Authored by: Seun Timi-Koleolu and Baraebibai L. Ekpebu
Regulators of financial service sectors all over the world grapple with the overwhelming effect of disruptive technologies which have left policymakers and academics alike scratching their heads in search of a coherent set of regulatory remedies. This trend also applies to Nigeria, as evident by the recent directive of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), that fintech companies facilitating trade in foreign listed securities, should desist from offering such securities to the Nigerian public through the fiat of registered Capital Market Operators.
From a neutral point of view, the above-mentioned platforms which include companies like Bamboo, Chaka, Risevest, etc. have so far offered Nigerians an opportunity that was hard to imagine not too long ago; the ability to invest in some of the juiciest foreign stocks, bonds, and other securities from US companies like Apple, Amazon, Tesla, Facebook, PayPal, etc. with a few swipes on a mobile phone, thereby expanding their investment reach beyond the borders of Nigeria.
As can be expected, this SEC directive on local trading of foreign securities is viewed from different perspectives by concerned Nigerians. This article aims to analyse the rationale/implications of SEC’s recent directive.