Capital markets regulator Sebi today directed stock brokers and sub-brokers to redress investor complaints within a month of receiving them, saying that failure to do so would make them liable for penal action.
The direction comes a day after it announced that all investor complaints should be forwarded to it electronically through recently established, centralised database system, Sebi Complaints Redressal System.
SCORES was operationalised in June to fast track the redressal of complaints against listed companies. In a circular issued today, Sebi said that it will also use SCORES to pursue grievances against stock brokers and sub-brokers with the concerned stock exchanges. "The stock brokers and sub-brokers shall take adequate steps for redressal of grievances within one month from the date of receipt of the complaint and keep the investor/stock exchange(s) duly informed of the action taken thereon," it said.
The regulator added: "Failure to comply with the said requirement will render the stock broker liable for penal action." It also asked stock exchanges to put in place a suitable mechanism to follow up with the stock brokers and sub-brokers on complaints redressal and devise a system to levy penalty on its members for any noncompliance with the requirements. "... investor grievances received by SEBI against stock brokers and sub-brokers will be taken up electronically with the concerned stock exchange(s) through SCORES. The stock exchange(s) shall, in turn, take up the matter with the concerned stock brokers/sub brokers," Sebi said.
It has asked the exchanges to update the status of the complaints in SCORES at every stage, along with supporting documents. Sebi has asked stock exchanges to make necessary changes in their rules and regulations to comply with the latest direction and send feedback on its implementation on a monthly basis. Market intermediaries can view the complaints in the SCORES system by logging in with their user ID and password, which will be communicated separately by the regulator.
Sebi will also send a daily alert on pending complaints at the e-mail ID registered with it for regulatory communications. SCORES facilitates online movement of complaints to the concerned listed companies by enabling online upload of ATRs by these companies.