Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has issued a circular, under no. SEBI/HO/MIRSD/MIRSD-PoD-1/P/CIR/2023/72, dated June 08, 2023. The captioned circular deals processing of cases pertaining to investor service requests and complaints by the Registrar and Share Transfer Agent (RTA). These include updation of details of the shareholders, issuance of duplicate share certificates, transmission, transposition, consolidation, demat requests, remat requests among others.
The circular shall be implemented in a two phase manner, with the first phase providing a provision to lodge service requests and complaints online and thereafter tracking their status with periodical updates. Phase wise description of the processes is provided below:
All RTA’s servicing companies listed on the stock exchanges shall maintain a functional website displaying certain information as mandated by SEBI from time to time. Further, an escalation matrix shall be provided alongwith step by step procedure for filing various service requests/complaints and the procedure for obtaining the status of the requests/complaints.
The RTA’s shall send an electronic intimation to all the investors whose e-mail address and/or mobile number is available about the availability of the aforesaid online mechanism. Additionally, listed companies and RTAs shall also disseminate the availability of this mechanism on their respective websites.
The RTA’s shall set up user friendly online mechanism or portals for requests/complaints with certain minimum features pertaining to lodging of requests/complaints, the documentation process, number of hold days wherein additional documentation or physical documentation is required, generation of Unique Reference Number and mechanism compliance to Business Continuity Plan (BCP) and Disaster Recovery (DR) as specified by SEBI.
Phase-I shall be implemented by Qualified Registrars and Share Transfer Agents (QRTA's) from January 01, 2024 and by other Registrars and Share Transfer Agents (RTA's) from June 01, 2024. Further, a compliance certificate shall be provided by RTA's from a PCS within 30 days of implementation of PHASE-I to SEBI certifying the changes carried out and systems put in place to comply with the provisions of the said circular.
From July 01, 2024, QRTA’s shall create a common website through which investors shall be directed to the portals provided by individual concerned RTA’s for resolution of investor requests/complaints.
Additionally, if RTA’s are switched by the listed companies, they shall ensure that the new RTA adheres to the principles mentioned in the circular.
The complete circular is available at the following link: https://www.sebi.gov.in/legal/circulars/jun-2023/online-processing-of-investor-service-requests-and-complaints-by-rtas_72363.html.