Mohammad Nasiruddin Ansari Image Credit: Instagram/MD Nasir

Mumbai: India’s market regulator barred a popular influencer on social media from securities trading and ordered him to refund Rs172 million ($2.1 million) collected from followers after its investigation found he gave stock recommendations in the garb of providing educational training.

The action by the Securities and Exchange Board of India follows a growing clamor on social media platforms like X, formerly known as Twitter, for a crackdown on so-called finfluencers amid concerns over the viability of their claims of making profit through trading strategies that they communicate to their followers.

In an interim order Wednesday, the regulator banned Mohammad Nasiruddin Ansari, who operated on social media in the name of “Baap of Chart,” from buying, selling or dealing in securities. It also barred an individual and a firm linked to Ansari.

Ansari was not immediately available for comment.

“It is observed that Nasir is inducing clients/ investors by assuring profits/ returns of a minimum Rs3,00,000 and extending to Rs6,00,000 per month and also giving recommendation to buy,” Sebi said in the order. The regulator added that its investigation found Nasir would offer support and guidance to those who paid him for ‘live market’ transactions.

In August, the regulator sought comments from the public on a regulation that will thwart the activities of investment advisers and market analysts who are not registered with it. Sebi’s crackdown comes amid rising popularity of stocks among Indian retail investors.