The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has sound knowledge of what influences India. In order to create awareness and attract investments, SEBI has permitted celebrity endorsements of mutual funds on an industry level.
The decision came while the regulator was reviewing advertising guidelines for mutual funds, however, such endorsements shall not be promoting any scheme of an individual mutual fund but will be used for investor education and awareness initiatives. It may be used as a branding exercise of a mutual fund house. All said and done any such endorsement will require a prior approval from SEBI.
The security market regulator has already mandated mutual funds to set aside at least 2 basis points on daily net assets for investor education and awareness initiatives. The amended norms will come into effect from 1 April.
In another interesting development, in order to create a common digital platform for the insurance industry, the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI) issued guidelines for insurance e-commerce on 9 March 2017.
The idea behind these guidelines is to create standardized e-commerce rules across different entities selling insurance online. Now portals and websites wanting to sell insurance online will have to setup an insurance self network platform (ISNP) and adhere to its rules. Simply put, anyone who wants to offer insurances through the web will need an ISNP license from the authority.
“E-commerce is seen as an effective medium to increase insurance penetration and enhance financial inclusion in a cost-efficient manner. The Authority as part of its developmental mandate, issues these guidelines to promote e-commerce in insurance space which is expected to lower the cost of transacting insurance business and bring higher efficiencies and greater reach,” said IRDAI in its official document released on 9 March.