SEBI Refuses To Extend Sept. 1 Deadline To Implement New Margin Pledge Norms
SEBI headquarters in Mumbai, India. (Photographer: Santosh Verma/Bloomberg)

SEBI Refuses To Extend Sept. 1 Deadline To Implement New Margin Pledge Norms

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The Securities and Exchange Board of India refused to extend the Sept. 1 deadline to implement the new rules on margin pledge, stockbrokers’ body Association of National Exchanges Members of India said on Monday.

The new mechanism is aimed at bringing transparency and preventing brokerages from misusing clients' securities.

The decision was taken after SEBI’s meeting with stock brokers' association, depositories and clearing corporations. The meeting was held to analyse readiness to implement the new norms.

SEBI had come out with the norms in February and was scheduled to come into effect from June 1. It was extended to Aug. 1 and thereafter to Sept.1.

According to sources, the regulator has refused to extend the Sept. 1 deadline, as depositories are ready to implement the new mechanism.

However, ANMI, a grouping of around 900 stockbrokers from across the country, on Friday urged SEBI to extend the implementation of the new mechanism on margin pledge by one month till Sept. 30, citing several challenges faced by market participants.

Besides, back-office vendors group has not given 100% clearance to members to launch the new process, it had added.

"In today's virtual meeting, Sebi's declined to grant extension of further time in implementing margin pledge/repledge process. This came as a big surprise to ANMI and its 900 members. ANMI is holding consecutive meetings with all stakeholders and studying all options available to it in the matter," a spokesperson of ANMI said.

The brokers association had requested for the co-existence of the current systems of title transfer, and the proposed pledge system till Sept. 30.

Also read: SEBI Grants One-Time Extension To Brokers To Implement New Margin Trading Norms

However, SEBI in July had said that trading members or clearing members can accept client securities as collateral by way of title transfer into the client collateral account as per the present system till August-end.

The regulator had allowed co-existence of the current title transfer collateral mechanism and the new pledge and re-pledge process till Aug. 31 and had said no further extension will be granted.

Tejas Khoday, co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of Fyers, a stockbroking firm, said, "The new pledge mechanism will bring much-needed transparency and will prevent brokerages from misusing clients' securities".

As a result of SEBI’s refusal to extend the deadline, traditional brokerages with legacy systems will face huge operational challenges that can cause chaos and unintended consequences in the near future, he added.

Under the framework, trading members or clearing members will require to align their systems and accept client collateral and margin-funded stocks by way of creation of pledge and re-pledge in the depository system.

Also read: SEBI Proposes To Relax Minimum Public Shareholding Norms For Firms Under Insolvency

Depositories should provide "margin pledge" for pledging clients' securities as margin to the TM or CM. The latter should open a separate demat account for accepting such margin pledge, which should be tagged as "client securities margin pledge account".

To provide collateral in the form of securities as margin, a client will be required to pledge securities with TM, and TM will re-pledge the same with CM, and CM, in turn, will re-pledge the same to clearing corporation.

The complete trail of such re-pledge will be reflected in the demat account of the pledgor.

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