SEBI Thursday slapped a Rs 2 lakh fine on IFCI Financial Services for "lackadaisical behaviour" as it failed to comply with power of attorney guidelines.
IFCI Financial Services is a depository participant of National Securities Depositories Ltd and Central Depositories Securities Ltd.
In 2010, the regulator had issued guidelines to standardise the norms to be followed by stock brokers and depository participants while obtaining power of attorney (POA) from their clients.
Accordingly, the standardised POA was required to be implemented latest by May 31, 2010 in case of new clients and September 1, 2010 for existing clients, SEBI said in its order.
However, pursuant to inspection conducted by the regulator in September 2014, SEBI observed that IFCI had implemented the circular for the new clients but had not completely updated the POA for existing clients.
As per the submission by IFCI, there were 1,651 existing clients whose POA had to be updated even after the regulator's inspection team pointed out its findings to the entity in 2015, SEBI said.
Even four years after IFCI was intimated about non-updation of POA, SEBI said the entity is still seeking time to implement the circular.
The regulator noted that the entity has adopted "lackadaisical behaviour" and it was expected from the registered market intermediaries to adhere to directions issued by SEBI within stipulated timelines.
Therefore, it finds that there is a violation of the SEBI circular by IFCI, the regulator said, and imposed a fine of Rs 2 lakh on IFCI Financial Services.
POA is executed by the client in favour of the stock broker and depository participant to authorise the broker to operate the client's demat account and bank account to facilitate the delivery of shares and pay-in/pay-out of funds.