IPOs: Sebi streamlines payment process via UPI

Capital markets regulator Sebi on Wednesday streamlined the payment of processing fees through the Unified Payments Interface (UPI) system for shares applied for and allotted during an initial public offering (IPO).

In addition, the regulator has devised a new reporting format for capturing the data of all ASBA (Application Supported by Block Amount) applications unblocked by Self Certified Syndicate Banks (SCSBs) and their corresponding date of actual unblock.

The new format has been put in place after reviewing the performance of SCSBs on timely unblocking of application amounts and feedback received from market intermediaries, Sebi said in a circular.

To claim the processing fee, SCSBs will have to make an application to the merchant bankers with a copy to the Registrar to the Issue in the prescribed format.

This is subject to certain conditions, including the application being made no later than 30 days from the finalization of basis of allotment by Registrar to the Issue.

Further, SCSBs will have to make the application only after unblocking of application amount and paying the applicable compensation relating to investor complaints.

The SCSBs will continue to be responsible to provide information requested by the merchant bankers / Registrar to the Issue / issuer and also remain liable to pay compensation for delays in unblocking of application amounts after the processing fee has been claimed by SCSBs.

“Needless to state that SCSBs are liable to face appropriate action under Securities Laws for non-compliance with the requirements of this circular,” Sebi said.

With regard to SMS alert to investors, Sebi said the SCSBs / UPI apps eligible for public issues will send SMS alerts to investors for all ASBA applications and may also provide the invoice in the inbox as an additional feature to verify the UPI mandate details.

This comes after NPCI had approached Sebi with a proposal to include invoice in the inbox as one of the options for ensuring timely information to investors.

The details that need to be sent through SMS include name of the IPO, application amount and date on which amount was blocked in case of blocking of ASBA application amounts through bank, online and UPI channels.

In case of debit and unblocking of ASBA application amounts, the SMS should have details such as name of the IPO, amount to be debited and date on which amount was debited in full allotment scenario. In the case of non-allotment, SMS should have information about amount to be unblocked and date on which amount was unblocked.

This circular will come into force with immediate effect. Provisions of this circular will become part of the offer documents, including draft red herring prospectus (DRHP) and red herring prospectus (RHP), Sebi said.

In March 2021, Sebi had put in place measures to have a uniform policy to further streamline the processing of ASBA applications through the UPI process among intermediaries or SCSBs, and also to provide a mechanism of compensation to investors.

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