The Reserve Bank of India on 3 March 2016 released Non-Banking Financial Company - Account Aggregator Directions, 2016.
The NBFC-AA Directions will put in place the regulatory framework to allow a new kind of Non-Banking Financial Company (NBFC), which could act as an account aggregator.
The announcement of draft directions is in tune with July 2015 announcement of the RBI regarding creation of a separate category of NBFC called Non-Banking Financial Company - Account Aggregator (NBFC-AA) to provide account aggregation services.
As per the directions, the RBI will regulate and supervise the activity of account aggregation with a view to ensuring that the services provided and the terms at which these are provided conform to prescribed standards.
Highlights of NBFC-AA Directions, 2016
• Only companies registered with the Reserve Bank as NBFC – AA will be able to undertake the business of an account aggregator.
• Entities being regulated by other financial sector regulators and aggregating only those accounts relating to the financial assets of that particular sector will not need to register with the Reserve Bank.
• The Net Owned Fund of such companies should not be less than 2 crore rupees.
• An account aggregator will not be able to undertake any other business other than the business of account aggregator.
• Business of an account aggregator will entirely be Information Technology (IT) driven.
• Initially, only financial assets whose records are stored electronically and are under the regulation of the financial sector regulators, namely, RBI, SEBI, IRDA, and PFRDA shall be considered for aggregation.
• Account aggregation services will be provided under specific application by the customer for availing such services and would be backed by appropriate agreements/ authorisations.
• Pricing of services would be as per the account aggregator’s Board approved policy.
• No financial asset related customer information pulled out by the account aggregator from the financial service providers should reside with the account aggregator.
• An account aggregator will not support transactions in financial assets.
About Account Aggregator
At present, persons holding financial assets, such as, savings bank deposits, fixed deposits, mutual funds, insurance policies, etc do not get a consolidated view of their financial asset holdings.
This problem is compounded when the entities fall under the purview of different financial sector regulators.
Account aggregators would fill this gap by collecting and providing the information of customers’ financial assets in a consolidated, organised and retrievable manner to the customer or any other person as per the instructions of the customer.
As per the draft directions, the investors will be able to avail the service of an Account Aggregator purely at their option.
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