Speel operates under the following segments:
The Fair Practice Code (FPC) aims to provide its borrowers an effective overview of the practices followed by the Company and to enable borrowers to take informed decisions in respect of the financial facilities and services offered by the Company. The Code covers the general principles on adequate disclosures on the terms and conditions of the loan and the procedures to be followed when dealing with the borrowers.
Speel Finance Company Private Limited (in short “Speel” or “the company”) is a company incorporated under the provisions of the Companies Act, 2013. It is categorized as a Non-Systemically Important Non-deposit taking NBFC.
The Company has incorporated the FPC guidelines issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) vide its Circular dated September 28, 2006 which was modified from time to time. The same now stands superceded by the Master Direction – Non-Banking Financial Company –Non- Systemically Important Non-Deposit taking Company and Deposit taking Company (Reserve Bank) Directions, 2016 issued by the RBI on 1st September 2016. Accordingly, to ensure compliance with the directions of the Bank, the Code duly approved by the Board of Directors is adopted for implementation.
The Company’s business would be conducted in accordance with prevailing statutory and regulatory requirements, with due focus on efficiency, customer-orientation and corporate governance principles. In addition, the Company would adhere to the Fair Practices Code in its functioning, the key elements of which are as follows:
Loan application forms shall include necessary information, which affects the interest of the borrower, so that a meaningful comparison with the terms and conditions offered by other NBFCs can be made and the borrower can take an informed decision. The loan application form may also indicate the documents required to be submitted with the application form. All communications to the borrower shall be in the vernacular language or a language as understood by the borrower.
Speel shall devise a system of giving acknowledgement for receipt of all loan applications. Further, generally, the time frame within which the loan application will be disposed of would also be indicated in the acknowledgement.
All communications to the borrower will be in vernacular language or a language as understood by the borrower.
All necessary information that may be required by the borrowers with regard to the financial facility that is being applied for are available in the relevant loan application forms. The information would include matters which may affect the interests of the borrower, so that a meaningful comparison with the terms and conditions offered by other NBFCs can be made and informed decisions can be taken by the borrowers.
Besides, the various documents that need to be submitted with the application form are also provided in the application forms. Speel would give an acknowledgement for receipt of all loan applications. The normal time frame within which loan applications complete in all respects will be disposed of would be indicated in the acknowledgement of loan applications.
Speel would verify the loan applications within a reasonable period of time and if additional details / documents are required, it would intimate the borrowers immediately.
Speel shall furnish a copy of the loan agreement as understood by the borrower along with a copy each of all enclosures quoted in the loan agreement to all the borrowers at the time of sanction / disbursement of loans.
Speel shall give notice to all its borrowers of any change in the terms and conditions – including disbursement schedule, interest rates, penal interest, service charges, prepayment charges etc. The Company shall also ensure that changes in interest rates and charges are effected only prospectively. A suitable provision in this regard shall be incorporated in the loan agreement.
Decision to recall / accelerate payment or performance under the agreement shall also be in consonance with the loan agreement.
The Company shall release all securities on repayment of its full dues or on realization of the outstanding amount of loan subject to any legitimate right or lien for any other claim the Company may have against its borrowers. If such right of set off is to be exercised, the borrower shall be given notice about the same with full particulars about the remaining claims and the conditions under which the Company is entitled to retain the securities till the relevant claim is settled/paid.
The Company shall refrain from interference in the affairs of the borrower except for the purposes provided for in the terms and conditions of the loan agreement (unless new information, not earlier disclosed by the borrower, has come to the notice of the Company).
In case of receipt of request from the borrower for transfer of borrowal account, the consent or otherwise – i.e., objection of the Company, if any – shall be conveyed to the borrower within 21 days from the date of receipt of any request. Such transfer shall be as per transparent contractual terms in consonance with law.
In the matter of recovery of loans, the Company shall not resort to any harassment – such as persistently bothering the borrowers at odd hours, use of muscle power for recovery of loans, etc. The Company shall ensure that the staff is adequately trained to deal with the customers in an appropriate manner.
As a measure of customer protection and to bring uniformity with regard to pre-payment of loan, the company shall not charge foreclosure charges/ pre-payment penalties on all floating rate term loans sanctioned to individual borrowers.
