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SEBI receives suggestions in respect to cost of demat accounts

Since holding of demat account is beneficial to individual investors, SEBI initiated extensive consultations with all the stakeholders to address the concerns and suggestions.

August 28, 2012 8:42 IST | India Infoline News Service

SEBI has received several suggestions and representations with respect to cost of demat accounts especially from small individual investors. Since holding of demat account is beneficial to individual investors, SEBI initiated extensive consultations with all the stakeholders to address the concerns and suggestions.

Further, the SEBI Board had taken decisions to extend the reach of IPOs for the benefit of retail investors. With a view to achieve wider financial inclusion, encourage holding of demat accounts and to reduce the cost of maintaining securities in demat accounts for retail individual investors, it has been decided that all depository participants (DPs) shall make available a "Basic Services Demat Account" (BSDA) with limited services and reduced costs. The details are provided in the circular dated August 27, 2012.

The salient features of the BSDA are as follows:
Eligibility Criteria:
All the individuals who have or propose to have only one demat account where they are the sole or first holder shall be eligible to have a BSDA provided that the value of securities held in the demat account does not exceed Rupees Two Lakhs at any point of time. An individual can have only one BSDA in his/her name across all depositories.

Charges: The Annual Maintenance Charges (AMC) structure for BSDA shall be on a slab basis; if the value of holding is
(i)  upto Rs. 50,000 ther will be NIL AMC and
(ii) for value of holding from Rs 50,001 to Rs 200,000 AMC will be upto Rs. 100

The value of holding shall be determined by the DPs on the basis of the daily closing price or NAV of the securities or units of mutual funds. If the value of holding in such BSDA exceeds the prescribed criteria at any date, the DPs may levy charges as applicable to regular accounts (non-BSDA) from that date onwards

Transaction Statements: Transaction statements shall be sent to the BO at the end of each quarter. If there are no transactions in any quarter, no transaction statement may be sent for that quarter.

Holding Statement: One annual physical statement of holding shall be sent to the stated address of the BO in respect of accounts with no transaction and nil balance and for remaining accounts one annual statement of holding shall be sent in electronic or physical form as opted for by the BO.

Charges for statements: Electronic statements shall be provided free of cost. In case of physical statements, the DP shall provide at least two statements free of cost during the billing cycle. Additional physical statement may be charged at a fee not exceeding Rs.25/- per statement.

Rationalisation of services with respect to  regular accounts: In order to reduce the cost of compliance of DPs, following rationalisation measures were decided for regular accounts:

Accounts with zero balance and nil transactions during the year:  The DPs shall send one physical statement of holding annually to such BOs and shall resume sending the transaction statement as and when there is a transaction in the account.

Accounts which become zero balance during the year:  For such accounts, no transaction statement may be sent for the duration when the balance remains nil. However, an annual statement of holding shall be sent to the BO.

Accounts with credit balance:  For accounts with credit balance but no transactions during the year, one statement of holding for the year shall be sent to the BO.

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