SEC Pushes Fintech Innovation
The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is paving the way for more innovations in the fintech industry to further promote financial inclusion and protect investors and other financial consumers.
Photo Insert: SEC Chairman Emilio Aquino
The Commission has launched its PhiliFintech Innovation Office (PIO), under its Corporate Governance and Finance Department (CGFD), which will focus on the regulation of the use of fintech, or financial technology, in the Philippines.
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,” SEC Chairperson Emilio Aquino said in a statement.
Aquino said the Commission has supported new and emerging business concepts while taking a proactive stance against any excessive risk buildup to ensure market integrity.
“The PhiliFintech Innovation Office will be at the forefront of building an enabling regulatory environment for fintech, in particular,” he said.
Regulating innovative trading markets and technology-based ventures is part of the mandate of the SEC, as provided under Republic Act No. 8799, or the Securities Regulation Code.
The SEC previously supervised the registration and granting of licenses for non-traditional securities and instruments through its Non-Traditional Department, which was later abolished following the creation of the Insurance Commission in 2010.
The Commission has since delegated the regulation of non-traditional securities and fintech initiatives to other departments and treated them on a case-to-case basis. To better prepare the country for fintech innovation, the SEC created the PIO to give greater regulatory focus on the industry.
The Philippines ranked 44th out of 158 countries in the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development’s Readiness for Frontier Technologies Index. It also placed second in information and communications technology deployment, skills, research and development, industry activity, and access to finance among a host of countries.