The Company shall put the above Fair Practices Code outlined hereinabove on its web site, whenever made, for the information of various stakeholders. The Company would also review and refine the Code, as may be required periodically – based on its own experience and fresh guidelines, if, any, to be issued by the RBI in this regard.
The Board of Directors shall periodically review the compliance of the Fair Practices Code and the functioning of the grievances redressal mechanism at various levels of management. A consolidated report of such reviews shall be submitted to the Board at regular intervals.
Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had vide its Circular DNBS / PD / CC No. 95/ 03.05.002/ 2006-07 dated May 24, 2007 advised that Boards of Non-Banking Finance Companies (NBFC’s) lay out appropriate internal principles and procedures in determining interest rates, processing and other charges.
This was reiterated vide RBI’s circular DNBS (PD) C.C. No. 133 / 03.10.001/ 2008-09 January 2, 2009, whereby which RBI advised the NBFCs to adopt appropriate interest rate model taking into account relevant factors and to disclose the rate of interest, gradations of risk and rationale for charging different rates of interest to different category of borrowers.
Speel’s policy should always be read in conjunction with RBI guidelines, directives, circulars and instructions. The company will apply best industry practices so long as such practice does not conflict with or violate RBI guidelines.
In order to ensure its standards of transparency, in conformity with the stipulations of the RBI’s directives, the Company has adopted the following interest rate policy for determining Interest Rates, Processing and Other Charges. This Policy applies to clients whose loans are booked in the Company.
Tenure of the Loan – The interest rate charge will depend on the term of the loan; structure of the loan; terms of payment of interest.
Internal cost loading – The interest rate charged will also take into account costs of doing business.
Internal and External Costs of Funds – The rate of interest charged is also affected by the rate at which the funds necessary to provide loan facilities to customers are sourced, normally referred to as the Company’s external cost of funds. Internal cost of funds being the expected return on equity issued, is also a relevant factor. The interest rate charged will also take into account costs of doing business.
Credit Risk – As a matter of prudence, bad debt provision cost should be factored into all transactions. This cost is then reflected in the final interest rate quoted to a customer. The amount of the bad debt provision applicable to a particular transaction depends on our internal assessment of the credit strength of the customer.
Other Factors – The rate of interest shall be based on the cost of borrowed funds, matching tenor cost, market liquidity, RBI policies on credit flow, offerings by competition, tenure of customer relationship, market reputation, cost of disbursements, inherent credit and default risk in the products and customer per se arising from customer segment, profile of the customers, stability in earning and employment, deviations permitted, ancillary business opportunities, future potential, group strength and overall customer yield, nature and value of primary and collateral securities, past repayment track record of the customers, external ratings of the customers , industry trends, switchover options, canvassed accounts etc.
The company may adopt discrete interest rate model whereby the rate of interest for same product and tenor availed during same period by customers would not be a standardized one but could be different for different customers depending upon consideration of any or combination of a few or all factors listed out above.
The interest amount would be intimated to the customer.
The interest rates may be offered on a fixed, floating, variable basis which would be up to 36% annualised rate of interest.
Interest rates shall be intimated to the customers at the time of sanction/ availing of the loan and the equated instalments/Balloon Payment/Bullet payment apportionment towards interest and principal dues shall be made available to the customer.
All processing / documentation and other charges recovered are expressly stated in the Loan documents. They vary based on the loan product, geographical location, customer segment and generally represent the cost incurred in rendering the services to the customers.
The practices followed by other competitors in the market would also be taken into consideration while deciding the charges.
Processing charges will be charged on case to case basis.
All applicable taxes shall be charged as per the guidelines issued by the Government from time to time.
Besides normal interest, the Company may collect penal interest / late payment charges for any delay or default in making payments of any dues. These penal interest / late payment charges for different products or facilities would be decided by the Company from time to time.
The Company shall lay out appropriate internal principles and procedures in determining interest rates and processing and other charges.
The Company shall adopt an interest rate model taking into account relevant factors such as, cost of funds, margin and risk premium, etc and determine the rate of interest to be charged for loans and advances. The rate of interest and the approach for gradations of risk and rationale for charging different rate of interest to different categories of borrowers shall be disclosed to the borrower or customer in the application form and communicated explicitly in the sanction letter.
The rates of interest and the approach for gradation of risks shall also be made available to the borrowers. The information should be updated whenever there is a change in the rates of interest.
