By Etuka Sunday
The Need to expand access to finance, provide new ways to raise funding, enhance financial inclusion and foster increased participation in the capital market has again been emphasised.
This is even as greater prospects arise as the global FinTech sector is growing at an incredible rate of 200% year-on-year.
Acting Director General of the Securities and Exchnage Commission, SEC, Ms. Mary Uduk stated this at the official launch of the Fintech Roadmap of the Nigerian Capital Market at the Nigeria Fintech week held in Lagos, Tuesday.
Uduk said, “the Roadmap highlighted Collaboration as a key ingredient for deepening market penetration. In order to improve the penetration of investment products, there must be strategic alliance amongst regulators and other stakeholders within the ecosystem.
“Going forward, I am confident that together, we can surmount the challenges inherent and seize the potentials of FinTech to transform people’s lives for the better.
“It is our belief that this policy document will broaden the robust conversation and engagements within the ecosystem, encourage responsible use of new technologies and digital finance in the capital market, influence increased international participation & cooperation, and also provide investors with more choices in the Nigerian Capital Market,” she said.
She said, the SEC is allso looking to adopt regulatory and supervisory practices for orderly development and stability of the system, “as we will pay close attention to sustaining confidence and safeguarding the integrity of our market.
“In this way, our policies will facilitate the safe entry of new products, activities and intermediaries. In addition, we will ensure that regulation does not stand in the way of innovation,” she said.
She said, while is it clear that FinTech has already made huge inroads into many aspects of the financial industry, what is perhaps even clearer is that the surface has barely been scratched in relation to what FinTech can do for us in the future.
According to the SEC Boss, It is estimated that emerging markets will experience rapid growth in financial services provision, in substantially less a time than it took developed markets to achieve, adding that it is right to presume that financial services over the next decade will experience a higher degree of change than in the last century.
She said that as regulatory compliance is a prerequisite for the success of FinTechs globally, RegTech offers many of the same benefits to regulators as it does to financial institutions.
“The awareness of customers that their data might be prone to cyber- attacks could make them lose trust in digital channels until strong consumer protection frameworks are in place. These frameworks for digital financial services will be critical in building confidence for consumers.
“Through the Sandbox Assessment Form, the newly established FinTech & Innovation Division of SEC has made continuous efforts to engage and guide FinTech start-ups that seek to operate in the Nigerian Capital Market.
Several FinTech companies are conscious of how conventional banking and investment avenues might not be attractive to millennials. Millennials have been tipped to shape the future of asset management, for instance, it is projected that by 2030, Millennials will control as much as $20trillion of global wealth.
To leverage the gains of financial inclusion for the next generation, Uduk disclosed that specific initiatives are being implemented to educate them in Nigeria to catch them young.
“SEC in collaboration with the NERDC is currently working towards infusing capital market studies into the curriculum of schools across all levels.
“The growing influence of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is ushering in a new age of machines. Deep Learning and Machine Learning are drawing heavily on the knowledge of the human being, and disrupting every industry. Deep Learning potential application in financial services will increase in fraud prevention, predictive analysis, trading, regulatory compliance, market supervision, robo- advisory, risk assessment, anti-money laundering, cybersecurity, etc.”
Uduk said the SEC is looking to adopt regulatory and supervisory practices for orderly development and stability of the system, as it will pay close attention to sustaining confidence and safeguarding the integrity of our market.
“In this way, our policies will facilitate the safe entry of new products, activities and intermediaries. In addition, we will ensure that regulation does not stand in the way of innovation” she added.
In his remarks, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu commended FinTech Nigeria for keying into the laudable initiative.