ISLAMABAD: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) has revised the Non-Banking Finance Companies and Notified Entities Regulations, 2008, with a view to promote the development of the digital financial environment and financial inclusion.

The SECP has carried out a thorough analysis of current regulations to remove redundancies and exercised broad public consultation to propose amendments in the regulations. The focus was to address market requirements, provide ease of doing business through digitalization, and protect the interests of NBPCs’ customers.

For the introduction of digital fund management, lending platforms, and trustee services, enabling provisions have been made. These provisions are designed to make it easier for digital technologies to be used in order to increase accessibility, efficacy, and cost-effectiveness.

Amendments have been introduced to ensure AMCs will inform unit holders of account activity and keep client information confidential, as well as a time frame for dividend distributions and provisions for borrower protection for lending NBFCs have been introduced.

Investment advisors are allowed to offer portfolio management services to any investor, but must formulate a risk management policy and contingency plan approved by their Board of Directors for better risk management, accountability, board oversight, and client protection.

Non-deposit-taking NBFCs have been given greater flexibility in determining their exposure limits, as the total unsecured exposure limit of 100% of equity has been removed. Additionally, new licenced lending NBFCs have been given one year to meet the minimum investment requirement in their core businesses. Further, the time to file CEO applications has been extended from 10 days to 30 days.

The procedures have been simplified by eliminating redundant provisions and expressions and introducing a consolidated fit and proper criterion, affidavit, or undertaking. The application of Fit & Proper Carteria has been made necessary for pension fund managers (insurance companies).

The SECP believes these amendments will create a more conducive environment for the Non-Banking Finance Services industry, leading to increased investment opportunities for the investors.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


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