The rate of interest should be annualised rates so that the borrower is aware of the exact rates that would be charged to the account.
A copy of such terms and conditions shall be made available to the borrowers in terms of circular wherein it was stated that NBFCs may invariably furnish a copy of the loan agreement along with a copy each of all enclosures quoted in the loan agreement to all the borrowers at the time of sanction/disbursement of loans, which may form a key component of such contracts/loan agreements.
Customer service is extremely important for sustained business growth and as an organisation, Speel Finance Company Private Limited (“Company”) strives to ensure that our customers receive exemplary service across different touchpoints.
Customer complaints constitute an important voice of customer, and this policy details complaint handling through a structured grievance redressal framework. Complaint redressal is supported by a review mechanism, to minimize the recurrence of similar issues in future.
The Grievance Redressal policy follows the following principles:
1. Customers are treated fairly.
2. Complaints raised by customers are dealt with courtesy and in a timely manner.
3. Customers are informed of avenues to escalate their complaints within the organization, and their rights if they are not satisfied with the resolution of their complaints.
4. The employees work in good faith and without prejudice, towards the interests of the customers.
The Company has invested in the best in class CRM system to ensure timely resolution of the grievances. The system captures the complaints; follows TATs based on the nature of the query and escalates issues on the basis of predefined TATs and as per the escalation matrix.
Once captured in the CRM system, the customer care will be responsible for resolution of complaint/grievance to the customer’s satisfaction within a period of 14 working days. Every attempt will be made to offer the customer suitable and appropriate alternate solutions wherever possible. However, if the customer continues to remain dissatisfied with the resolution, (s)he can escalate the issue through the grievance redressal mechanism as referred below.
Suitable timelines of fourteen (14) working days have been set for every complaint depending upon the investigations which would be involved in resolving the same. Complaints are suitably acknowledged on receipt and the customers are informed of delays if any, in the resolution.
Periodic review of monitoring of complaints, TATs, nature of complaints will be done to ensure that process loopholes, if any, are plugged and trends are checked.
Customer complaints constitute an important voice of customer, and this policy details complaint handling through a structured grievance redressal framework. Complaint redressal is supported by a review mechanism, to minimize the recurrence of similar issues in future. The customer can raise their concerns pertaining to the Pocketly Mobile Application (hereinafter referred as “Platform”) or to the lender who provides loan to the customer through the Platform in the following matters:
Level 1: Borrowers are requested to address all their grievances at the first instance to the Grievance Redressal Officer. The contact details of the Grievance Redressal Officer are:
– Name: Mr. Tejas Shelke
– Designation: Grievance Redressal Officer
– Address: Speel Finance Company Private Limited, 2&3, Zal Complex, Sadar, Nagpur, 440001.
- Contact: 7559419431
- Email: email@example.com
The Grievance Redressal Officer may be reached on the number provided above anytime between 10:30 AM and 6:30 PM from Monday to Friday (except public holidays) or through the e-mail address above. The Grievance Redressal Officer shall endeavour to resolve the grievance within a period of 14 (fourteen) days from the date of receipt of a grievance.
Level 2: If the Borrower does not receive a response from the Grievance Redressal Officer within 14 (fourteen) days of making a representation, or if the Borrower is not satisfied with the response received from the Grievance Redressal Officer, the Borrower may reach the Nodal Officer on the number below anytime between 10:30 AM and 6:30 PM from Monday to Friday (except public holidays) or write to the Nodal Officer at the e-mail address below. The contact details of the Nodal Officer are provided below.
– Name: Mr. Aarav Bhatia
– Designation: Director
– Address: Speel Finance Company Private Limited, 2&3, Zal Complex, Sadar,Nagpur, 440001.
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Level 3: In case the Borrower does not receive a response from the Grievance Redressal Official or the Nodal Officer within one month from the date of making a representation to the Lender, or if the Borrower is not satisfied with the response so received, a complaint may be made in accordance with the ‘The Ombudsman Scheme for Non-Banking Financial Companies, 2018’ (“Ombudsman Scheme”) to the Ombudsman in whose jurisdiction the office of the Lender complained against, is located. For contact details of the Ombudsman and for salient features of the Ombudsman Scheme. A copy of the Ombudsman Scheme is available on the website of the Reserve Bank of India at www.rbi.org.in and also with our Nodal Officer.
