SECP, FIA to Collaborate for Secure Digital Financial System

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) have agreed to formalize their collaboration to protect Pakistan’s digital financial system from cybercrime and fraud threats through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

The development came during a meeting between SECP Chairman Akif Saeed and FIA Additional Director General Ahmed Ishaque Jehangir on Tuesday to foster effective collaboration and identify areas of shared interest between the two entities.

The meeting witnessed constructive discussions and deliberations on several key areas of mutual interest. For illegal deposit-taking and illegal lending apps, it was agreed to appoint focal persons and establish a quick communication channel, as well as regular sharing of information on matters under investigation at respective institutions.

The SECP chairman informed the FIA team on the commission’s regulatory framework for digital lending apps, as well as efforts to prohibit exploitative practices and assure borrowers’ financial sustainability. The framework also requires digital lending NBFCs to disclose fees, loan terms, installments, and charges to borrowers in a transparent manner, Akif added.

He highlighted that companies are also barred from obtaining customer data and are expected to follow ethical and legal standards. The SECP collaborated with Google to implement the Personal Loan App Policy in Pakistan, restricting the listing of unauthorized and illicit apps. As a result, Google removed 115 illegal lending apps from its Play Store.

Jehangir appreciated SECP’s regulatory framework for lending apps and called for training and awareness sessions for officers on digital lending policy. He also agreed to assist SECP in capacity building and establishing digital forensics lab facilities.

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