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Monday, December 21, 2009

No NOC while changing MF Distributor, additional open ended plans as addendum or scheme, revised timelines, investor documents to be maintained by AMC – SEBI Circular

I. Sub: AMFI Guidelines for change of mutual fund distributor vide SEBI/IMD/CIR No./ 13/187052 /2009 dated 11th December 2009

It has come to the notice of SEBI that unwarranted hardship (like mandating No Objection Certificate - NOC) is being caused to investors in mutual fund schemes who wish to switch from an existing mutual fund distributor to
either another mutual fund distributor or opt to deal direct.


Now, Mutual Funds (MFs) and Asset Management Companies (AMCs) are advised to ensure compliance with the instruction of the investor informing his desire to change his distributor and / or go direct, without compelling that investor to obtain an NoC from the existing distributor.


II. Sub: Modifications in the existing SEBI circulars for Mutual Funds vide SEBI / IMD / CIR No 14 / 187175/ 2009 dated 15th December 2009

Over the years, certain circulars/ guidelines have been revised in line with the requirements of investor protection, market development or effective regulation. In continuation of the effort and in consultation with AMFI, modifications in following existing circulars have been carried out (For modification(s), please refer Annexure I):

The modifications are highlighted hereunder,

  1. Asset Management Companies (AMCs) to dispatch dividend warrants within 30 days of the declaration of the dividend.It is clarified that, in the event of failure of dispatch of dividend within the stipulated 30 day period, the AMC(s) shall be liable to pay interest @ 15% per annum to the unit holders.  Further, a STATEMENT OF INTEREST PAID TO THE INVESTORS FOR DELAYS IN DESPATCH OF DIVIDEND shall be sent to SEBI with Compliance Test Reports.
  2. Valuation of collateral securities under Participation by MF in Stock lending scheme will be prescribed by SEBI.
  3. The AMCs shall maintain records of dispatch of the letters to the unitholders giving them the option to exit at prevailing NAVs without exit loads and the responses received from them and shall be filed with SEBI within 21 days from the closure of Exit Option.
  4. Additional plans sought to be launched under existing open ended scheme can be issued as an ADDENDUM, but if it has a substantially different characteristic, it shall be issued as a separate SCHEME.
  5. Time periods are shortened.
  6. All other provisions of the aforesaid SEBI circulars remain unchanged, where applicable. These modifications shall be applicable from the date of issue of this circular.

III. Sub: Transactions through some mutual fund distributors and compliance with the SEBI circular on AML vide SEBI/IMD/CIR No.12 /186868 /2009 dated 11th December 2o09

It has recently come to our attention that all documentation related to the investor including Know your Client, Power of Attorney (PoA) in respect of transactions/requests made through some mutual fund distributors is not available with the AMC/RTA of the AMC and that the same is stated to be maintained by the respective distributors.

In view of the above, we reiterate that the requirements as mentioned in the master circular ISD/AML/CIR-1/2008 dated December 19, 2008 issued by SEBI is applicable to the Mutual Funds/ AMCs and hence maintaining all the documentation pertaining to the unitholders/investor is the responsibility of the AMC.

Thus, all MF and AMCs are advised to confirm whether all the investor related documents are maintained/ available with them. If not, and to the extent of and relating to such investor accounts/folios where investor related documentation is incomplete/inadequate/not available, then the trustees of the mutual funds are advised to ensure the following:
a. No further payment of any commissions, fees and / or payments in any other mode should be made to such distributors till full compliance/ completion of the steps enumerated herein.
b. Take immediate steps to obtain all investor/ unit holders documents in terms of the AML/ CFT, including KYC documents / PoA as applicable
c. Take immediate steps to obtain all supporting documents in respect of the
past transactions.
d. On a one time basis, send statement of holdings and all transactions since
inception of that folio in duplicate to the investor and seek confirmation from
the unit holders on the duplicate copy.
e. Set up a separate customer services mechanism to handle/ address queries and grievance of the above mentioned unitholders.

Pending completion of documentation, exercise great care and be satisfied of
investor bonafides before authorizing any transaction, including redemption, on such accounts / folios.

The trustees shall forthwith confirm to SEBI that the steps have been taken to address the above and also send a status to SEBI as and when process is
completed to satisfaction.


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