As per the Master Direction - Non-Banking Financial Company - Systemically Important Non- Deposit taking Company and Deposit taking Company (Reserve Bank) Directions, 2016 (RBI/DNBR/2016-17/45 Master Direction DNBR. PD. 008/03.10.119/2016-17) issued by the Reserve Bank of India, Board of each applicable Non-Banking Financial Company shall approve an Interest rate model that is applicable for the Company, taking in to account relevant factors such as cost of funds, margin and risk premium etc., and determine the rate of interest to be charged for loans and advances. Further, the directive states that the rate of interest and the approach for gradation of risk and the rationale for charging different rates of interest for different category of borrowers should be communicated to the borrower in the sanction letters issued to them.
1. To arrive at the benchmark rates to be used for different category of borrower segments and to decide on the principles and approach of charging spreads to arrive at final rates charged from borrowers.
2. Communicate the annualised rate of interest to the borrower along with the approach for gradation of risk and rationale for charging different rates of interest to different categories of borrowers.
3. Make available the rates of interest and the approach for gradation of risks on the web- site of the companies.
The Company intimates the borrower, the loan amount, the rate of interest and any other fees which is applicable for the loan at the time of sanction of the loan along with the tenure, the amount and the due dates of the monthly instalments.
The rate of interest is arrived at based on the weighted average cost of funds, average customer acquisition cost, administrative and operational costs, risk premium and profit margin.
The rates of interest are subject to change as the situation warrants and are subject to the discretion of the management and/or changes to extraneous cost factors which has a say in the setting up of the interest rate.
Speel Finance Company Pvt Ltd grants credit facilities only to those customers who have both the intention and the ability to discharge their obligations. To execute smooth underwriting process the Company carries out different processes as per Know Your Customer guidelines and allocates credit grade for each customer. When assessing credit transactions, the Company focuses on critical principles like history of the Company or Borrower, Financial Leverage, Liquidity and Sources of Cash, Profitability of Operations and Collateral being provided. The determination of a customer’s credit grading is generally distinguished by the asset type and its use and is mostly based on four general categories, Character, Capacity, Capital and Collateral. The individual assessment criteria for the customer credit grading can be classified into each of these categories. All credit submissions will be classified into four categories: “A” – Excellent, “B” – Superior, “C” – Acceptable and “D” – Marginal.
All processing/documentation and other charges recovered are expressly stated in the Loan Documents. They vary based on the loan product, exposure limit, customer segment, geographical location and generally represent the cost incurred in rendering the services to the customers. The practices followed by other competitors in the market would also be taken into consideration while deciding the charges.
1. Besides normal interest, overdue interest, the Company may collect penal interest / late payment charges for any delay or default in making payments of any dues. These penal interest / late payment charges for different products or facilities would be decided by the Company from time to time.
2. No claims for refund or waiver of such charges/ penal interest / additional interest would normally be entertained by the Company and it is the sole discretion of the Company to deal with such requests if any.
The Policy shall be reviewed once in a year or in between if required due to changes required in the model, for example, any addition/deletion of a particular component forming part of benchmark calculation.
This Policy will be made available on the website of the Company or published in the newspapers in accordance with the Company’s Fair Practices Code and the guidelines of RBI.
NBFCs which choose to outsource financial services shall, however, not outsource core management functions including Internal Audit, Strategic and Compliance functions and decision-making functions such as determining compliance with KYC norms for opening deposit accounts, according sanction for loans (including retail loans) and management of investment portfolio. However, for NBFCs in a group/ conglomerate, these functions may be outsourced within the group subject to compliance with instructions in Para 6. Further, while internal audit function itself is a management process, the internal auditors can be on contract.
For the purpose of these directions, material outsourcing arrangements are those which, if disrupted, have the potential to significantly impact the business operations, reputation, profitability or customer service. Materiality of outsourcing would be based on:
2.1 the level of importance to the NBFC of the activity being outsourced as well as the significance of the risk posed by the same.
2.2 the potential impact of the outsourcing on the NBFC on various parameters such as earnings, solvency, liquidity, funding capital and risk profile.
2.3 the likely impact on the NBFC’s reputation and brand value, and ability to achieve its business objectives, strategy and plans, should the service provider fail to perform the service.
2.4 the cost of the outsourcing as a proportion of total operating costs of the NBFC.
