SEBI Bars Finfluencer 'Baap Of Chart', Orders Rs 17-Crore Refund

According to the regulator, Mohammed Ansari was providing investment advice under the garb of educational training.

<div class="paragraphs"><p>SEBI headquarters in Mumbai. (Source: Sajeet Manghat/BQ Prime)</p></div>
SEBI headquarters in Mumbai. (Source: Sajeet Manghat/BQ Prime)

The market regulator on Wednesday banned finfluencer and educator Mohammad Nasiruddin Ansari—popularly known as 'Baap of Chart'—as well as two others from the securities market for providing investment advisory services without requisite registration.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India, in an interim order, also asked Ansari to refund nearly Rs 17.20 crore earned through the illegal advisory service, according to an order.

Ansari was providing stock recommendations under the garb of providing educational training related to the securities market, SEBI said. He lured unsuspecting investors through his widely successful social media accounts, including YouTube, X (formerly Twitter), and Telegram channels, to enroll in his courses provided through the Baap of Chart application, it said.

These courses mainly revolve around strategies for investing in the securities market and guaranteeing a certain and consistent profit. Once an investor purchases the course, he is made part of a private chat group that provides with 'buy' or 'sell' recommendations in securities in the name of education.

That, according to the regulator, is not only violative of the investment advisory regulations but also of its unfair trade practice regulations. "Describing such advice and recommendations as ‘educational courses’ appears to be a futile attempt to whitewash the illegality involved."

According to the regulator, the disclaimer on the website that the information provided is solely for educational purposes cannot absolve Ansari of his responsibility, as he seems to be fully aware of the fact that it could be regarded as investment advice.

In light of the circumstances, “it is necessary to take urgent preventive action in this matter and to take immediate steps to prevent the noticeees (Ansari and others) from collecting any more fees from the public and from indulging in unregistered investment advisory activities,” the regulator said.

Earlier, SEBI had taken action against social media influencers Gunjan Verma and PR Sundar for violations of investment advisory norms.

SEBI Lets Off Social Media Influencer Gunjan Verma With A Warning