The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has restated its commitment to engage more players in the Fintech space and support them to operate lawfully in a bid to facilitate delivery of safe products and services in the country.
The Director General of SEC, Lamido Yuguda, who stated this at a post Capital Market Committee virtual meeting, said the Commission has issued a circular to ensure that only fit and proper persons continue to operate in the capital market.
“It became imperative for the Commission to issue this notice for the protection of investors and to preserve the sanctity of the Nigerian Capital Market as only registered capital market operators are permitted to intermediate in the Nigerian Capital Market and only through approved channels. We do not want any unregulated entity to participate in the market because if there are issues it becomes very difficult to resolve.” Yuguda said.
According to the SEC boss, the Commission recognizes the impact of FinTechs on capital market activities, and wishes to assure the public that SEC welcomes this development adding that the commission shall continue to engage players and support them to operate lawfully to ensure the delivery of safe products and services without stifling innovation. He encouraged FinTech firms to approach the Commission for due registration instead of operating illegally.
Director General of SEC, Lamido Yuguda
“In the same vein, registered Capital Market Operators (CMOs) are advised to refrain from providing any form of support to unregistered entities operating unlawfully within our market, as such action would not be condoned. Furthermore, we urge CMOs to improve on their level of compliance, timeliness and correctness of disclosures and other filings made to the Commission”. Yuguda warned.
He also said the Commission is mindful of developments in the crypto asset space adding that following initial warnings to the public, the SEC started a process to further understand the peculiar class of assets, by setting up Fintech and Blockchain Committees and releasing a “Statement on Digital Assets and their Classification and Treatment” in September, 2020.
“Subsequently the CBN directed its regulated institutions to close bank accounts of crypto exchanges to protect the financial system from abuse. We are in discussions with the CBN on how to better understand and regulate the market, given the need to take advantage of the emerging innovations while protecting investors and the financial system” he stated.
On e-dividend, the SEC Boss said as the Commission works towards resolving any legacy issues with unclaimed dividends, all stakeholders are implored to comply with all directives of the Commission in this regard, as defaulters would be sanctioned appropriately
“There is no reason why there will be unclaimed dividends for new investors or newly-listed companies adding every investor should be promptly paid his or her dividends upon declaration. The Commission has observed that certain CMOs frustrate the e-dividend mandate process. We have observed that the growth in the number of mandated accounts has been on the decline for some time. The Capital market community has directed its e-Dividend Committee to engage with the Committee of Heads of Banking Operations to encourage better cooperation from banks as we tackle the challenges of unclaimed dividends”.