MF industry not ready for financial inclusion yet, says SEBI

The regulator is currently working on various proposals to contain mis-selling while CII is working on a policy paper for the mutual fund industry which is expected to come out in a couple of months

Market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) seems to be in no mood to increase the penetration of the mutual fund industry and is first working towards eliminating toxic products and addressing the issue of mis-selling.
 
Speaking at the sidelines of a CII conference on mutual funds, KN Vaidyanathan, executive director of SEBI said,"Financial inclusion is a noble goal which I think is a long way off. It should not run ahead of ourselves. I don't think as a country we are ready for financial inclusion. Financial inclusion connotes including the bottom of the pyramid. The bottom of the MF industry should not be exposed to mutual funds." 

Mr Vaidyanathan also spoke about the proposed guidelines for right selling versus mis-selling which will chalk out measures to prevent mis-selling at the institutional level. The guidelines will be first implemented by national distributors and banks and then for independent financial advisors. Moneylife had first reported about SEBI's plans. (Read here: http://www.moneylife.in/article/81/5764.html).

The regulator is working on two key aspects of mis-selling like distorted commissions and selling & alignment of products with customer risk profile. These proposals are expected to come out in the next three months and will be evaluated by the mutual fund advisory committee. The mutual fund industry is also planning to create a blueprint in terms of a policy paper for the entire industry.

"The industry needs to refer to a policy paper. What is the role and function and where does the mutual fund industry stand. I am happy that CII has already started working on it and hopefully in a couple of months we will be able to have a policy on this," said UK Sinha, chairman of UTI Mutual Fund.

Besides, the regulator is also working on a platform with registrar & transfer agents CAMS and KARVY which will provide a single view of all mutual fund investments to investors.
 

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COMMENTS

PREMKUMAR

7 years ago

Great, If u can.. do good to investors by regulating ULIPs

Deepak K Rao

7 years ago

Congratulations, SEBI is doing a great job. We are extremely happy with the developments in the MF industry for the last one year. Kindly set right the MF industry, educate and safeguard Investors interest which is of paramount importance.

SEBI chief blasts mutual funds

Charges fund companies with launching too many schemes but having very little connect with investors

Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) chairman CB Bhave has spoken on why the mutual fund industry finds itself in its current mess. Speaking at the CII Mutual Fund Summit yesterday, he said, "The rationale of this industry as professional fund managers and aggregators of savings is to provide better returns through expertise and cost reduction. So why is it that we have difficulty in convincing investors that they can get better returns? Is something lacking in our delivery? Unless this fundamental issue is addressed, we cannot move forward.

Unless it is carried through to the investors with all the conviction that it is in their interest, they will not come. We need to focus on why is it that the communication is not going through and where do we have difficulty in communicating."

Mr Bhave also highlighted that various incentive structures in place in different institutions are posing a lot of problems for the industry. "Such incentive structures tend to drive institutions away from addressing customers' needs. This focus on short-term incentives ultimately results in a loss to investors."

He also pointed out the frivolity in launching a slew of products in the name of innovation. "Between the few mutual fund companies in the country, we have a few thousand schemes. I have no idea which scheme is good for me. Are these schemes really so different from each other? How much innovation is real and how much is driven by the tendency to look at short-term benefit?"

About 60% of schemes in the market today are suboptimal, pointed out Mr Bhave. "Investments in such schemes will not allow you to justify your claim that you are giving the benefit of aggregation of savings. The basic argument of why this industry exists is that we are able to aggregate savings on such a large scale that our costs of operating the portfolios are much less than what the individual's cost will be. And if that is not right, then who are we serving? Unless we ask these questions to ourselves, we will not find the right answers for long-term growth."

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COMMENTS

Tushar Choksi

7 years ago

Mr.Bhave will go down in history as one of the brightest mind who converted a sunrise industry into sunset industry.A typical bureocrat who thinks that business is crime and commissions are even greater crime.
He considers that entire AMC industry lacks vision as that is only SEBI chairmans prerogative.

Rakesh Malhotra

7 years ago

I think it is high time for Mr. Bhave to leave this position. He has created a mess which will take a lot of time to clear. Investors are clueless and are being hounded by the stock brokers to come invest in direct equity which is quite risky for the new entrants and by the way who has objected for the entry load in the mutual funds? Insurance cos. have also lost a good amount of business due to him. I don't know what is in his mind? No body is there to stop him or there is some thing fishy about all this?

