We’re Working On Rules To Regulate FinTech Products- Acting SEC DG

Nigeria’s Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), on Wednesday assured that a set of regulations are in the works to guide Financial Technology (FinTech) products in the capital market, as part of investor protection.
FinTech describes a business that aims at providing financial services such as personal financial management, insurance, payment etc. by making use of software and other modern technology.
Addressing participants during a lecture by Ade Bajomo, Vice President FinTech Association of Nigeria titled ‘Market Impact of the FinTech Revolution” in Abuja, Ms. Mary Uduk, Acting Director-General, noted the need for the need to take advantage of Fintech offerings to move the Capital Market forward.
In this regard, she emphasized the commission’s focus on capacity building, knowledge sharing, advocacy and collaboration with relevant entities, which would enable the SEC regulate and understand the rudiments of FinTech.
The SEC, she continued, “should engage actively with the new trend in technology and provide the adequate regulatory framework for proper adoption of suitable technology and that is one of the reasons why we have invited FinTech here today for this presentation”
Also, at a time “other jurisdictions have already gone far into it with some of them already amending their rules in that direction,” the Acting DG also stress the need for Nigeria’s capital market “to create an enabling environment that is attractive enough for Fintechs to innovate.
“The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) is on it and there is a lot on it already all over the world and we can’t be left behind. We are very much interested in some of the most active areas of Fintech innovation like block chain technology, crypto currencies and how they affect investors,” Uduk added.
She stated that as the capital market’s apex regulator, it is the responsibility of the SEC to find out how such investments are going on and if they meet set standards, because when investors lose money they will come to the SEC.
“That is why we are seeking to understand what FinTech is all about, to enable us regulate the market properly,” she stressed.
Uduk recalled that the last meeting of the Capital Market Committee in Lagos agreed to set up a Committee to draw a Fintech Adoption roadmap for the Capital Market, even as she alluded to the growing influence of Fintechs.
She used the opportunity to announced Bajomo as Chair of the Capital Market Committee on Fintech Roadmap for Capital Markets in Nigeria, assuring that the SEC is interested in investments that Nigerians are making, especially with the advent of digitalization.
In his presentation, Bajomo, Executive Director, Information Technology and Operations of Access Bank, who is also Deputy President, FinTech Association of Nigeria (FinTechNGR), urged regulators to understand what FinTech because that is where the world is moving to now.
It is important, he said, that regulators know what to regulate, how to regulate it, protect investors, as well as drive commerce, warning that any failure on their part could hinder the growth of Africa.
“We have to get into the digital agility and understand that the old way of doing things will not work in this digital age. Whether we like it or not, people will adopt digitalization, it is just inevitable. It is the simplicity that is driving these entire reforms. Our markets have to reposition to provide the proper regulations to facilitate entry and exit by these people which will lead to raising of funds, bringing of new products and driving the FinTech revolution.
“There exists over 5,000 FinTech companies globally. Startups are also springing up an increasing pace. FinTech hubs are proliferating globally in tandem with ongoing disruption in financial services. These hubs are all vying to become established FinTech centres in their own right, and want to contribute to the broader financial services ecosystem of the future.
“The future FinTech scape will be molded by regulatory bodies- national and international as they seek to mitigate the risks, and leverage the opportunities presented by FinTech” Bajomo stated.
The SEC, he said, needs to fashion proper regulations that would enhance cyber security, which is the single biggest threat to the FinTech revolution.
“We have to get the issue of cyber security right as if we get it wrong investments and assets may disappear. SEC has shown a very good example by showing the readiness to want to participate in this industry and help it grow with relevant regulatory framework. That is a good step that will help both the industry and the investors and help grow our economy in the long run.”
FinTech generally aim to attract customers with products and services that are more user-friendly, efficient, transparent and automated than those currently available.
Commenting, President, FinTechNGR, Dr. Segun Aina said “FinTech has supported the banking industry tremendously and the capital market will also greatly benefit from it. In every aspect of financial services, FinTech important and that is why we are driving the process in Nigeria”.

Photo: FinTechNGR Executives Visit SEC

Caption: From left, Acting Executive Commissioner Legal and Enforcement of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Reginald Karawusa; Vice President, FinTechNGR, Ade Bajomo, Acting Director–General, SEC, Ms. Mary Uduk, President FinTechNGR, Dr. Segun Aina, during the event in Abuja.