Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the telecom regulator, this week directed service operators to guarantee that only SEBI-enrolled brokers are permitted to transmit investment recommendation SMS to their users. This is done so as to avoid corrupt elements from deceiving innocent investors with pledge of large financial profits.
The crackdown by TRAI is planned at dealing with apprehensions expressed by SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) regarding deceptive bulk unsolicited messages being transmitted in securities market to investors by unauthorized individuals. “SEBI has been made aware of the authority that as stated by their rules only SEBI enrolled investment advisors such as sub brokers, brokers, merchant bankers, and portfolio managers are permitted to offer investment advice in stocks and shares to investors,” TRAI claimed to the media in a statement.
TRAI observed that some corrupt entities and persons “camouflaged” as SEBI-certified investment advisors are transmitting out investment tips or advice to telecom customers via bulk SMS for economical profits by influencing the securities market. SEBI, the capital markets regulator, has taken measures in opposition to some entities transmitting unwanted stock tips previously, while a few other such incidences are presently under examination. On the other hand, it has been hard for the regulator to verify this threat since a huge number of entities and individuals have been making a fuss in such practices, prompting SEBI to look fort TRAI’s assistance.
“To deal with the problem being encountered by SEBI in strengthening its policies and to defend the interest of telecom users against deceptive messages in securities market associated to investment, TRAI this week subjected a direction to all service operators to take convinced measures for managing bulk messages associated to securities,” TRAI further added. As a result, the service operators will have to make sure that only SEBI-certified investment advisors are permitted to transmit SMS associated to stock tips and investment advice, via registered telemarketers.
They will also have to make sure that appropriate preparations are made to block and filter messages transmitted by telemarketers via bulk SMS channel comprising securities associated keywords such as sell, buy, accumulate, hold, and target followed by scrip name or scrip code given by any recognized stock exchange. “SMSes sent by users not registered with TRAI as telemarketers associated to investment advice shall also be blocked and filtered via these key words” TRAI claimed in its recent directive.
Well, let us see if this move by TRAI works or not.