The Evolving Regulatory Framework in Capital Markets

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Regulatory bodies are institutions of the state or other public authorities tasked with exercising oversight or regulatory power over specific contexts in which people are involved in any activity. Whether in the field of banking, insurance, pension funds, commodities market or the capital market - the existence of regulatory frameworks is important for security and growth.


In the case of the capital market, regulation leads to growth and the development of a market economy depends on the growth of the capital market. A market that is tightly controlled can boost the number of participating and contributing investors, resulting in the development of the economy as well. A well-structured capital markets course helps you have a better understanding of the already existing regulatory frameworks and the constant evolution of the same.

In the article, we shall discuss a brief outlook on the ever-evolving regulatory frameworks in India.

Regulatory frameworks in India

Over the last few years, India has established itself as one of the key players in the capital market, having one of the most refined new equity issuance markets. In the financial sector, India has several regulatory bodies at play. From SEBI. RBI, to IRDA, PFRDA - India boasts of an array of regulatory bodies in the financial sector.

The capital market is a market of equity and debt securities, and in India, it is predominantly regulated by the Securities and Exchange Board of India, which is known as SEBI. SEBI is an autonomous authority responsible to regulate and develop the capital market.

Regulatory agencies:

India currently has four product-driven functioning regulatory agencies, that are -

  • Securities and Exchange Board of India: established in 1988, SEBI at first was a non-statutory board. In 1992, it became an autonomous body with more power through an ordinance. SEBI now overviews and regulates market and investment products.

  • Reserve Bank of India: RBI was established in 1935 in accordance with the provisions of the RBI Act of 1934. Although the central office of the Reserve Bank of India was initially founded in Kolkata, it was later moved to Mumbai in 1937. RBI was privately owned since its inception. In 1949 after the nationalisation, it came under the Government of India. Reserve Bank of India is responsible for regulating credit products, savings and remittances.

  • Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority: formed by the IRDA Act 1999, IRDA is the national agency under the Government of India based in Hyderabad. The IRDA Act 1999 was amended later in 2002 to include some emerging requirements. Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority regulates insurance products, protects the interests of the policyholders and promotes elderly growth in the insurance industry.

  • Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority: established by the Government of India in 2003, PFRDA looks after the pension sector and related products.

  • There also existed the Forward Markets Commission or FMC, with a headquarter in Mumbai, that was responsible for regulating commodity-based exchange. This was a statutory body established in 1953 under the Forward Contracts (Regulation) Act 1952. FMC was merged with SEBI in 2015.

Quasi-regulatory agencies:

A quasi-regulatory agency is an agency with a partly legislative character having the right to make rules and regulations with the force of law. It is essentially legislative in character but not within the legislative power or function, especially defined by the Constitution. A neatly tailored capital markets course helps you have a clear understanding of the differences between regulatory agencies and quasi-regulatory ones. There are several government bodies performing quasi-regulatory functions other than SEBI, RBI, IRDA, and PFDA. Those are:

  • National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development: NABARD supervises and regulates the regional and rural banks along with the state and district cooperative banks.

  • Small Industries Development Bank of India: SIDBI looks after the state finance corporations (SFC) that are responsible for financing small industries.

  • National Housing Bank: NHB, as the name suggests, is responsible for overviewing the housing finance companies.

Central ministries:

Various central ministries under the Government of India are involved in policy-making in the financial system of the country which can lead to economic growth. The Ministry of Finance is the most prominent of those.

Ministry of Finance (MoF) representatives who are on the Boards of regulatory agencies like SEBI and RBI are important policy-makers. Many of the MoF representatives are also part of the board of public sector banks and development financial institutes.

State governments:

The state government regulates the cooperative banking institutions through the Registrar of Cooperatives under the Departments of Agriculture and Cooperation.


To bring more efficient and effective coordination among the financial market regulator, an important addition was made to the regulatory framework in India. Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC) was formed by the Government of India in 2010 as a non-statutory set-up. The agency since then has worked to maintain financial stability and enhance inter-regulatory coordination, while promoting development in the financial sector in India. It also resolves inter-agency disputes and performs wealth management functions dealing with multiple financial products.

Objectives of regulatory bodies

Financial regulation translates to the supervision of financial institutions to certain requirements, guidelines and restrictions. The foremost goal of the financial regulatory bodies is to maintain the stability and integrity of the financial ecosystem in the country. Therefore, the key objectives of the regulatory bodies are:

  • Financial stability: providing protection and enhancing the financial stability of the country.
  • Consumer protection: protecting and working in the best interests of the consumers and stakeholders.
  • Market confidence: upholding and maintaining the integrity of the financial system.
  • Reduction in financial frauds: reducing the possible avenues of businesses from facing finance-oriented crimes and frauds, thus reducing the loss.


Although India has established quite strong regulatory bodies for the financial sectors, constantly revising and upgrading their functioning policies to match the ever-evolving market is the only way of improving them. Learning about the regulatory bodies and acquiring knowledge of the market is how you can take a step forward. Imarticus Learning in collaboration with IIM Calcutta offers an in-depth capital markets course that helps you grasp the understanding of the topic.

The IIM Calcutta executive program provides you with hands-on knowledge and teaches you how to find resolution in a professional scenario. The collaborative effort of Imarticus Learning and IIM Calcutta also prepares you for all the possible challenges that you might find on the way. For more details on this course, check out the website and the IIM Calcutta executive program right away.

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