2.5 the aggregate exposure to that particular service provider, in cases where the NBFC outsources various functions to the same service provider.
2.6 the significance of activities outsourced in context of customer service and protection.
3.1 The outsourcing of any activity by NBFC does not diminish its obligations, and those of its Board and senior management, who have the ultimate responsibility for the outsourced activity. NBFCs would therefore be responsible for the actions of their service provider including Direct Sales Agents/ Direct Marketing Agents and recovery agents and the confidentiality of information pertaining to the customers that is available with the service provider. NBFCs shall retain ultimate control of the outsourced activity.
3.2 It is imperative for the NBFC, when performing its due diligence in relation to outsourcing, to consider all relevant laws, regulations, guidelines and conditions of approval, licensing or registration.
3.3 Outsourcing arrangements shall not affect the rights of a customer against the NBFC, including the ability of the customer to obtain redress as applicable under relevant laws. In cases where the customers are required to deal with the service providers in the process of dealing with the NBFC, NBFCs shall incorporate a clause in the relative product literature/ brochures, etc., stating that they may use the services of agents in sales/ marketing etc. of the products. The role of agents may be indicated in broad terms.
3.4 The service provider shall not impede or interfere with the ability of the NBFC to effectively oversee and manage its activities nor shall it impede the Reserve Bank of India in carrying out its supervisory functions and objectives.
3.5 NBFCs need to have a robust grievance redress mechanism, which in no way shall be compromised on account of outsourcing.
3.6 The service provider, if not a group company of the NBFC, shall not be owned or controlled by any director of the NBFC or their relatives; these terms have the same meaning as assigned under Companies Act, 2013.
An NBFC intending to outsource any of its financial activities shall put in place a comprehensive outsourcing policy, approved by its Board, which incorporates, inter alia, criteria for selection of such activities as well as service providers, delegation of authority depending on risks and materiality and systems to monitor and review the operations of these activities.
The Board of the NBFC, or a Committee of the Board to which powers have been delegated shall be responsible inter alia for the following:
1. approving a framework to evaluate the risks and materiality of all existing and prospective outsourcing and the policies that apply to such arrangements.
2. laying down appropriate approval authorities for outsourcing depending on risks and materiality.
3. setting up suitable administrative framework of senior management for the purpose of these directions.
4. undertaking regular review of outsourcing strategies and arrangements for their continued relevance, and safety and soundness an.
5. deciding on business activities of a material nature to be outsourced, and approving such arrangements.
1. Evaluating the risks and materiality of all existing and prospective outsourcing, based on the framework approved by the Board.
2. developing and implementing sound and prudent outsourcing policies and procedures commensurate with the nature, scope and complexity of the outsourcing activity.
3. reviewing periodically the effectiveness of policies and procedures.
4. communicating information pertaining to material outsourcing risks to the Board in a timely manner.
5. ensuring that contingency plans, based on realistic and probable disruptive scenarios, are in place and tested.
6. ensuring that there is independent review and audit for compliance with set policies.
7. undertaking periodic review of outsourcing arrangements to identify new material outsourcing risks as they arise.
The NBFCs shall evaluate and guard against the following risks in outsourcing:
1. Strategic Risk – Where the service provider conducts business on its own behalf, inconsistent with the overall strategic goals of the NBFC.
2. Reputation Risk – Where the service provided is poor and customer interaction is not consistent with the overall standards expected of the NBFC.
3. Compliance Risk – Where privacy, consumer and prudential laws are not adequately complied with by the service provider.
4. Operational Risk- Arising out of technology failure, fraud, error, inadequate financial capacity to fulfil obligations and/ or to provide remedies.
5. Legal Risk – Where the NBFC is subjected to fines, penalties, or punitive damages resulting from supervisory actions, as well as private settlements due to omissions and commissions of the service provider.
6. Exit Strategy Risk – Where the NBFC is over-reliant on one firm, the loss of relevant skills in the NBFC itself preventing it from bringing the activity back in-house and where NBFC has entered into contracts that make speedy exits prohibitively expensive.
7. Counter party Risk – Where there is inappropriate underwriting or credit assessments.
8. Contractual Risk – Where the NBFC may not have the ability to enforce the contract.
9. Concentration and Systemic Risk – Where the overall industry has considerable exposure to one service provider and hence the NBFC may lack control over the service provider.
