits.

SEBI observed that investment advisers are receiving an advisory fee in the form of a cash deposit in their bank accounts or through payment gateways which do not provide a proper audit trail of fees received from the clients.

To enable the investors to take an informed decision regarding availing of advisory services, IAs have been asked to display information with regard to the number of complaints received as well as resolved during the month on the homepage of their website.

Also, they need to display information pertaining to the number of grievances pending and reasons for such pendency during the month.

The information should be displayed using proper font size and should be made available on a monthly basis within seven days of the end of the previous month.

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