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23.11.2007 General News

Review Securities Industry Law - SEC

By Times Reporter - newtimesonline.com
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DR Nii Kwaku Sowa, acting Director General of Securities and Exchange Commis-sion(SEC), on Monday said sections of the law that established the Commission, especially the section mandating it to act on instructions from the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, should be expunged.

Section 140 of the Securities Industry Law (PNDC Law 333), that established the Commission, states that 'The Secretary of (Finance) may give to the Commission directions of a general or specific character as to the exercise of the Commission’s functions; and it shall be the duty of the Commission to give effect to any such directives.'

Speaking on the Topic: 'Improving the Legal and Regulatory Framework of the Financial Services Sector: A Case for an Independent Financial Regulator,' at the 11th National Banking Conference, Dr Sowa said the review was not for political expediency but to bring to bear international best practices in regulation of the country’s financial sector.

'This aspect of the law and other sections need to be removed to bring the Commis-sion’s regulatory functions in line with international best practices and also send the right signals to the investor community that the country is ripe for investment.'

Dr Sowa said in view of the weak nature of the law, the Securities Exchange Commission had been put in category ‘B’ an indication that much more needed to be done to move it into the same bracket with countries, which had history of best practices.

He said the case for strong checks and balances had become even more urgent now in view of the rapid innovations taking place within the financial sector in order to ensure that market participants played by the rules and also to prevent such changes leading to market failure.

Dr Sowa called for a universal regulatory agency, which would be a one-stop shop for dealing with matters of financial regulation as the practice pertaining in most parts of the world.

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