10. Country Risk – Due to the political, social or legal climate creating added risk.
In considering or renewing an outsourcing arrangement, appropriate due diligence shall be performed to assess the capability of the service provider to comply with obligations in the outsourcing agreement. Due diligence shall take into consideration qualitative and quantitative, financial, operational and reputational factors. NBFCs shall consider whether the service providers' systems are compatible with their own and also whether their standards of performance including in the area of customer service are acceptable to it. NBFCs shall also consider, while evaluating the capability of the service provider, issues relating to undue concentration of outsourcing arrangements with a single service provider. Where possible, the NBFC shall obtain independent reviews and market feedback on the service provider to supplement its own findings.
Due diligence shall involve an evaluation of all available information about the service provider, including but not limited to the following:
1. past experience and competence to implement and support the proposed activity over the contracted period.
2. financial soundness and ability to service commitments even under adverse conditions
3. business reputation and culture, compliance, complaints and outstanding or potential litigation.
4. security and internal control, audit coverage, reporting and monitoring environment, business continuity management etc.
5. ensuring due diligence by service provider of its employees.
The terms and conditions governing the contract between the NBFC and the service provider shall be carefully defined in written agreements and vetted by NBFC's legal counsel on their legal effect and enforceability. Every such agreement shall address the risks and risk mitigation strategies. The agreement shall be sufficiently flexible to allow the NBFC to retain an appropriate level of control over the outsourcing and the right to intervene with appropriate measures to meet legal and regulatory obligations. The agreement shall also bring out the nature of legal relationship between the parties - i.e. whether agent, principal or otherwise. Some of the key provisions of the contract shall be the following:
1. the contract shall clearly define what activities are going to be outsourced including appropriate service and performance standards.
2. the NBFC must ensure it has the ability to access all books, records and information relevant to the outsourced activity available with the service provider.
3. the contract shall provide for continuous monitoring and assessment by the NBFC of the service provider so that any necessary corrective measure can be taken immediately.
4. a termination clause and minimum period to execute a termination provision, if deemed necessary, shall be included.
5. controls to ensure customer data confidentiality and service providers' liability in case of breach of security and leakage of confidential customer related information shall be incorporated.
6. there must be contingency plans to ensure business continuity.
7. the contract shall provide for the prior approval/ consent by the NBFC of the use of subcontractors by the service provider for all or part of an outsourced activity.
8. it shall provide the NBFC with the right to conduct audits on the service provider whether by its internal or external auditors, or by agents appointed to act on its behalf and to obtain copies of any audit or review reports and findings made on the service provider in conjunction with the services performed for the NBFC.
9. outsourcing agreements shall include clauses to allow the Reserve Bank of India or persons authorised by it to access the NBFC's documents, records of transactions, and other necessary information given to, stored or processed by the service provider within a reasonable time.
10. outsourcing agreement shall also include a clause to recognise the right of the Reserve Bank to cause an inspection to be made of a service provider of an NBFC and its books and account by one or more of its officers or employees or other persons.
11. the outsourcing agreement shall also provide that confidentiality of customer's information shall be maintained even after the contract expires or gets terminated.
12. the NBFC shall have necessary provisions to ensure that the service provider preserves documents as required by law and take suitable steps to ensure that its interests are protected in this regard even post termination of the services.
1. Public confidence and customer trust in the NBFC is a prerequisite for the stability and reputation of the NBFC. Hence the NBFC shall seek to ensure the preservation and protection of the security and confidentiality of customer information in the custody or possession of the service provider.
2. Access to customer information by staff of the service provider shall be on 'need to know' basis i.e., limited to those areas where the information is required in order to perform the outsourced function.
3. The NBFC shall ensure that the service provider is able to isolate and clearly identify the NBFC's customer information, documents, records and assets to protect the confidentiality of the information. In instances, where service provider acts as an outsourcing agent for multiple NBFCs, care shall be taken to build strong safeguards so that there is no comingling of information / documents, records and assets.
4. The NBFC shall review and monitor the security practices and control processes of the service provider on a regular basis and require the service provider to disclose security breaches.
5. The NBFC shall immediately notify RBI in the event of any breach of security and leakage of confidential customer related information. In these eventualities, the NBFC would be liable to its customers for any damages.
