Company Share Transfer

All You Need to Know About Registrar and Transfer Agents

Transfer Agents

The full form of RTA is Registrar and Transfer Agents. These are firms registered with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). RTAs make record-keeping easier for mutual fund businesses. They serve as the investors’ one-stop resource. They are able to gather all data from RTAs on mutual fund investments as a result.

An intermediary or agent between investors and mutual fund companies is a registrar and transfer agency (RTA). The financial institutions work with RTAs to manage and keep accurate records of investor information. Essential investor information, such as account balances and transactions, is accurately recorded by R&T Agents.

Who are the registrar and transfer agents (R&TA)?

The intermediaries registered with SEBI are known as R&TAs, or registrar and transfer agents. A mutual fund company and investors are connected through registrars and transfer agents.

Mutual fund houses engage RTAs due to their experience in handling information connected to investors’ transactions and changes in personal information.

Their professional data management experience helps to reduce costs and the amount of time needed to maintain such data. The registrar is in charge of maintaining records, whereas the transfer agent is responsible for mutual fund share purchases and redemptions.

According to SEBI’s Regulation 2(f) of (Registrars to an Issue and Share Transfer Agents) Regulations, 1993, “Registrar to an Issue” refers to the person designated by a body corporate or any person or group of persons to carry out the following tasks on their behalf: 

  • Gathering investor applications for an issue.
  • Maintaining an accurate record of investor applications and funds received or paid to the seller of the securities.
  • Assisting a company, individual, or group of individuals with the following tasks:
  1. Deciding the basis for the allocation of securities in consultation with the stock exchange.
  2. Finalising the list of those eligible for allocation.
  3. Processing and sending allotment letters, refund orders or certificates, and other related documents pertaining to an issue.

According to SEBI’s Regulation 2(g) of (Registrars to an Issue and Share Transfer Agents) Regulations, 1993, The share transfer agent is defined as:

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(i) Any person who, on his behalf of any body corporate, keeps track of who owns the securities that body corporate has issued and handles all transactions related to the sale and redemption of those securities.

(ii) If at any time the total number of holders of its securities issued exceeds one lakh, the department or division, by whatever name called, of a body corporate executing the activities mentioned in subclause (i) shall be deemed to be a department or division of such body corporate.

The role played by Registrar and Transfer Agents (RTA) in Mutual Fund

RTAs’ main responsibility is to monitor investors’ mutual fund transactions. They cover a variety of investor actions, such as purchasing, redeeming, and changing positions within an investment. They also assist people in updating their personal information and changing bank mandates. RTAs are prepared with the necessary expertise to maintain investor and AMC data. One company manages all of an investor’s transactions. There is a possibility that the investment was made with more than one AMC. The majority of RTAs have a vast network across the country. Also, their services are offered online.

Services provided by RTAs

A registrar and transfer agent’s main responsibility is to support the mutual fund company or any other financial organisation that employs them with the many financial and non-financial transactions of investors, including keeping accurate records of their data. The following are some of the primary services provided by RTAs:

Services to AMC – In terms of services, RTAs and asset management firms split the responsibility for compliance risk management, sales, and marketing. RTAs are primarily responsible for operations and investor & distribution services.

Companies that manage assets use an RTA to preserve their records. It depends on the AMC from which the person’s folio is assigned and from which the fund is purchased.

Services to Mutual Fund Investors – Here are a few examples of the registrar and transfer agent roles for investors:

  • Transactions and investment: Investors can transact with mutual fund companies registered with RTAs through a few of the portals available on their platform, and they can also invest in NFO.
  • Creation of Statements: An R&T agent generates numerous types of statements that assist in understanding the mutual fund portfolio better. You can view all of your mutual fund holdings across many AMCs via a CAS or consolidated account statement.
  • Then, a few statements that are unique to mutual fund businesses that are registered with the RTA will be generated.
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Services for AIF Investors – The vast majority of RTAs offer services to PMS and AIFs. The services are listed below:

  • Investor support
  • Accounting for funds
  • Added-value services
  • KYC (know your customers)
  • Pre-launch assistance
  • Services for document management
  • Knowledge and technology partner etc.

Capital adequacy requirement for registration

According to Regulation 7 of the SEBI (Registrar to an issue and share transfer agent) Regulation 1993[1], the capital requirement for registration is discussed. The Securities and Exchange Board of India governs all institutions connected to the securities market. The applicant must have sufficient capital of Rs. 50 lakhs for Category 1 and Rs. 25 lakhs for Category 2 before submitting the application.

When a Registrar and a transfer agent satisfy this requirement, they may submit an application to SEBI in either of the 2 categories using Form A and pay non-refundable fees of Rs. 2 lakhs for Category 2 and Rs. 6 lakhs for Category 1.

Category 1: to conduct business as a registrar to an issue and share transfer agent.

Category 2: To do business either as a share transfer agent or registrar to an issue.

Advantages of a registrar and transfer agents for the mutual fund house

Investors have a right to accurate information about their holdings. Due to their inexperience with data handling, mutual fund institutions often find it difficult to manage and maintain a solid record of the hundreds of transactions they carry out every day.

While some fund houses choose to act as their own transfer agents, others hire or outsource registrar and transfer agents to undertake the record handling service since it is more convenient for them and lessens their workload. The following are additional benefits of working with a registrar and transfer agent:

  • Increased accessibility for less money.
  • Aids in keeping records of an investor’s purchases and sales, changes to personal information, bank mandates, etc.
  • Assisted mutual fund in retaining qualified personnel.
  • Increases revenue from tier-2 and tier-three cities,
  • Assist in time-saving.
  • Timely updates on investors’ investments.
  • Assist investors who are not investment smart with filling up details regarding their investment such as applications, forms, etc.,
  • RTAs allow investors to invest in a variety of mutual fund firms’ schemes without having to deal with each fund house separately.
  • Shareholders get annual reports and the company’s audited financial statements from transfer agents.
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The mutual fund companies compensate the registrar and transfer agents for their services. The yearly fee charged by mutual fund companies includes this cost as part of the price that is ultimately passed on to the investor. A charge for equity funds is approximately ten basis points (bps). One bps is one-tenth of a percentage point. For debt funds, it is approximately 5-7 basis points, whereas, for liquid funds, it is 3–4 basis points.

Conclusion

Investments in mutual funds are gradually gaining popularity and becoming a standard practice. There has been an increase in investor transactions with the introduction of simple online investing. Young investors are more interested in investing in mutual funds. It is crucial for investors to be aware of their local registrars and transfer agents because they can be excellent sources of financial knowledge. RTAs offer support for filling out paperwork, making investments, and updating personal data. RTAs will also notify you of schemes or funds that are fit for your income and goals.

Also Read: Registrar and Transfer Agent (RTA) Registration – A Liaison between Company and Securities Holders

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