Over 1,200 non-banking financial companies (NBFCs), recently flagged as “high risk” prone for not complying with a provision of the anti-money laundering law, have hurriedly submitted their records to the government to be identified as legally compliant, officials said on Thursday.
These firms, from across the country, submitted the required documents to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) recently, after the agency in February had published the names of 9,491 such firms for non-compliance of a provision under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act (PMLA), they said. The flagged NBFCs filed their records and furnished the identity of their principal officers to the FIU after their names were put in the public domain, the officials said.
A senior official said the finance ministry has now taken off their names from the “high risk” list.”Over 1,200 such names have been taken off the list even as more names are in the process to be taken off. The ministry had said that as soon as they comply with the law, they will be cleared,” he said. The rest of the cases are under process and those found “defunct or non-compliant” will be barred from operating with the help of the Reserve Bank of India, the official said.
Under the PMLA, the NBFCs, which include cooperative banks, are required to furnish details about the identity of their clients, maintain records and furnish the information to the FIU. The activities of these institutions came under the scanner of the FIU after the scrapping of currency notes of Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 in November 2016.
According to the records, there are about 12,000 NBFCs in the country at present. An NBFC is a company registered under the Companies Act and engages in the business of loans and advances, acquisition of shares, stocks, bonds, debentures and securities issued by the government or local authority, besides other marketable securities.