1. NBFCs shall ensure that the DSA/ DMA/ Recovery Agents are properly trained to handle their responsibilities with care and sensitivity, particularly aspects such as soliciting customers, hours of calling, privacy of customer information and conveying the correct terms and conditions of the products on offer, etc.
2. NBFCs shall put in place a board approved Code of conduct for DSA/ DMA/ Recovery Agents, and obtain their undertaking to abide by the code. In addition, Recovery Agents shall adhere to extant instructions on Fair Practices Code for NBFCs as also their own code for collection of dues and repossession of security. It is essential that the Recovery Agents refrain from action that could damage the integrity and reputation of the NBFC and that they observe strict customer confidentiality.
3. The NBFC and their agents shall not resort to intimidation or harassment of any kind, either verbal or physical, against any person in their debt collection efforts, including acts intended to humiliate publicly or intrude the privacy of the debtors' family members, referees and friends, making threatening and anonymous calls or making false and misleading representations.
1. An NBFC shall require its service providers to develop and establish a robust framework for documenting, maintaining and testing business continuity and recovery procedures. NBFCs need to ensure that the service provider periodically tests the Business Continuity and Recovery Plan and may also consider occasional joint testing and recovery exercises with its service provider.
2. In order to mitigate the risk of unexpected termination of the outsourcing agreement or liquidation of the service provider, NBFCs shall retain an appropriate level of control over their outsourcing and the right to intervene with appropriate measures to continue its business operations in such cases without incurring prohibitive expenses and without any break in the operations of the NBFC and its services to the customers.
3. In establishing a viable contingency plan, NBFCs shall consider the availability of alternative service providers or the possibility of bringing the outsourced activity back in-house in an emergency and the costs, time and resources that would be involved.
4. Outsourcing often leads to the sharing of facilities operated by the service provider. The NBFC shall ensure that service providers are able to isolate the NBFC's information, documents and records, and other assets. This is to ensure that in appropriate situations, all documents, records of transactions and information given to the service provider, and assets of the NBFC, can be removed from the possession of the service provider in order to continue its business operations, or deleted, destroyed or rendered unusable.
1. The NBFC shall have in place a management structure to monitor and control its outsourcing activities. It shall ensure that outsourcing agreements with the service provider contain provisions to address their monitoring and control of outsourced activities.
2. A central record of all material outsourcing that is readily accessible for review by the Board and senior management of the NBFC shall be maintained. The records shall be updated promptly and half yearly reviews shall be placed before the Board or Risk Management Committee.
3. Regular audits by either the internal auditors or external auditors of the NBFC shall assess the adequacy of the risk management practices adopted in overseeing and managing the outsourcing arrangement, the NBFC's compliance with its risk management framework and the requirements of these directions.
4. NBFCs shall at least on an annual basis, review the financial and operational condition of the service provider to assess its ability to continue to meet its outsourcing obligations. Such due diligence reviews, which can be based on all available information about the service provider shall highlight any deterioration or breach in performance standards, confidentiality and security, and in business continuity preparedness.
5. In the event of termination of the outsourcing agreement for any reason in cases where the service provider deals with the customers, the same shall be publicized by displaying at a prominent place in the branch, posting it on the web-site, and informing the customers so as to ensure that the customers do not continue to deal with the service provider.
6. Certain cases, like outsourcing of cash management, might involve reconciliation of transactions between the NBFC, the service provider and its sub-contractors. In such cases, NBFCs shall ensure that reconciliation of transactions between the NBFC and the service provider (and/ or its sub-contractor), are carried out in a timely manner. An ageing analysis of entries pending reconciliation with outsourced vendors shall be placed before the Audit Committee of the Board (ACB) and NBFCs shall make efforts to reduce the old outstanding items therein at the earliest.
7. A robust system of internal audit of all outsourced activities shall also be put in place and monitored by the ACB of the NBFC.
1. NBFCs shall constitute Grievance Redressal Machinery as contained in RBI’s circular on Grievance Redressal Mechanism vide DNBS. CC. PD. No. 320/03. 10. 01/2012-13 dated February 18, 2013. At the operational level, all NBFCs shall display the name and contact details (Telephone/ Mobile nos. as also email address) of the Grievance Redressal Officer prominently at their branches/ places where business is transacted. The designated officer shall ensure that genuine grievances of customers are redressed promptly without involving delay. It shall be clearly indicated that NBFCs' Grievance Redressal Machinery will also deal with the issue relating to services provided by the outsourced agency.
