India’s market regulator, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), recently unveiled a proposal aimed at tightening the reins on the use of unregistered financial influencer in advertising and marketing campaigns. This move comes in response to concerns about the qualifications, expertise, and potential conflicts of interest of such influencers. In this article, we explore SEBI’s proposal and its implications for the financial industry.

SEBI and Financial Influencer

Chetna Sharma

The Rationale Behind the Proposal

SEBI’s primary concern revolves around the qualifications and expertise of unregistered financial influencers. According to the consultation paper, influencers who are not registered with the relevant financial sector regulator may lack the necessary knowledge and credentials to provide accurate and reliable information to the public. This raises concerns about the integrity of financial advice disseminated through their channels.

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Lack of Accountability and Transparency

One of the key issues highlighted by SEBI is the absence of a formal code of conduct for unregistered financial influencers. Without such regulations, these influencers may not disclose potential conflicts of interest, such as their affiliation with or vested interest in the financial products, services, or securities they promote. This lack of transparency poses a significant risk to investors who may unknowingly rely on biased or misleading information.

SEBI to control financial influencers


Brokers and Mutual Funds’ Responsibilities

SEBI’s proposal also places responsibilities on brokers and mutual funds. It calls on these financial entities to actively disassociate themselves from unregistered influencers who may be using their products or logos in advertising. This requirement underscores the need for financial institutions to exercise due diligence in their partnerships and marketing strategies.

The Role of Registered Financial Influencers

Under SEBI’s proposed regulations, registered financial influencers would be subject to a code of conduct and guidelines issued by SEBI and exchanges. These guidelines aim to ensure that registered influencers provide accurate and unbiased information when discussing financial products or stocks on social media platforms. This move is seen as an attempt to encourage greater accountability and transparency within the industry.

Inviting Public Input

To ensure that the proposed regulations are fair and effective, SEBI has opened the discussion to the public. Stakeholders, including market participants, investors, and influencers, are invited to provide their feedback and comments on the consultation paper. The public consultation period will run until September 15, allowing ample time for input from all interested parties.

SEBI to ensure transparency by financial influencers


SEBI’s proposal to regulate the use of unregistered financial influencers in advertising and marketing campaigns is a significant step toward ensuring transparency and accountability in the financial industry. By addressing concerns about qualifications, conflicts of interest, and the lack of a code of conduct, SEBI aims to protect investors and maintain the integrity of the market. As the consultation period unfolds, stakeholders will have the opportunity to shape these regulations, ultimately influencing the future landscape of financial advertising in India.