The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is set to introduce a new programme aimed at providing the investing public with increased transparency concerning capital market operations, its Director-General Daniel Ogbarmey Tetteh has hinted.
Speaking on the side-lines of the opening ceremony of a two-day capacity building and sensitisation workshop on Phase 2 of the West African Capital Market Integration (WACMI) project in Accra, he stated that the initiative forms part of the regulator’s ongoing efforts to empower investors and ensure they make informed decisions.
“We will in the coming weeks launch a programme we have designed to give the investing public more visibility of the capital market operators. It is all within the efforts of giving investors access to information, to give them more confidence that they are making the right decisions,” Mr. Tetteh stated.
The SEC’s commitment to improving investor confidence, he added, will not come at the expense of the industry’s desire for expansion and innovation. The DG clarified that while growth is essential, it will not be prioritised over maintaining investor trust.
Elaborating, he said the watchdog will be applying a three-pronged approach that includes increasing access to data, enhancing regulation and enforcement, and conducting capacity building for capital market operators.
This development comes within the context of waning investor confidence on the back of a rapid downturn in the macroeconomic space with sky-high inflation, resultant spike in interest rates, and the ensuing domestic debt exchange programme (DDEP).
“We are cognisant that recent happenings on the macro-economic front – inflation, interest rates, FX and DDEP – are all things that have impacted on people; and I think it is about sustaining education to let people understand all the dynamics around these trends, and to show that it still pays to invest and be about hedging risk and diversifying,” the SEC chief added.
To address the rise of fraudulent schemes in the industry, the SEC said it is collaborating with law enforcement to combat these activities.
Mr. Tetteh acknowledged that such scams negatively affect investor confidence, and the Commission is committed to addressing this issue to protect investors from potential financial harm.
The SEC Director-General also shared the Commission’s efforts to invest in digitizing its operations and implementing a risk-based supervision framework.
Additionally, they have issued various guidelines and manuals to strengthen regulatory oversight – emphasizing the regulator’s commitment to safeguarding investors’ funds and the market’s integrity.
Investor-education has become a priority for the SEC, as Tetteh pointed out. They have launched the ‘Time with the SEC’ initiative, providing the investing public with greater access to engage with the Commission and gain deeper insights into the securities industry.
Moreover, the SEC is working to improve access to data, recognising that informed investors are more confident in their decision-making.
The regulator acknowledged that building investor confidence is a gradual process: “It won’t happen overnight, but we won’t relent”.
Nevertheless, he assured that the SEC remains dedicated to implementing these measures and ensuring that the capital market operators operate ethically, competently and transparently, fostering an environment of trust and security for all investors.