As specified in AMFI Guidelines & Norms for Intermediaries (AGNI)
Take necessary steps to ensure that the clients’ interest is protected.
Adhere to SEBI Mutual Fund Regulations and guidelines issued from time to time related to selling, distribution and advertising practices. Be fully conversant with the key provisions of the Scheme Information Document (SID), Statement of Additional Information (SAI) and Key Information Memorandum (KIM) as well as the operational requirements of various schemes.
Provide full and latest information of schemes to investors in the form of SID, performance reports, fact sheets, portfolio disclosures and brochures and recommend schemes appropriate for the client’s situation and needs.
Highlight risk factors of each scheme, avoid misrepresentation and exaggeration and urge investors to go through SID/ KIM before deciding to make investments.
Disclose to the investors all material information including all the commissions (in the form of trail or any other mode) received for the different competing schemes of various Mutual Funds from amongst which the scheme is being recommended to the investors.
Abstain from indicating or assuring returns in any type of scheme, unless the SID is explicit in this regard.
Maintain necessary infrastructure to support the AMCs in maintaining high service standards to investors, and ensure that critical operations such as forwarding forms and cheques to AMCs/registrars and despatch of statement of account and redemption cheques to investors are done within the time frame prescribed in the SID/SAI and SEBI Mutual Fund Regulations. Note: SID should be read in conjunction with SAI and not in isolation.
Avoid colluding with clients in faulty business practices such as bouncing cheques, wrong claiming of dividend/redemption cheques, etc.
Avoid commission driven malpractices such as:
Recommending inappropriate products solely because the intermediary is getting higher commissions there from.
Encouraging over transacting and churning of Mutual Fund investments to earn higher commissions, even if they mean higher transaction costs tax for investors.
Avoid making negative statements about any AMC or scheme and ensure that comparisons if any are made with similar and comparable products.
Ensure that all investor related statutory communications (such as changes in fundamental attributes, loads, exit options and other material, aspects) are sent to investors reliably and on time.
Maintain confidentiality of all investor deals and transactions.
When marketing various schemes, remember that a client’s interest and suitability to their financial needs is paramount and that extra commission or incentive earned should never form the basis for recommending a scheme to the client.
Intermediaries will not rebate commission back to investors and avoid attracting clients through temptation of rebate/gifts etc.
A focus on financial planning and advisory services ensures correct selling and also reduces the trend towards investors asking for pass back of commission.
All employees engaged in sales and marketing should obtain AMFI certification. Employees in other functional areas should also be encouraged to obtain the same certification.