Sebi Orders Revamp Of Investor Service Centers To Improve Counselling, Dispute Resolution And Other Services

Sebi has instructed stock exchanges on how the investor service centres should assist investors. Read on to learn more about the facilities provided by these centres.
Sebi Orders Revamp Of Investor Service Centers To Improve Counselling, Dispute Resolution And Other Services

The Securities and Exchange Board of India on Tuesday instructed 16 stock exchanges to provide investors counselling, dispute resolution, and arbitration services through their Investor Service Centres (ISC).

Sebi’s June 26 circular instructs the ISCs in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Kanpur, Indore, Bangalore, Pune, Jaipur, Ghaziabad, Lucknow, Gurgaon, Patna and Vadodara to start providing these services within three months.

The market regulator has also asked the exchanges to open more ISCs for investors.

Aim Of Investor Service Centres

In 1997, Sebi ordered all stock exchanges to establish at least one ISC to provide investors with counselling and other basic services. The exchanges were allowed to open multiple ISCs.

Sebi, in its circular, said that a review of the ISC provisions was deemed necessary due to technological advancements, and other significant developments in the securities market.

Sebi Instructions For ICSs

Investor Service Centres (ISCs) should have dedicated staff to receive investor complaints in physical and electronic forms. They should also provide investors with facilities for registering complaints and for guidance and counselling. The ISCs should electronically maintain and update the status of all complaints. They must assist investors in dispute resolution by providing necessary documents and details for filing applications to grievance redressal panels and arbitration. In addition, all ISCs should have arbitration and appellate arbitration facilities, including video-calling facilities, for investors to attend online grievance redressal meetings.

The circular states: “(The) facilitation desks at all ISCs to assist the investors in the dispute resolution process. These desks shall provide investors (with) the required documents or details, if any, for making application to investor Grievance Redressal Panels and filing arbitration applications (including appellate arbitration).”

Officials at ISCs must be given adequate training on securities markets, counselling investors, resolving grievances, and promoting investor education. ISC officials must also have a certification from the National Institute of Securities Markets (NISM) covering various areas of the market. Besides, they must provide facilities such as access to financial newspapers, the Internet, complaint registration, and assistance desks for dispute resolution. Also, they should have meeting rooms and a library for educational materials on relevant laws for investors’ aid.

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