To facilitate cross-border info exchange SEC bats for easing of Bank Secrecy Law
Iris Gonzales (The Philippine Star) - January 1, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The Philippines needs to ease its Bank Secrecy Law to be able to fully participate in the Paris-based International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO)’s multilateral memorandum of understanding concerning consultation and cooperation and the exchange of information (MMOU), a ranking Securities and Exchange Commission official said.

SEC Commissioner Ephyro Amatong attributed its non-participation in the MMOU to the Bank Secrecy Law, which prevents the SEC from fully sharing information with other securities regulators.

Amatong, nevertheless, said full participation in the MMOU on information sharing is not a precondition for the Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) to be able to link up with other stock markets in the region.

 “The Asean Trade Link is a contractual arrangement among participating exchanges (from Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand) using technology to facilitate cross-border/cross-exchange trading. Full participating by the Philippine SEC in the IOSCO’s MMOU is not a precondition,” Amatong said.

The proposal to link the local bourse with other exchanges in Southeast Asia, however, remains pending.

The PSE said it is waiting for the SEC to become a member of the IOSCO, which would give the country’s corporate regulatory environment a vote of confidence and could facilitate cross-border transactions.

The Philippines had been seeking membership to the Paris-based body since 2008.

However, Amatong said full participation to the IOSCO information sharing arrangement is not a pre-condition to the link-up as he clarified it is the Bank Secrecy Law that prevents the corporate regulator from fully sharing information with other securities regulators.

As such, the SEC has been pushing to relax the Bank Secrecy Law which the SEC said can be done through the amendments to the Securities Regulation Code.

The SEC hopes become a member of IOSCO as early as March next year.

 

AMATONG ASEAN TRADE LINK BANK SECRECY LAW COMMISSIONER EPHYRO AMATONG INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATION OF SECURITIES COMMISSIONS MALAYSIA AND THAILAND PHILIPPINE STOCK EXCHANGE SEC SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION SECURITIES REGULATION CODE SOUTHEAST ASIA
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