The Bankers to an issue are engaged in activities such as acceptance of applications along with application money from investors in respect if issues of capital and refund of application money.
To carry on the activities as a banker to an issue, a person must obtain a certificate of registration from the SEBI. The SEBI grants registration on the basis of all the activities relating to banker to an issue in particular with reference to the following requirements: (1) the applicant has the necessary infrastructure, communication and data processing facilities and manpower to effectively discharge his activities, (2) the applicant/any of the directors of the applicant is not involved in any litigation connected with the securities market/has not been convicted of any economic offence; (3) is a scheduled bank and (4) grant of a certificate is in the interest of the investors. A banker to an issue can apply for renewal of his registration three months before the expiry of the certificate.
Every banker to an issue has to pay to the SEBI an annual fee of Rs 2.5 lakh for the first two years from the date of initial registration, and Rs 1 lakh for the third year to keep his registration in force. The renewal fee to be paid by him annually for the first two years is Rs 1 lakh and Rs 20,000 for the third year. Non-payment of the prescribed fee may lead to suspension of the registration certificate.
General Obligations and Responsibilities:
Furnish Information: When required a banker to an issue has to furnish to the SEBI the following information: (1) the number of issues for which he was engaged as a banker to an issue; (2) the number of applications/details of applications’ money received; (3) the dates on which applications from investors were forwarded to the issuing company/registrar to an issue; (4) the dates/ amount of refund to the investors.
Books of Account / Record / Documents: A banker to an issue is required to maintain books of account/records/ documents for a minimum period of three years in respect of, inter alia, the number of application received, the names of the investors, the times within which the applications received were forwarded to the issuing company/ registrar to the issue, and dates and amounts of refund money to investors.
Agreement with Issuing Companies: Every banker to an issue enters into an agreement with the issuing company. The agreement provides for the number of collection centers at which applications/application money received is forwarded to the registrar, for instance and submission of daily statement by the designated controlling branch of the banker, stating the number of applications and the amount of money received from the investors.
Disciplinary Action by the RBI: If the RBI takes any disciplinary action against a banker to an issue in relation to issue payment, the latter should immediately inform the SEBI. If the banker is prohibited from carrying on his activities as result of the disciplinary action, the SEBI registration is deemed as suspended/ cancelled.
Code of Conduct: Every banker to an issue has to abide by the code of conduct specified as follows:
In the conduct of his business, he should observe high standards of integrity and fairness in all his dealings with clients/ investors / other members of the profession. He should exercise due diligence and ensure proper care. He should not make any statement/indulge in any act, practice/ unfair competition harmful to the interest of other bankers or likely to place the latter in a disadvantageous position. Further, he should not make exaggerated oral/written statements to his clients about his qualification / capability to render services or his earlier achievements in this regard. Moreover, a banker to an issue should always endeavor to render the best possible advice to his clients and ensure that all professional dealings are affected in a prompt, efficient and cost effective manner. Also, he should not divulge to other clients/press/any other party any confidential information in his knowledge about his client. He should also not allow blank applications forms bearing brokers’ stamp to be kept at the bank premises / near the entrance of the premises and accept applications after office hours / or after the date of closure of the issue/or o bank holidays. Finally, he should not act at any time in collusion with other agents in a manner that is detrimental to small investors. He has to abide by all acts, rules, regulations, guidelines, resolutions, notification, directions, circulars and instructions issued by the Government /RBI/ Indian Banks Association / SEBI relevant to his activities as a banker to an issue.