SEC partners with ADB, US in catching scammers

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is collaborating with international organizations to beef up its enforcement capabilities in pursuit of its mandate to protect the public from securities fraud and other forms of investment scams. 

SEC Philippines, in partnership with the US SEC and the Asian Development Bank (ADB), hosted the conduct of an International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) Workshop and Investigation and Enforcement Training Workshop at the SEC headquarters in Makati.

The SEC Philippines hosted workshops in partnership with its US counterpart, the Asian Development Bank, and the International Organization of Securities Commissions to aid in improving the enforcement skills of the Commission.

The workshop aimed to strengthen the capability of the SEC Philippines’ enforcement personnel in conducting investigations on securities-related crimes such as insider trading, market manipulation, off-market fraud, and crypto scams. 

The SEC Philippines also facilitated the IOSCO Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding (MMoU) Concerning Consultation and Cooperation and the Exchange of Information Public Workshop 2023. 

“Scammers are becoming more advanced and sophisticated in their techniques as new technologies arise. As such, the SEC must constantly improve its investigation and enforcement capabilities to ensure that we are always one step ahead in preventing scams,” SEC Chairperson Emilio B. Aquino said. 

He added that, “we are grateful for the U.S. SEC, ADB, and IOSCO for sharing their experiences and learnings with us and other law enforcement agencies in the Philippines, which will surely guide us as we pursue more programs and activities toward the protection of the investing public.” 

Paul Gumagay, Associate Director for Operations and Technical Assistance in the US SEC Office of International Affairs (OIA); Tom Swiers, Branch Chief in the OIA; and Glenn Gordon, Associate Regional Director of the US SEC Miami Regional Office shared their experiences and techniques in apprehending investment scammers and filing court cases against scammers.

The US SEC representatives, together with a delegation from the SEC Philippines led by Aquino, also paid a courtesy visit to House Speaker Ferdinand Martin G. Romualdez and Senate President Juan Miguel Zubiri to seek support in strengthening the Commission’s enforcement powers by crafting laws that comply with the standards set by the IOSCO in forwarding the interests of financial consumers and fostering international cooperation. 

Established in 1983, IOSCO is recognized as the global standard setter for the securities sector, as it allows for international securities regulators to cooperate on capital market development and stability.

Last Aug. 18, the SEC Philippines, US SEC, and ADB held the IOSCO MMoU Concerning Consultation and Cooperation and the Exchange of Information Public Workshop 2023. 

The MMoU is a multilateral instrument established in 2002 that provides for cross-border cooperation among its signatories, particularly on information exchange, for the purpose of regulatory enforcement regarding the securities market. 

Gumagay and Swiers, and ADB Principal Financial Sector Specialist Ahmad Faris Rabidin led the workshop, where they discussed the implications, responsibilities, and benefits of tapping into the global network of the IOSCO, especially, on information sharing.