Sebi unveils new norms on fees paid to mutual fund agents

Sebi unveils new norms on fees paid to mutual fund agents thumbnail
The capital markets regulator, Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), late Monday announced a raft of measures designed to improve transparency in investment expenses while reducing portfolio churning and mis-selling in mutual fund schemes.

From now on, all scheme related expenses, including commissions, shall be paid from the scheme only and not from the books of the asset management company, Sebi said. The regulator has also done away with upfront commission of 1% allowed earlier and fund houses will henceforth have to pay commission through a full trail fee model in all schemes.

Front-loading of commissions will now be allowed only in case of systematic investment plans (SIP). Here, fund houses can pay 1% yearly in advance for a maximum period of three years.

Since this process would require integration at the registrar and transfer agent-end (RTA) in the interim, upfronting of trail commission for total SIP inflows of ₹5,000 per month per investor across all schemes of a mutual fund shall be allowed.

In case an investor does not stay the full course of the SIP, the commission will be recovered from distributors on a pro-rata basis.

All fees and expenses charged in a direct plan will not exceed the fees and expenses charged under such head in a regular plan.

Training sessions and programmes conducted for distributors must continue and should not be misused for providing rewards or non-cash incentives to distributors, the market regulator said.

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