SEBI cancels ombudsman plan

Mumbai: The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has cancelled a proposal to introduce an ombudsman for quick redressal of investor complaints. The regulator has been of the view that the existing system of addressing investor grievances by stock exchanges is fairly good and seen to be working well.

At present investors route their complaints against listed firms to stock exchanges, regarded as the first line regulators. The bourses then take up the cases with corporates. Only those complaints which are not resolved are referred to Sebi.

About four years ago, Sebi said it would appoint an ombudsman to resolve complaints from investors.

At the time Sebi had laid down stringent guidelines for those aspiring to take up the assignment. However, despite interviewing 10 to 15 candidates, Sebi struggled to find the right candidates, said sources.

A Sebi official said the decision not to go ahead with the proposal was taken in the larger interest of the investing community and was also finding it difficult to find a right candidate for the job.

Sebi''s circular in November last year, inviting directors of state-owned banks and firms to apply for the post of ombudsman, had led to the belief that the post was about to be filled up.