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SEC pushes for scam-free future as it celebrates IOSCO World Investor Week

THE Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is calling on the public to secure their financial future by becoming smart investors, as it joins the celebration of World Investor Week from October 4 to 10.

The World Investor Week is a global campaign by the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) that encourages securities regulators to put a spotlight on efforts to promote investor protection. This year’s theme focuses on sustainable finance and the prevention of frauds and scams.

“The SEC is pleased to take part in this year’s World Investor Week, taking cues from the IOSCO’s mission to boost financial literacy in order to promote sustainable economic growth and prevent the spread of scam and fraud among the investing public,” SEC Chairperson Emilio B. Aquino said.

“We recognize the importance and continue to strive for a scam-free financial environment, which will only be possible if we work together with the public in exposing and avoiding fraudulent schemes.”

As of October 5, the SEC has issued 87 advisories against groups and individuals who have been soliciting investments from the public without the necessary license from the Commission. A total of 126 and 50 advisories were issued in 2020 and 2019, respectively.

The Commission has also issued four cease-and-desist orders against 15 groups and individuals, including Chiyuto Creative Wealth Documentation Facilitation Services and Royal O’ Consultancy Services, for their unauthorized investment-taking activities during the same period.

Further, the SEC currently has 48 cases pending in court for violations of Republic Act No. 8799, or The Securities Regulation Code (SRC). So far, a total of 187 individuals have been charged with violations of the SRC, with the SEC securing 17 judgments of convictions against 19 individuals meted with a total of imprisonment of 572 years and  a total fine of P25 million imposed by various courts.

The SEC is encouraging the public to heed the IOSCO’s guidelines in becoming an investor, so that they may protect their hard-earned money and avoid fraudulent entities.

The IOSCO defines a smart investor as one who researches investment opportunities independently, avoids “get rich quick” schemes, and never discloses personal information on an unexpected call or other communication.

A smart investor should also verify that the investment professional they are transacting with is duly licensed; understand the risks that exists in all investments, and plan for investments based on their future needs and goals.

Moreover, a smart investor realizes the value of sustainable finance, whether it be environmental, social, and governance investing, socially responsible investing, or impact investing.

The Commission formally opened the celebration of World Investor Week in the Philippines through a bell-ringing ceremony in partnership with the Philippine Stock Exchange on October 6.

On October 8, the SEC will host a free webinar on how to spot and unmask investment scams, which will be livestreamed on the Facebook page of the Commission and the SEC Campaign Network Partners.

The SEC will continue to host different events throughout the month of October, as it prepares for the celebration of Investor Protection Week from November 8 to 12.

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