Friday, March 1, 2024
India News

Paytm taps ex-Sebi boss, others for advice

Mumbai: Paytm’s parent One 97 Communications Ltd on Friday said it has formed an advisory committee chaired by M. Damodaran, former chairman of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi). The committee will work with the One97 board on strengthening compliance and regulatory matters.

The committee will also include M.M. Chitale, former president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI), and R. Ramachandran, former chairman and managing director of Andhra Bank.

Last week, the Reserve Bank of India barred Paytm Payments Bank Ltd (PPBL) from accepting fresh deposits beginning 29 February, and forbade it from undertaking any banking activity, including accepting deposits, credit transactions, wallet top-ups and bill payments.

At the RBI policy conference on Thursday, RBI governor Shaktikanta Das reiterated that the crackdown on Paytm was a result of the bank’s failure to comply with regulations despite repeated warnings.

The restrictions were placed after giving the company ample time to rectify its non-compliance issues, he said.

However, the RBI also made it clear that the restrictions on the payments bank did not apply to the Paytm app. The regulator also said that it would issue answers to a set of frequently asked questions next week on the Paytm Payments Bank matter.

Mint reported on Saturday that the RBI’s 31 January crackdown was a result of four primary issues at Paytm Payments Bank. First, the bank falsified compliance on issues pointed out by the regulator, meaning it claimed to have rectified the flaws without actually doing so.

Second, Paytm Payments Bank did not conduct KYC for a significant section of its customers, and there were instances of a single PAN (permanent account number)—an identity document issued by the income tax department—being linked to hundreds of customers. Third, the non-financial and financial businesses of the payments bank were closely intertwined with that of the promoter group of companies. Fourth, the lender is said to have not disclosed payables to its parent entity One97 Communications Ltd.

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