The Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has notified on Resources for Trustees of Mutual Funds after interactions with the Trustees who had requested for providing administrative assistance to Trustees in monitoring various activities of the Asset Management Companies.Regulation18(25)(B)(i)of SEBI (Mutual Funds) Regulations, 1996 states that the Trustees shall obtain internal audit reports at regular intervals from independent auditors appointed by the Trustees.
The key points in the notification read thus;
1. Trustees shall appoint a dedicated officer having professional qualifications and a minimum of 5 years of experience in finance and financial services related field.
a) The officer so appointed, shall be employee of the Trustees and directly report to the Trustees.
b) The scope of work for the said officer shall be specified by Trustees from time to time to support the role and responsibilities of the Trustees. The officer shall accordingly assist the Trustees and discharge the activities assigned to him.
c) The said officer shall be treated as an access person in terms of SEBI Circular No. MFD/CIR No.4/216/2001 dated May 08, 2001.
2. Further, Trustees shall have standing arrangements with independent firms for special purpose audits and/or seek legal advice in case of any requirement as identified and whenever considered necessary.
3.The expenditure incurred for the above shall be charged under clause 52(b)(iv) “fees and expenses of trustees” of SEBI (Mutual Funds)Regulations, 1996.
4. Notwithstanding the above, the Trustees shall however continue to be liable for the discharge of various fiduciary responsibilities as cast upon them in the SEBI (Mutual Funds) Regulations, 1996.
This shall be applicable with effect from October 01, 2020.