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Business

SEC keeps tight watch on fintech firms

Iris Gonzales - The Philippine Star
SEC keeps tight watch on fintech firms
The SEC has launched the PhiliFintech Innovation Office (PIO), which will focus on the regulation of the use of financial technology in the Philippines.
STAR / File

MANILA, Philippines — The Securities and Exchange Commission is casting a wider net on fintech companies to mandate those operating without authorization to register with the SEC.

The SEC has launched the PhiliFintech Innovation Office (PIO), which will focus on the regulation of the use of financial technology in the Philippines.

SEC chairperson Emilio Aquino Jr. said this is meant to promote financial inclusion, protect investors and other financial consumers and not to discourage the use of technology.

The PIO will serve as the first point of contact for existing fintech companies, which have been operating without proper regulation or authorization, or which will introduce new fintech products.

It will likewise facilitate the processing of the registration of new fintech companies in the Philippines along with the appropriate department of the commission.

The PIO shall document, analyze and understand fintech business models and their possible impacts on the market and its participants.

With this, the SEC will be able to formulate and execute regulatory responses geared toward protecting investors and market participants, while concurrently promoting the growth of fintech firms.

Aquino said the PIO is mandated to reduce gaps in consumer and investor protection tempered by financial inclusion, integrity and stability through a dedicated focus on the regulation and growth of fintech activities; create better-informed policies for new and existing fintech innovators; and capacitate the SEC with expertise to effectively regulate fintech activities and promote an innovative culture in the corporate sector.

“Integral to our mission of championing the business sector, the capital market and the investing public, is fostering innovation,” Aquino said.

Regulating innovative trading markets and technology-based ventures is part of the mandate of the SEC, as provided under the Securities Regulation Code.

Prior to the creation of the PIO, the SEC has been issuing rules and regulations in response to new technologies emerging in the market.

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