Local financial regulators and foreign counterparts meet | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

Local financial regulators and foreign counterparts meet

The workshop in progress
The workshop in progress

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) hosted a five-day Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Financial Regulators Training Initiative (FRTI) at the Cinnamon Grand hotel, on ‘Enforcement and Litigation’ recently.

The APEC Finance Ministers endorsed the setting up of the FRTI to enhance training efforts for Financial Regulators at National and regional levels. To implement APEC FRTI, a secretariat was set up at the Asian Development Bank (ADB) Headquarters in Manila, Philippines and is responsible for coordinating the design of the training programs, sourcing presenters, and implementing training activities.

The APEC FRTI provides a sustainable, efficient, cost-effective training structure for junior and mid-level staff of financial supervisory and regulatory agencies, and Stock and Derivative Exchanges.

Financial regulators are faced with many challenges as a result of Information Technology, new forms of financial crime, use of virtual currencies and digitalisation of services. The seminar was designed for financial market regulators and provided participants with an overview on how to use enforcement powers to deal with unlawful conduct and deter potential misconduct said Director General of the SEC Vajira Wijegunawardane. Project Coordinator, APEC FRTI Secretariat, Sue Jeffrey, also addressed the gathering.

“The SEC has long enjoyed robust and healthy relations with its counterparts in the Asia Pacific, and our alliance with the FRTI has been a particularly fruitful one,” he said.

“Our aim ultimately is to put in place a regulatory framework within which swift and decisive action is the norm of the day and which serves as a credible deterrent to unscrupulous actors in our market.

The dialogues we hope to set in motion at the Regional Seminar and at other future events in the same vein, will doubtless serve as catalysts towards this end,” Wijegunawardane said.

Over 60 participants from local regulatory organisations such as the Colombo Stock Exchange, Attorney General’s Department, Financial Intelligence Unit of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka and SEC as well as regional participants from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines, Nepal, Thailand, Cambodia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea attended the seminar.

The resource personnel comprised Senior Criminal Intelligence Advisor, Criminal Intelligence Unit, Australian Securities and Investments Commission, David Watson and Chief Trial Attorney, Division of Enforcement, US Commodity Futures Trading Commission, John Einstman. The Director, Litigation, SEC Sri Lanka Chinthaka Mendis conducted a presentation on Sri Lanka financial service Cases and litigation on the 4th day of the workshop.

The seminar included examination of enforcement case studies to decide on enforcement action, components of an effective enforcement program, cross border investigations, enforcement and dispute settlement and limitation of international litigation.