SEC hosts APEC FRTI Regional Seminar on Enforcement and Litigation

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Sri Lanka (SEC) hosted a five day Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Financial Regulators Training Initiative (FRTI) from 12th to 16th November 2018 at the Cinnamon Grand Colombo on “Enforcement and Litigation”

The APEC Finance Ministers endorsed the establishment of the FRTI to enhance training efforts for Financial Regulators at national and regional levels.

To implement APEC FRTI, a Secretariat was established at Asian Development Bank (ADB) Headquarters in Manila, Philippines and is responsible for coordinating the design of the training programs, sourcing presenters and implementing the training activities.

The APEC FRTI provides a sustainable, efficient, cost-effective training structure for junior and mid-level staff of financial supervisory and regulatory agencies and stock and derivative exchanges.

Financial regulators are faced with many challenges as a result of Information Technology, new forms of financial crime, use of virtual currencies and digitalization of services. The seminar was designed for financial market regulators and provided participants with a comprehensive overview on how to use enforcement powers to deal with unlawful conduct and deter potential misconduct.

The opening remarks were delivered by Mr. Vajira Wijegunawardane, Director General, SEC and Mrs.  Sue Jeffrey, Project Coordinator, APEC FRTI Secretariat also addressed the gathering. Mr. Wijegunawardane commended the initiative and stated that “The SEC has long enjoyed robust and healthy relations with its counterparts in the Asia Pacific, and our alliance with the APEC Financial Regulators’ Training Initiative or FRTI  has been a particularly fruitful one.”

He also went on to say that “Our aim ultimately is to put in place a regulatory framework within which swift and decisive action is the norm of the day and which serves as a credible deterrent to unscrupulous actors in our market. The dialogues we hope to set in motion at this Regional Seminar and at other future events in the same vein will doubtless serve as catalysts towards this end. “

Over 60 Participants from local regulatory organizations such as the Colombo Stock Exchange, Attorney General’s Department, Financial Intelligence Unit of Central Bank of Sri Lanka and SEC as well as regional participants from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Philippines, Nepal, Thailand, Cambodia, Kazakhstan, Malaysia and Papua New Guinea attended the seminar.

The resource personnel comprised of Mr. David Watson, Senior Criminal Intelligence Advisor, Criminal Intelligence Unit, Australian Securities and Investments Commission and Mr. John Einstman, Chief Trial Attorney, Division of Enforcement, U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission. Mr Chinthaka Mendis, Director, Litigation, SEC Sri Lanka conducted a presentation on Sri Lanka financial service cases and litigation on the 4thday of the workshop.

The agenda for the seminar included examination of enforcement case studies to decide on enforcement action, components of an effective enforcement programme, cross border investigations, enforcement and dispute settlement and limitation of international litigation.