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SEBI Cracks Down on Unregistered Investment Advisors: Protecting Investor Interest

10 July 20243 mins read by Angel One
The board of SEBI, India's financial market regulator, approved a proposal for an optional method to enable Sebi-registered investment advisors and research analysts to collect fees from their clients.
SEBI Cracks Down on Unregistered Investment Advisors: Protecting Investor Interest
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India’s market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), is taking a strong stance against unregistered investment advisors. This move aims to protect investors from potentially misleading advice and ensure the integrity of the capital markets.

Why the Crackdown?

Unregistered advisors often lack proper qualifications and can provide investors, especially those new to the market, with inaccurate information. This can lead to poor investment decisions and financial losses. Additionally, some advisors may make false claims about their expertise or engage in dishonest practices, further compromising investor interests.

SEBI’s Approach

  • Warnings and Penalties: SEBI has issued warning letters and even imposed penalties on unregistered advisors to deter such activities and safeguard market stability.
  • Proposed Fee Collection Mechanism: A new proposal is being considered to create a “closed ecosystem” where only SEBI-registered advisors and analysts can collect fees directly from clients. This will give investors confidence in knowing they are dealing with legitimate professionals.

Regulatory Thinking Behind the Proposal

SEBI Chairperson Madhabi Puri Buch emphasises that this proposal would establish a “safe space” for investors by clearly differentiating registered advisors from unregistered entities. It aims to:

  • Boost investor trust in the system
  • Empower legitimate advisors to use the mechanism as a competitive advantage
  • Help investors identify qualified professionals

SEBI on ‘Finfluencers’

SEBI has also cautioned registered investment advisors against associating with “finfluencers” who offer unsolicited stock advice on social media or other platforms. This prevents advisors from potentially endorsing unqualified individuals and helps maintain clear boundaries for financial guidance.

Disclaimer: This blog has been written exclusively for educational purposes. The securities mentioned are only examples and not recommendations. It is based on several secondary sources on the internet and is subject to changes. Please consult an expert before making related decisions.

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