lahore - The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP), in exercise of its powers under the Broker and Agents Registration Rules, 2001, has suspended the registration of five brokerage houses on charges of non-compliance with the various provisions of the Broker and Agents Registration Rules pertaining to investor rights. The registration of the following brokerage houses will remain suspended, in the public interest and for the protection of investors and to preserve capital market integrity, till claims against them in light of the investors complaints could be ascertained and settled. The suspended brokerage houses included Eastern Capital, Prudential Securities, Clik trade Limited, MKA Securities and Capital One Securities. According to a press release, the SECP stated that an impartial enquiry into the business affairs of these brokerage houses will be conducted to ascertain the quantum and geniuses of investors complaints, in accordance with law. SECP has introduced a number of capital market reforms over the past years aimed at providing increased investor protection and minimization of manipulative elements in the market. However, during the recent past, SECP as well as the Karachi Stock Exchange (KSE) received substantial number of investor complaints/ claims, majority of which pertained to non-transfer of shares to the investors CDC Accounts and non-payment of funds, which can be attributed to the unauthorized pledge/ transfer of securities by some of the stock brokers. Taking cognizance of the matter, SECP advised these brokers to expedite resolution of pending investor complaints/ claims and issued instructions for the immediate transfer of clients shares to their respective CDC account. Furthermore, SECP advised KSE in its capacity as the front-line regulator to submit a concrete proposal for the efficient and equitable resolution of unresolved investors complaints/claims. In the meanwhile, SECP in the pubic interest and for the protection of investors imposed restrictions on opening of new CDC sub-accounts and registration of new UINs by these brokerage houses. This restriction was however immediately removed for those brokerage houses who were able to resolved all pending investor claims/complaints registered against them. Taking into consideration that no concrete steps were taken by these brokers despite ample time granted, SECP issued notices to the abovementioned five brokerage houses and provided them with another opportunity of representation before the Commission on June 25, 2009. However, when these brokerage houses failed to put forth any concrete time-bound action plans and take tangible measures for the resolution of outstanding investors claims, then SECP, using its regulatory powers, issued orders for the suspension of registration of the above mentioned brokers.