Keshav B Bhat

7 years ago

I fail to understand why can't Mr Bhave and co can not realise the ground reality, how ever the best product it may be, it requires proper management and proper distribution system to reach to the end user and definitly it costs and definitly end user has to pay for everythig even the government taxes. End user will buy and continue to buy only if the product meets his/her requirements. If there is any problem with the distribution cannel it has to be addressed or rectified. Nowb for the big hue and cry about the entry load and agent commission and misselling, I do agree misselling has to be completely stopped, but for that the action taken by Mr Bhave is absolutely wrong. Today Mr Bhave and co is saying advisors/agents has to be paid according to the services received by the investor and investor has to decide how much commission he wants to pay to te abvisor/agent, but can you tell what remedy is there for the advisor/agent to get his dues?. Does Mr Bhave and co work with out receiving salery or perks? does these people are paid accoding to their work?
who is there judge their work?

Roopsingh

7 years ago

Mr Bhave has only one task to get his salary-''criticise MF industry'and he is
doing this job very efficiently-
he looses no chance to make comments and issue new foolish norms overnite without any consultation-
some body go and tell this man that why every month mobile cos launch several new models though old simple mobiles do same work-why auto cos launch new models every six months though old models are pretty good-
who is he to decide what suits to investor and what one should eat or drink-
does he thinks he is Dictator?
he has no morale to comment for market related products?
recently i went to purchase a antibiotic tablet which had printed price of Rs 250for 6 tablet-the chemist was ready to give me at discounted price of Rs 100-but same tablet was available at Rs 60 of Mankind brand-what a disparity in profit margin?
has soem one tried to control prices and cost where there is no control?
in MF 2% is open secret and thats the lowest for any industry-then why this guy is bent on eliminating this 2% if medicines are sold at 500% profit?

Sharath

7 years ago

Somebody tell this nut case, people will only want to manage their money when they find the need. If not, no matter how many policies you put in place or how many products you design for their benefit - THEY'D CARE a DAMN

R Balakrishnan

7 years ago

Someone with no stake in the industry. No experience of taking risk or running a business. Pity that personal agendas drive an industry to extinction. RBI did that to the leasing industry in India. SEBI is now doing it to the MF industry.

Sunil Takalkar

7 years ago

With full respect to his knowledge , experience, I feel that Mr. Bhave is also partly responsible for this mess . e.g SEBI_ IRDA conflict,abolition of upfront commission since August 2009.etc.

Are these moves good for a service industry? Instead of blaming MF Industry ,it is high time he should resign and give opportunity to non-egoistic professional from the Finance sector.

REPLY

Sharath

In Reply to Sunil Takalkar 7 years ago

Good point. Not just that, he should also be taken to task for creating so much of chaos

Michael

7 years ago

Mr. Bhave expresses his concern for the "small investor" with great passion when it comes to speaking to the MF industry. Wonder why he could not convince the Finance Ministry about the dis service ULIP products are doing to the same small investor and why they (ulips) need to be regulated by SEBI. Whatever Mr Bhave thinks he is doing for the investor through his "reforms" in the mutual fund industry has got undone in one stroke by the same Govt he works for by keeping ULIPs away from SEBI's regulation. The gullible small investor who was loosing the "very huge 2.25%" by way of entry load in MFs is continuing to loose even more by buying ULIPs and that too with the "blessings" of the Government !

Deepak K Rao

7 years ago

Mr. Bhave is absolutely right. We only educate people regarding investments, since we strongly believe that, ' AN EDUCATED INVESTOR IS A SUCCESSFUL INVESTOR'. It is also the primary duty of Investors to do some homework on understanding the concept of Investment before blindly following the advice of any Financial Advisor. "INVEST YOUR TIME BEFORE YOU INVEST YOUR MONEY"

Manoja

7 years ago

Bhave has got it wrong to see the usefulness of mutual fund industry only in terms of cost saving.

There are a very large number of people who either have no knowledge of entering the equity market on their own or dont have time to monitor the stocks on a regular basis to trade on their own. Isn't this one of the reasons why mutual funds were brought in?

When we talk of cost, here is a pointer. If an investor has Rs.100,000/- to invest in the market and he puts it through a mutual fund. When the entry load existed, his direct cost would have been about 2.25% and the fund management charges which gets adjusted in the NAV. So he would have ended up spending about 2,250/- on his investment.

