If you have a complaint against an organization or company registered with the SEBI, you can get your grievances heard. The government has taken various initiatives to educate investors about their rights and improve mechanisms to address problems. One such initiative is the SCORES portal from SEBI.
How to report the complaint against a mutual fund is a matter of the intensity of the complaint and the pace of response from the concerned organization. Whatever the issue, it has to be first addressed by the mutual fund company and if that fails, it can be taken to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI).
1. Mutual fund company Your first step to filing a complaint would be reaching out to your mutual fund company. You should have a helpline number or customer service email address mentioned in the scheme document. You can also find it on the mutual fund company’s official website.
Some mutual fund managing companies have an online complaint registration system wherein you can fill in your email address and contact number and the response team will contact you and resolve the issue. If you are not comfortable with these mechanisms in place, you can also visit the nearest branch and the staff should be able to address your issue.
Minor issues like having your PAN or address being wrongly filed due to manual errors should be easily solved by the asset management company itself.
There could, however, be bigger and more urgent issues like wrong bank account number. In this case, the dividend could get wrongly credited to another person’s bank account. These should also be easily corrected by the company itself without much trouble on the investor’s part.
2. Hierarchy When an issue is not addressed within a reasonable amount of time, it is up to you to take the complaint ahead to the investor relationship manager (the term of the designation will differ from company to company). If you do not get a satisfactory response, it can be escalated up to the CEO or managing director of the company, especially if you are not receiving the benefits from the mutual fund that you are liable to receive, like your dividends, as it affects you financially.
3. SEBI When all else fails, you can approach the regulatory body with your grievance. SEBI has a complaints redressal system called ‘SCORES’ on its portal. Issues like non-payment of dividend, non-transfer of securities etc that were not solved by the mutual fund house, can be escalated to the regulator. You can do so by visiting SEBI’s online portal scores.gov.in. This is an online platform wherein you can register your complaint and also view the status of the complaint filed by you.
At first, you will have to register with the portal by providing your name, PAN, address and mobile number. You can then select the option to file the complaint wherein you have to provide the required details like the category of the mutual fund and the details of the complaint already filed with the mutual fund. If you are directly approaching SEBI without addressing your issue with the mutual fund house, you will have to state your reason in doing so.
You also have the option to submit supporting documents in digital form. You will be given a registration number related to your complaint so as to keep a track of its status. The asset management company is required to address your greviance within 30 days of it being reported on SCORES. You can also mention your satisfaction or dissatisfaction with the response over SCORES within 15 days of the closure of the complaint.