Financial Inclusion and Market Development Key Objectives of SECP: Chairman

Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Aamir Khan Chairman has said that financial inclusion, market development, and transparent enforcement of policies are the main aims of SECP in terms of its regulatory and supporting roles for the industry

He made the remarks during a session with the senior officials of the Overseas Investors Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OICCI), Karachi.

The SECP chairman mentioned that promoting innovation and entrepreneurship, ease of doing business and improving internal governance of SECP were the overriding thoughts at the start of his journey. He informed the participants that SECP is working towards improving the business climate for registered entities and undertaking measures to promote digitalization and inculcation of technology in the corporate sector.

Digitization in SECP

While mentioning the importance of digitalization, he emphasized cutting down the regulatory web, reducing the cost of doing business, and increasing competition by the reduction in barriers to entry for sustainable growth and expansion in the corporate sector and capital markets in Pakistan.

SECP chairman also highlighted some of the notable measures taken by the regulator towards the achievement of all these digitization goals, including the launch of Digital Certified True Copies (CTCs), an online banking portal, Secured Transaction Registry, the establishment of a business centre, amendments in the Companies Act, 2017, and launch of Whatsapp and WeChat services. As a result of SECP’s efforts, during the fiscal year 2021-22, over 99 percent of companies were incorporated online, he added.

Improvement in Liquidity

In terms of measures for improving liquidity and product development, he mentioned the introduction of seven exchange-traded funds (ETFs), issuance of over 1,000 electronic warehouse receipts (EWRs), as well as the launch of real estate investment trusts (REITs).

Aamir Khan also spoke about the new regulations issued by SECP including guidelines for digital distribution and Robo Advisory of Mutual Funds, a regulatory framework enabling micro and digital-only insurers and asset management companies (AMCs), and Draft Asset Fractionalization Regulations.

Reforms in SECP

Talking of reforms in SECP, Khan shed light on outcomes and the transformation toward a function-based regulator from a sector-based regulator. He also informed the attendees about the formation of dedicated supervision and adjudication divisions supported by a strengthened litigation department, risk-based supervision, the creation of a centralized licensing department, and the digitalization of functions like promotion, appraisal, loan management, and payroll.

He added that SECP’s Graduate Trainee Program “HAWKS” included 50 percent female hiring among 25 trainees hired in the first batch and 31 trainees hired in the second batch.