SEC, NSE review this database NOW!

In recent times, investors have been complaining that the contact telephone numbers supplied by registrars and stockbrokers are not functioning. What makes this a major issue is that most of these phone numbers were sourced from the one published by the Nigeria Stock Exchange and (NSE) and Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). This implies that some (not all) of the contact numbers of operators published by these regulatory bodies are obsolete. It also implies lack of effort to regularly review these contacts.
But it is a reflection of a larger problem in the market. Since the crash of the market in 2008, so many changes have happened in the market. Lots of capital market operators have closed shop, some suspended, some acquired, while some just disappeared. But most of these changes are yet to be reflected in most of the data base in the market, including that of SEC and NSE. This became obvious from complaints received from investors and our attempt to provide answers to them. For those who request for services of a stockbroker, we usually refer them to the website of NSE for the list of registered stockbrokers. We also rely on the data base of the SEC and others for information on mutual funds, and registrars. But sometimes, the information we get or give to investors turn out to be invalid or no longer functional.
This, however, is an attitudinal issue. What stops a capital market operator from providing functional phone numbers? Very few of the registrars have mobile phone numbers through which investors can reach them. We have made this case before, but it was ignored. Most of the people that suffer this are investors out of Lagos, who call these landline phone numbers without success. It is a reflection of the respect these operators have for investors- the small investors.
It is, however, the responsibilities of SEC and NSE to ensure that these operators provide multiple functioning avenues for easy access for investors. But a situation, where the two bodies do not even care to review the contact of these operators published on their website, how they would know that the contacts are not functioning, or inadequate for easy access by investors. Hence, we are throwing it as a challenge to SEC and NSE, if you so much care about the credibility and validity of the contact address and phone numbers of market operators you publish on your website, conduct a thorough review now. Furthermore, all the operators should be made to provide at least three mobile phone lines for investors’ access, and request for periodic reports on how these operators respond to investors complaints. The CBN has done that because it is passionate about protecting depositors. In the capital market, that is what SEC should also do if it is passionate about protecting investors.


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