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‘FinFluencers’ Face SEBI Heat

Brokers and mutual funds should stop using unregulated financial influencers for marketing and advertising campaigns, markets regulator SEBI said today.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) said financial influencers engaged in investor education will be exempt from the new restrictions.

The decision was taken to address concerns related to “certain persons, including unregulated entities, inducing investors to deal in securities based on inappropriate claims,” SEBI said in a press statement issued after a board meeting.

A surge in retail investors’ participation in equity markets during the pandemic has led to a rise in so-called influencers pushing financial advice via social media platforms.

India had 154 million trading accounts as of April 2024, according to SEBI data, a more than four times jump from the 36 million trading accounts in April 2019.

It will be the responsibility of the regulated entity to ensure that individuals with whom it is associated do not breach the rules of conduct set by SEBI, including avoiding the promise of assured returns.

SEBI’s board also approved changes to delisting rules that would make it easier for companies to exit from stock exchanges.

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