If the same investor invests the money in the market directly, his upfront brokerage is about .50%. And he needs to trade in his account a few times to make the investment grow. He has to keep shelling out this .50% brokerage every time he buys or sells the shares. Which at the end of the day may prove more costly for him.

But then, coming from Bhave, I am not surprised he has taken such a stupid logic to argue that MFs are bad!!!

Rajnish Joshi

7 years ago

We are writing from time to time about bringing NFOs by AMCs. Investors are confused and even Distributors are worried about these NFOs. Go through our new Article i.e, Launching of NFO or New TV Serials. AMC will have to learn a few lessons.

Heads of mutual funds finally find voice; throw brickbats at SEBI for their problems

In a rare outburst, heads of various mutual funds express displeasure with the regulator at an industry summit; also admit that rethinking is required about their own business

Five days after the law ministry and finance ministry took the wind out of the sails of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on the issue of regulating Unit-linked Insurance Plans (ULIPs), the heads of mutual funds have probably started seeing their regulator in a different light and are emboldened to call a spade a spade. While the mutual fund industry has been limping over rocky terrain after the slew of regulatory changes introduced in July last year, fund companies were conspicuous by their silence on the extent of the impact felt by the industry.

However, during a summit discussion on challenges being faced by the industry yesterday, the chiefs of various asset management companies (AMCs) openly admitted to weakness in the industry's functioning and put the blame squarely on market regulator SEBI.

HN Sinor, CEO of AMFI (Association of Mutual Funds in India) set the tone by admitting that the industry has lost momentum post the changes. The newly elected chief of AMFI pointed out that there is a need for policy rework for the industry and that a roadmap should be drawn for the next five years to set things in order.

Speaking about the entry load ban and other initiatives taken by SEBI since last August, Mr Sinor said, "Commission payouts are an integral part of this industry.

A fresh review is needed in this regard. Such attempts (at regulatory change) could disturb the industry." Mr Sinor also suggested setting up of an ombudsman for the industry. The CEO's Interactive Roundtable at the CII Mutual Fund Summit 2010 that followed witnessed an even more frank discussion about the mess that the industry currently finds itself in.

UK Sinha, chairman and managing director of UTI Asset Management Co Ltd, commented that the mutual fund industry is becoming a 'shock absorber', what with all the changes being brought upon it. "The de-growth in assets under management is a worrying issue. The environment is not at all conducive or friendly," admitted Mr Sinha.

Ashu Suyash, managing director and country head, FIL Fund Management Pvt Ltd, pointed out that the industry players should have been given a reasonable time to adjust to the regulatory changes. "It has had a negative medium-term impact on the industry. The focus of AMCs has now changed from growth to survival," she said.

Sandeep Sikka, CEO of Reliance Capital Asset Management Ltd, was also critical of the developments in the industry. Commenting on the regulatory involvement post the financial crisis, he said, "We have now moved from the point of less regulation to over-regulation in the industry."

Vivek Kudva, managing director, Franklin Templeton Asset Management India Pvt Ltd, pointed out that mutual fund products are sold, not bought. "The financial crisis has shown us that there is a role for advisors." Asking customers to cut a separate cheque as commission to the advisor is an inhibitor for this industry, said Mr Kudva. He pointed out that people do not do the same while buying electronic goods-a cheque is not made out to the manufacturer and dealer separately.

Not all brickbats were directed at the regulator, though. There were rare moments of introspection too. Mr Sikka, while addressing the issue of product innovation, made it clear that there is actually a need for the industry to be simple, instead of innovative. "The industry has innovated itself beyond its own understanding," he quipped. This is a rare admission. In the 2005-2008 period, AMCs were manufacturing and hard-selling mutual funds as if these were variants of soaps and shampoos. Distributors were offered lucrative incentives to sell new funds who in turn encouraged gullible investors to switch from existing units to new ones, deceiving them with the argument that the new units were cheaper because these were priced at Rs10. This glaring mis-selling is not talked of anymore but is one of the principal reasons for the poor fund performance and therefore the consequent disillusionment of retail investors with funds. It is quite intriguing to see CEOs of fund companies raising the issue of simplicity after having foisted complexity all these years.

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COMMENTS

RNandakumar

7 years ago

LIC has succeeded in coming out of SEBI's control in the Agnet Commission issue. Mutual Funds through AMFI should tell SEBI to mind its business of controlling share transactions effectively.

