Equity brokers not being allowed to open offices, ANMI shoots off letter to SEBI

PALAK SHAH Mumbai | Updated on March 24, 2020


Stockbrokers' body ANMI has requested SEBI to ‘declare capital markets as essential services’ in the entire country as stock market brokers are being barred from opening their offices and employees are facing a backlash. A decision was taken by the government and SEBI to keep stock and commodity markets open as usual.

But while markets have been kept open, brokers are currently not being allowed to open their offices in many states in India. Only Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan have so far declared stockbrokers as essential services. Delhi and Kolkatta, where a lot many stockbrokers are based is facing heightened tensions and brokers are not being able to up their shutters in these states.

“State Governments of Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan and Delhi have extended Janata Curfew up to March 31, 2020. However, there is no explicit guidelines/ notifications issued by each State Governments exempting capital markets/ Stock Brokers offices from the total lockdown,” a letter from ANMI to SEBI said.

In Mumbai, clarifications were issued to authorities to allow employees working in exchanges, broking offices from lockdown. Other state governments are issuing no such clarifications /guidelines, ANMI said.

ANMI further said that all financial markets are integrated globally, and India is playing a major part standing among the top 7 ranks globally in equity volumes. Hence equity and derivatives markets cannot be shut down while global exchanges / financial markets are active and working around the world.

“In this regard, SEBI / Exchanges have permitted vide their circulars trading via terminals from various locations. This relaxation is taking care of front office staff of broking offices to work from home to 50 per cent of potential, however, staff serving back offices/ servers/ operational dependencies cannot be operated working from home. Thus, it is imperative to declare capital markets/ stock broking services as essential Services exempted from lockdown,” the letter said.


"Finance Minister & SEBI have permitted Stock Exchanges to function normally as a part of essential services. However, staff serving back offices, servers and operational dependencies cannot entirely operate from home and it is imperative to declare stock broking services as 'Essential services' exempted from the lock-down. While Maharashtra, Gujarat and Rajasthan have issued necessary circulars, we support ANMI's request to SEBI to implement this across India," said Lav Chaturvedi, ED & CEO Reliance Securities


Published on March 23, 2020

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