Five investor education workshops with financial regulators
NCAER’s newly established Investor Education and Protection Fund (IEPF) Chair Unit’s hosted second of the series of five workshops on Investor Education and Protection with financial regulators. This session, focusing on insurance sector, was held virtually and was attend by over 40 participants.
India’s 2014 Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana programme helped create robust digital financial services, increasing the proportion of those above the age of 15 with a bank account to nearly 80% in 2017, compared to just about 35% in 2011. Digitization has brought banking to many more during the pandemic. The National Strategy for Financial Education 2020-25 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.
The second NCAER workshop in its investor education and protection series focuses on the National Strategy’s operations in the Indian insurance sector. Having opened up to private and global players at the turn of the century, India broke 60 years of public sector monopoly that had resulted in lower-than-expected insurance penetration and density. However, India’s insurance density and penetration, both measures of the development of the insurance sector, is still considerably low by global standards as well as in comparison to other countries in the per capita income peer group. Post the opening up of the sector in the late 1990s, the growth of the sector came with its own costs and benefits. Issues in the sector include sub-optimal product structures, opaque disclosures, high commissions to agents with little incentive to serve the customer, and poor performance on persistency and claims settlement.
This workshop will feature insights from leading insurance market experts as well as insurance markets regulator Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority of India (IRDAI). Subhash C Khuntia, Chairperson, IRDAI, will deliver the keynote address and the workshop will be chaired by T L Alamelu Whole Time Member (Non-Life Insurance), IRDAI. Amit Agrawal, Additional Secretary (Insurance), Department of Financial Services will outline the government’s perspective on the issues proposed for discussion.
The NCAER workshop series was inaugurated on December 16, 2020 with a keynote address by RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, followed by the first workshop on securities market. This series of five NCAER workshops covers investor education issues in securities market, insurance, pension funds and credit markets. These workshops with key regulators are an opportunity for participants to both learn from key regulators about their strategies for investor education and to contribute to refining the priorities for action and for creating relevant further research and knowledge base in this area.