REGISTRATION OF NBFC-ACCOUNT AGGREGATORS

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REGISTRATION OF NBFC-ACCOUNT AGGREGATORS

NBFC Account Aggregators are organizations that facilitate allocation of data from numerous financial sector organizations and act as “consent brokers”, they transit data transfer among the financial organizations with the approval of the client. This was declared by the Reserve Bank India in September 2016 stating master directions for a new class of NBFCs called Account Aggregators.

Registration and matters incidental thereto

(a) No entity other than a company can undertake the business of an Account Aggregator.

(b) No company shall commence or carry on the business as an Account Aggregator without obtaining a certificate of registration from the Bank.

(c) Every company seeking registration with the Bank as Non-Banking Financial Company - Account Aggregator shall have a net owned fund of not less than ₹ two crore or such higher amount, as the Bank may specify.

Provided that, entities being regulated by other financial sector regulators and aggregating only those accounts relating to the financial assets of that particular sector will be excluded from the registration requirement.

Process of registration

Every Account Aggregator shall make an application for registration to the Department of Non-Banking Regulation, Mumbai of the Bank, in the form specified by the Bank for the purpose  

The Bank for the purpose of considering the application for registration shall require to be satisfied that the following conditions are fulfilled:-

  1. The company has the necessary resources and wherewithal to offer such services to customers.
  2. The company has the adequate capital structure to undertake the business of an account aggregator.
  3. The promoters of the company are fit and proper.
  4. The general character of the management or proposed management of the company shall not be prejudicial to the public interest.
  5. The company has submitted a plan for a robust Information Technology system.
  6. The company shall not have a leverage ratio of more than seven.
  7. That the public interest shall be served by the grant of certificate of registration to the Account Aggregator to commence or to carry on the business in India.
  8. Any other condition, fulfilment of which in the opinion of the Bank shall be necessary to ensure that the commencement of or carrying on the business in India shall not be prejudicial to the public interest.

The Bank may, after being satisfied that the conditions specified above are fulfilled, grant in-principle approval for setting up of an Account Aggregator subject to such conditions which it may consider fit to impose.

The validity of the in-principle approval issued by the Bank will be twelve months from the date of granting such in-principle approval.

Within the period of twelve months, the company shall put in place the technology platform, enter into all other legal documentations required to be ready for operations and report position of compliance with the terms of grant of in-principle approval to the Bank. The Bank may, after being satisfied that the company is ready to commence operations grant it a Certificate of Registration as an NBFC - Account Aggregator subject to such conditions which it may consider fit to impose.

Cancelation of Certificate

The Bank may cancel the certificate of registration granted to an Account Aggregator, if such company -

(a) ceases to carry on the business of an Account Aggregator in India; or

(b) has failed to comply with any condition subject to which the certificate of registration has been issued to it; or

(c) it comes to the notice of the Bank that the Account Aggregator is no longer eligible to hold the certificate of registration; or

(d) at any time fails to fulfill any of the conditions referred to in paragraphs 4.2.2 and 4.2.5; or

(e) fails to -

  1. comply with any direction issued by the Bank; or
  2. maintain accounts, publish and disclose its financial position in accordance with the requirements of any law or any direction or order issued by the Bank; or
  3. submit or offer for inspection its books of account or other relevant documents when so demanded by the Bank.

Duties and Responsibilities of an Account Aggregator

a) Account Aggregator shall ensure that the providing of services to a customer who has made a specific application for availing such services, would be backed by appropriate agreements/ authorisations between the Account Aggregator, the customer and the Financial Service providers.

b) Account Aggregator shall not support transactions in financial assets by customers.

c) Account Aggregator shall ensure appropriate mechanisms for proper customer identification.

d) Account Aggregator shall share information as referred to under paragraph 3(iv) only with the customer to whom it relates or any other person authorized by the customer. The process of authentication of the authorization has to be robust.

e) Account Aggregator shall not undertake any other business other than the business of account aggregator. Deployment of investible surplus by an Account Aggregator in instruments, not for trading, shall however be permitted.

f) No financial asset related customer information pulled out by the Account Aggregator from the financial service providers should reside with the Account Aggregator.

g) Account Aggregator shall have a Citizen Charter that explicitly guarantees protection of the rights of a customer. The Account Aggregator shall not part with any information that it may come to acquire from/ on behalf of a customer.

h) In the event of any difference in position of financial assets in the statement generated from the Account Aggregator and the books of the Financial Service provider, the position as reflected in the records of the Financial Service provider shall be considered correct.

 

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