SEBI Spearheads Centralization Efforts For Enhanced Compliance: FATCA And CRS Certification

Posted On - 20 March, 2024 • By - King Stubb & Kasiva


In a concerted effort to bolster compliance frameworks and operational efficacy within the financial realm, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has unveiled a pivotal directive[1] focused on the centralization of certifications under the purview of the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) and Common Reporting Standard (CRS).

Understanding the Mandate: FATCA and CRS Certifications

Embedded within SEBI’s circular framework is a mandate dictating that reporting financial institutions (RFIs) must diligently procure self-certifications from clients. These certifications serve as critical determinants in discerning clients’ residence status for tax purposes, meticulously aligning with FATCA and CRS guidelines.

Transition Period: Navigating Intermediaries’ Responsibilities

Effective commencement from July 01, 2024, intermediaries operating as RFIs are entrusted with the pivotal responsibility of seamlessly uploading FATCA and CRS certifications onto the robust systems maintained by KYC Registration Agencies (KRAs). Additionally, pre-existing certifications garnered prior to this threshold must be seamlessly transposed onto KRA systems within a stipulated timeframe of 90 days from the circular’s implementation.

The Integral Role of KYC Registration Agencies (KRAs)

At the crux of this transformational shift lies the instrumental role played by KYC Registration Agencies (KRAs). Tasked with architecting and fortifying systems conducive to the streamlined centralization of FATCA and CRS certifications, KRAs are mandated to foster cohesive coordination amongst themselves. This cohesive endeavour is underscored by a commitment to uphold uniform internal standards and guidelines, meticulously crafted in tandem with SEBI’s regulatory framework.

Ensuring Compliance: The Indispensable Onus on Intermediaries

Elevating the mantle of accountability, intermediaries emerge as pivotal stakeholders entrusted with ensuring the meticulous procurement and transparent reporting of FATCA and CRS certifications. It behoves these entities to meticulously validate the reasonableness of certifications, leveraging insights gleaned from comprehensive documentation obtained during the onboarding process. Compliance efforts are further underscored by stringent adherence to stipulated regulations, including the Prevention of Money Laundering (Maintenance of Records) Rules, 2005.

Developing Systems: KRAs’ Mandate in the Vanguard of Transformation

In their capacity as architects of change, KRAs are tasked with pioneering the development of robust systems and mechanisms poised to facilitate the seamless centralization of FATCA and CRS certifications. This transformative endeavour is underpinned by a steadfast commitment to engender harmonious coordination amongst KRAs, whilst upholding a unified standard guided by meticulous consultation with SEBI.

SEBI’s Regulatory Authority and Investor Protection

At its nucleus, SEBI’s directive to centralize FATCA and CRS certifications epitomizes a resolute commitment to safeguarding investor interests and fostering the evolution of transparent, regulated securities markets. Driven by an unwavering resolve to uphold regulatory efficiency and transparency, this directive stands testament to SEBI’s unwavering commitment to fortifying the financial ecosystem.

Accessing Further Information: Navigating SEBI’s Circulars Section

For stakeholders seeking nuanced insights and comprehensive understanding, SEBI’s circular repository, housed within the “Legal Circulars” section of its website, serves as an invaluable reservoir of knowledge.

Conclusion: Forging Pathways to Enhanced Operational Efficacy

SEBI’s clarion call for the centralization of FATCA and CRS certifications heralds a transformative epoch within the financial landscape. By cultivating an environment characterized by streamlined compliance processes and uniformity across the industry, this directive is poised to catalyse a paradigm shift, ultimately fostering a milieu conducive to the sustained growth and prosperity of investors and market participants alike.