DILLIP

7 years ago

THANKS ANIL.GOOD VISION

Prabhu

7 years ago

I think it was only UTI Chief who was openly speaking about SEBis dicision to ban entry load and stop upfront commission. No other CEos were talking infact People like Fidility was in favour of this action of banning entry load. Now they have realised they cannot do without distributors. Mr. Bhave I suppose is SEBI chief who wanted to save himself from NSDL SCAM now he has done that . So I think He should say good Bye now

Keshav B Bhat

7 years ago

It is nice to know that people started to look in to ground realities. Any product how best it may be and how useful it may be has to be sold and needs distribution network and the people who are involved has to earn their living and wether somebody likes it or not all these charges are born by the end-user (knowingly or unknowingly - but it is the truth).

Unfortunately some people with the the idea of advisory service (but donot want to take the responsibility and pain of giving service to the client, which is the most needed to any investor who wants to save, invest and get a better returns) to make an easy money as any misselling agent (may be by changing to a more fancy name till their black deeds come to light) made these hue and cry and brought this mess and unfortunately the SEBI is responsible for all these.
All these people who make all these noice about commissions received by the intermediatories and talk about the FMC and frount end loads, why cant the come out with a product which dont have any charges and as they say just the advisor just suggests that product to investors and gets his advisory fee and the investor just buys it directly or does what he likes and if they are sucessfull all existing products will automatically vanish as they wish
Regards
Keshav B Bhat

anil

7 years ago

dont worry ifa. take lic agecy . and sell SIP of LICs jeevan saral and earn commission up to 35%. bhad mai jai sebi aur bhave.

Suresh

7 years ago

Thank God they are realizing now that MF are sold and not bought. If situation continues there will be no problem as there will be no MF. MF industry has become a experimental Lab of Sebi who is trying its non working experiments on it. which MF industry also agreed but they will soon realise that it will be end of road for them

Regards.

Deepak K Rao

7 years ago

There are a set of reasons that ULIP apologists usually trot out to promote ULIPs.

Here's why they are wrong.
ULIP Excuses, and Why They Are Wrong

The so-called turf-war on ULIPs that SEBI and IRDA have been fighting has now taken on a life of its own. In reality, just about the least important thing is who regulates ULIPs, while the most important thing-or rather, the only important thing-is that investors understand what they are getting into and make the choices that are best for them. I find that there's a great deal of misinformation floating around about ULIPs and why exactly are so many investment advisors so critical of them. ULIP proponents generally give a set of reasons which in their opinion invalidate criticism of ULIPs.
In this article, I'd like to briefly describe why I think these arguments are not valid.

Argument: ULIP expenses have been lowered by IRDA. ULIP expenses are now down to just 3 per cent for ULIPs of up to 10 years and 2.25 per cent for longer ones. Mutual funds, by comparison, have a higher fund management charges.

Reality: The way IRDA has framed the rules, 2.25 or 3 per cent is effectively the average over the entire lifetime of a ULIP. However, these charges are heavily front-loaded, something that allows insurance companies to circumvent them easily. During the first year, these charges are as high as 40 to 70 per cent. If the customer cannot continue with a policy for any reason, then his real expenses are far higher. And as it happens, a huge proportion of policies lapse during the earlier years. The front-loading has no logic, except to enrich insurers and agents. And fund management charges being lower than mutual funds is a not a full comparison. In mutual funds, total expenses are capped at 2.25 per cent for equity funds and less for other funds. These are not comparable to the fund management charges of ULIPs because ULIP customers also pay premium allocation charges, policy administration charges, mortality charges, and for guaranteed ULIPs, guarantee charge s. Comparing fund management cha ges alone is a joke.

Argument: ULIPs have led to a massive rise in insurance penetration in India.

Reality: Insurance means insurance, in the sense when the insured person dies, his family gets money to pay for food, rent and education. In a country with as little social security as ours, the growth of insurance has to mean the growth in the reach and quantum of risk cover for lives. To call ULIPs, a market risk-bearing product (with a tiny dose of insurance) by the name of insurance and then present it as evidence of the growth of insurance is simply dishonest, and to find a regulator appointed by the Government of India participating in this subterfuge is shameful.
Argument: The insurance industry provides a huge amount of employment. 30 lakh people have found work through insurance.
Reality: If ULIPs were a sound financial product than this would be wonderful news. Since they are not (see above reasons), this issue is a complete red herring. It is not the responsibility of ULIP customers to provide agents employment by giving away vast proportion of their premiums as commission. If crores of people's money has to be mis-invested to provide employment for lakhs of people, then it's better for those lakhs to find some other, more productive employment.

