In continuation of this series of workshops on investor education in the financial sector, the fourth and fifth workshops were held on two consecutive days. Organised by NCAER’s newly established Investor Education and Protection Fund (IEPF) Chair Unit , the workshop series was inaugurated on December 16, 2020 with a keynote address by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, followed by three workshops on the securities, insurance, and pension fund markets. The National Strategy for Financial Education (NSFE) 2020-25 which recognizes the unique challenges of creating a financially aware and empowered India, and the need for convergence of efforts by multiple stakeholders that regulate and manage India’s financial resources forms the basis of this initiative.
These two workshops focused on the banking sector and were held virtually . The fourth workshop addressed issues in the payment and settlement systems and was chaired by T Rabi Sankar, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of India. The discussion entailed on how technology is reshaping the payments and settlement ecosystem and its impact on consumers. A panel drawing experts from industry, regulatory and consumer bodies deliberated over several consumer centric issues. Some of these deliberations included the need for a separate financial consumer protection law in India, whether consumer protection should extend to price control, and the possibility of ex-ante market caps for addressing concentration in payments.
The fifth workshop focused on banking and credit, and was chaired by Anil Kumar Sharma, Executive Director, Reserve Bank of India. This included consumer advice in banking branches, quality of financial inclusion, systems of regulation and supervision and the future of banking and credit. The government’s viewpoint was presented by Pankaj Jain, Additional Secretary, Department of Financial Services. The panel discussion focused on several challenges faced by depositors. These included falling rates of interest, KYC verification and lack of options to have multiple nominees for a bank account.
These NCAER workshops with key regulators served as an opportunity to both learn from domain experts and regulators about their ideas and strategies for investor education and to contribute to refining the priorities for action and for creating scope for relevant further research and improving the knowledge base in this area.