Capital markets regulator Sebi on Friday joined the account aggregator framework, a move that will give a boost to the Reserve Bank of India-regulated financial-data sharing system.
The move will allow customers to share information about their mutual fund and stock holdings with financial service providers.
Under the framework, Financial Information Providers (FIPs) in the securities market, like depositories and asset management companies (AMCs) — through their Registrar and Transfer Agents or RTAs — will provide financial information pertaining to securities markets to the customers and consented Financial Information Users (FIUs) through any of the account aggregators registered with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Experts believe that through the move, the entire trading system, depository system and mutual fund system will be live on the account platform ecosystem.
Account aggregator or AA is an RBI-regulated non-banking finance company (NBFC) that facilitates the collection of the financial information pertaining to a customer from financial information providers on the basis of the consent of the customer.
AA facilitates consolidation, organisation, and presentation of the financial information to the customer or FIU based on the explicit consent of the customer.
Under the guidelines, FIPs in the securities market will have to enter into a contractual framework with the AAs, and the same will distinctly specify the rights and obligations of each party and modalities of dispute resolution mechanism.
FIPs will share the financial information pertaining to securities markets through the AA only after receiving valid consent from the customer.
Also, FIPs will have to verify the validity of consent, specified dates and usage and the credentials of the AA.
After due verification of the consent, the FIPs in the securities markets will digitally sign the financial information and securely transmit the same to the AA.
“All responses of the FIPs in the securities markets shall be in real-time,” Sebi said.
To enable these data flows, the FIPs will have to implement interfaces that will allow an account aggregator to submit the consent artefacts, and authenticate each other, and would enable a secure flow of financial information to the AA.
Also, FIPs will have to maintain a log of all information sharing requests and the actions performed by them pursuant to such requests.
“There shall be adequate safeguards built in IT systems of FIPs in the securities markets to ensure that it is protected against unauthorised access, alteration, destruction, disclosure or dissemination of records and data,” Sebi said.
FIPs will also abide by the code of conduct as specified in Sebi’s rules, including redressal of grievances of the customers.
Also, FIPs must disclose prominently on their websites the names of the account aggregators through which the FIP shares the information about assets held with respect to securities markets with the customers and financial information users.
The regulator clarified that participation of depositories as FIPs in the AA ecosystem will not impact the existing mechanism of issuances of ‘consolidated account statement’ to the investors by depositories or
AMCs providing consolidated information of the mutual fund investments and holdings of investors in Demat accounts.
The circular will come into force with immediate effect, Sebi said.