Argument: ULIP fund flows are important for the stock market and for infrastructure development.

Reality: The same as the employment argument. It is not the responsibility of ULIP customers to buy expensive and non-transparent investment products so that the stock markets can be boosted. Wouldn't it be possible to create infrastructure if ULIPs could be made more investor friendly.
I find the last two points to be particularly dishonest. They somehow imply that if ULIPs were made more investor-friendly, then lakhs of people would immediately become unemployed and money would stop flowing into development. However, ULIP critics like me have nothing against the concept of ULIPs. If ULIP cost is brought down and made non-front-loaded; and if transparency is enhanced to the level of other asset classes, then they would be a very good product. The fact that the ULIP's enforce gradual SIP-style investments could actually make them a superior product.

ULIPs should be converted into a product that has an investment component that has similar rules and regulations to mutual funds, in combination with an life-cover component that has the same pricing as term insurance. If this happens, then I'm sure that every opponent of ULIPs, including Value Research, will start recommending them above mutual funds.

-- Dhirendra Kumar
Valueresearchonline.com


Tushar Choksi

7 years ago

I am a distributor who mobilised a sip of rs. 2000/- my upfront commission was rs.8/-.The investor expects that i am not able to provide any quality service?The investor stares in your eyes if you talk of charges as if some crime has been commited.Under the circumstances do you expect distributor will go to a small investor?
is the reformist MR.BHAVE listening?

Surekha desai

7 years ago

Sebi has effectively killed the MF industry. Unless prompt action is takes, burial is a matter of time.

Ram

7 years ago

The problem is with the Industry, thr has to be unity then u can see diversity of MFs, they fight like cats,dogs.... in chasing aum. the market is huge & big we need to create investors within the existing markets and grow, rather pointing fingers at 1 individual. his job is to hammers MFs u like it absorb it or throw it back and see how ulip case. he can't wag his tail. The main problem is with the promoters the stake in MFs is peanuts and they care a damn.... just 10 crs strt business and sleep. Look at the stake involved in insurance 1000... of crs, he will get nightmare for lossess and he will go to any extent to get favor for insurance... lets unite and work for betterment

Kaustubh

7 years ago

i think the salaries paid to SEBI sr staff should be regulated. they r playing with the sentiments of the mutual fund industry, particularly with MF advisors.

the yesterday's statement of mr. bhave saying MFs r not doing wel reflects that he is not aware of the returns given. SEBI should better concetrate on the other irregularities in the market. somebody should measure the performance of SEBI over the years

jamseet Singh

7 years ago

Ask Bhave which other Item - Newspaper/Soap/TV/any product he buys/uses/consumes comes at cost less than the 2.25%.
Instead of nailing 35 AMCs for reducing there costs on AC offices and Cushy Salaries and Incentives, he instead Screwed up the happiness of 35000 A r n holders.
And I donot have words for the 3 Crore and 50 lakh people in India, who will buy more of Ulips and other Insurance products now, as products with better commissions will get priority on marketing.
God knows who is going to get benefit out of the so called Initiatives.
Actually Bhave has very well enacted the role of "Warren Anderson, the former Union Carbide head" in what can be termed as the "Indian Mutual Fund Gas Tragedy".

Just would like to say, "bhave get well soon"
And once you do, take retirement and go to honeymoon.

bhavesh

7 years ago

if bhave thinks like distributors brokerage paid by entry load are of no use then uptill now the sebi was sleeping?
asdistributor the revnuewhich they generate has plunged and their cost are as it is
many distributor has started to selling other product, or leaving the industry!

Rahul Sinha

7 years ago

And what is this body called AMFI doing for the distributors?If it doesnt have the guts to fight it out for the distributors ,it should be abolished.Just look how IRDA fought it out with SEBI .

Rahul Sinha

7 years ago

The new rules by SEBI for distributors are
simply absurd.No client has ever complained about the entry load because no one mind paying a small amount of 1-2% as these charges for distributors are fully justifiable for the services they give their clients.

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