Stanbic IBTC/FRC Face-off: Capital Market Operators Seek Regulatory Synergy

Some capital market operators on Thursday said that regulatory synergy among the different arms of financial markets and industry regulators was needed for economic growth and development.

They said the Securities and Exchange Commission, Nigerian Stock Exchange, Central Bank of Nigeria and Financial Reporting Council (FRC) and other regulators should work together for economic development and sustainability.

They spoke against the backdrop of Stanbic IBTC issue with FRC, leading to suspended registration of four of its directors.

Mr Okechukwu Unegbu, former President, Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN), said that regulators needed to collaborate in the interest of the market and economy in general.

Unegbu said that investors’ confidence should be paramount in regulations, adding that regulators should be mindful of things that would dampen confidence.

He said that the media should not be awash with things that would affect investor confidence, noting that there were ways of disciplining erring companies without heating up the polity.

Rasheed Yussuf, the Managing Director, Trust Yield Investment Ltd., said that regulators should work together to avoid regulatory controversy.

Yussuf said that regulatory controversy was not good for the market because ``it brings about cautious trading leading to drop in equities prices’’.

He said that the market had gone through hard times and that further regulatory controversy would erode investor confidence.

Gbadebo Olatokunbo, a founding member, Nigeria Shareholders Solidarity Association, said that regulators should avoid radicalism in their regulations.

Olatokunbo said that regulatory agencies were the parameter with which investors measure the country’s institutions under their supervision.

“The current state of the nation’s economy requires diligence, vision and serious determination to rebuild it and cannot accommodate costly outburst of radicalism,’’ Olatokunbo said.

The FRC recently suspended the registration of four directors of Stanbic IBTC and that of its audit engagement partner, KPMG.

FRC had requested that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) investigate Stanbic IBTC and KPMG Professional Services for financial misstatements.

The organisation in a report on Oct. 26 suspended the registration of four directors of Stanbic IBTC and that of its audit engagement partner, KPMG, until KPMG’s innocence is ascertained.

The CBN on Nov. 2 faulted the regulatory decisions taken by the FRC against Stanbic IBTC Holdings Plc.

The position of the CBN was contained in a letter written to FRC, dated Nov. 2, and signed by Mr Godwin Emefiele, the apex bank governor.

myfinancialintelligence.com