2. Generally, a time limit of 30 days may be given to the customers for preferring their complaints/ grievances. The grievance redressal procedure of the NBFC and the time frame fixed for responding to the complaints shall be placed on the NBFC's website.
NBFCs would be responsible for making Currency Transactions Reports and Suspicious Transactions Reports to FIU or any other competent authority in respect of the NBFCs' customer related activities carried out by the service providers.
1. In a group structure, NBFCs may have back-office and service arrangements/ agreements with group entities e.g. sharing of premises, legal and other professional services, hardware and software applications, centralize back-office functions, outsourcing certain financial services to other group entities, etc. Before entering into such arrangements with group entities, NBFCs shall have a Board approved policy and also service level agreements/ arrangements with their group entities, which shall also cover demarcation of sharing resources i.e. premises, personnel, etc. Moreover the customers shall be informed specifically about the company which is actually offering the product/ service, wherever there are multiple group entities involved or any cross selling observed.
2. While entering into such arrangements, NBFCs shall ensure that these:
a. are appropriately documented in written agreements with details like scope of services, charges for the services and maintaining confidentiality of the customer's data.
b. do not lead to any confusion to the customers on whose products/ services they are availing by clear physical demarcation of the space where the activities of the NBFC and those of its other group entities are undertaken.
c. do not compromise the ability to identify and manage risk of the NBFC on a stand-alone basis.
d. do not prevent the RBI from being able to obtain information required for the supervision of the NBFC or pertaining to the group as a whole.
e. incorporate a clause under the written agreements that there is a clear obligation for any service provider to comply with directions given by the RBI in relation to the activities of the NBFC.
3. NBFCs shall ensure that their ability to carry out their operations in a sound fashion would not be affected if premises or other services (such as IT systems, support staff) provided by the group entities become unavailable.
4. If the premises of the NBFC are shared with the group entities for the purpose of cross-selling, NBFCs shall take measures to ensure that the entity's identification is distinctly visible and clear to the customers. The marketing brochure used by the group entity and verbal communication by its staff / agent in the NBFCs premises shall mention nature of arrangement of the entity with the NBFC so that the customers are clear on the seller of the product.
5. NBFCs shall not publish any advertisement or enter into any agreement stating or suggesting or giving tacit impression that they are in any way responsible for the obligations of its group entities.
6. The risk management practices expected to be adopted by an NBFC while outsourcing to a related party (i.e. party within the Group / Conglomerate) would be identical to those specified in Para 5 of this directions.
1. The engagement of service providers in a foreign country exposes an NBFC to country risk -economic, social and political conditions and events in a foreign country that may adversely affect the NBFC. Such conditions and events could prevent the service provider from carrying out the terms of its agreement with the NBFC. To manage the country risk involved in such outsourcing activities, the NBFC shall take into account and closely monitor government policies and political, social, economic and legal conditions in countries where the service provider is based, both during the risk assessment process and on a continuous basis, and establish sound procedures for dealing with country risk problems. This includes having appropriate contingency and exit strategies. In principle, arrangements shall only be entered into with parties operating in jurisdictions generally upholding confidentiality clauses and agreements. The governing law of the arrangement shall also be clearly specified.
2. The activities outsourced outside India shall be conducted in a manner so as not to hinder efforts to supervise or reconstruct the India activities of the NBFC in a timely manner.
3. As regards the off-shore outsourcing of financial services relating to Indian Operations, NBFCs shall additionally ensure that
a. Where the off-shore service provider is a regulated entity, the relevant off-shore regulator will neither obstruct the arrangement nor object to RBI inspection visits/ visits of NBFCs internal and external auditors.
b. The availability of records to management and the RBI will withstand the liquidation of either the offshore custodian or the NBFC in India.
c. The regulatory authority of the offshore location does not have access to the data relating to Indian operations of the NBFC simply on the ground that the processing is being undertaken there (not applicable if off shore processing is done in the home country of the NBFC).
d. The jurisdiction of the courts in the off shore location where data is maintained does not extend to the operations of the NBFC in India on the strength of the fact that the data is being processed there even though the actual transactions are undertaken in India.
e. All original records continue to be maintained in India.