ISLAMABAD                    -                National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue on Thursday has recommended the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) to review its new SRO regime, which is affecting small stock exchange brokers.

National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs was held under the chairmanship of MNA Faiz Ullah. President, Pakistan Stock Exchange, Broker House Karachi and few other stakeholders expressed their concerns over the design of new regime.

They were of the stance that said SRO (New Regime) will affect the small stock exchange brokers and it will further create monopoly of gigantic brokers. Some members of the Committee were of the view that subject regulations will provide protection to investors.

After threadbare discussion the Committee recommended that Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan should review its policy with the consultations of stakeholders and will submit its report to the Committee in 15 days.

Earlier, the Committee discussed about the new policy regime introduced by Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), regarding stock brokers and broker Houses. The Commissioner, SECP briefed the Committee about the salient features of new policy, wherein he explained the measure taken for the improvement of stock market by the government.

He said that new regime will be based on categorization of brokers into three categories: Trading & Clearing (T&C), Trading & Self-Clearing (TSC) and trading Only (TO), T&C &SC categories permitted to retain custody of client assets whereas TO broker to only keep custody of its proprietary book, directors and sponsors and their close relatives, Migration to an effective risk-based compliance culture and said New Regime was also based on the regulatory framework implemented in 2016.

The Chairman, Security Exchange Commission of Pakistan informed that proper consultation in that regard has already been made by the SECP with number of stakeholders (Stock Brokers) for last ten months. He also explained the objectives of the new regime i.e. increased in number of brokers, improvement of governance and internal controls, compliance with AML/CFT requirements, ease of doing business and commercial viability of brokers and to enabling the small investors to concentrate on their core competence etc.

The SECP significantly revised the regulations in following areas minimum net worth requirement for Trading and Self-Clearing (TSC) broker has been reduced from Rs150 million to Rs75 million. Requirement on TSC broker to comply with the Code of Corporate Governance for listed companies (Code) has been removed. Requirement on TSC broker to appoint at least two independent directors has been relaxed with at least one only. Requirement on TSC broker for minimum qualification of Chief Financial Officer and Head of Internal Audit has been removed. 

Requirement on TSC broker to constitute audit committee has been relaxed and more simplified provisions will be specified by SECP. TSC broker has been given the flexibility to appoint an auditor either from category A or B of SBP panel. The regime shall be implemented once at least three T&C brokers or PCM is available. T&C brokers shall be required to submit expression of interest which shall include feasibility study, system and human resource requirements, operational and risk management model, legal documentation requirements, arrangement to ensure confidentiality of trading and customer related information of TO brokers and proposed fee structure

The Committee decided to defer agenda pertaining to budgetary proposals of the Ministry of Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs relating to Public Sector Development Program (PSDP)  for the  financial year 2020-21, as required under rule 201(6) of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the National Assembly 2007, due to short of time.

The meeting was attended by MNAs Makhdoom Syed Sami-ul-Hassan Gillani, Syed Naveed Qamar, Mr. Jamil Ahmed Khan, Mr. Faheem Khan, Dr. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani, Mr. Qaiser Ahmed Sheikh, Mr. Ali Pervaiz, Dr. Aisha Ghaus Pasha, Ms. Hina Rabbani Khar and Ms. Nafisa Shah, besides the senior officers from Ministry of Finance and SECP.