Nigeria’s SEC warns brokers against inducement marketing

SEC

Nigeria’s capital markets regulator, the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, has issued warning at brokers fond of inducing non market operators with fees/commission to gain clients.

The SEC said in a statement that:

The attention of the Securities and Exchange Commission (the Commission) has been drawn to an emerging trend of unethical conduct by Brokers, Issuing Houses/Book Runners and other Receiving Agents in primary and secondary market transactions by inducing investment through the sharing of brokerage fees or receiving agents commission with private banking officers, asset/fund managers, PFA’s and other institutional investor classes who are not duly registered or recognized by the Commission as being eligible to be paid commission.

Notice is hereby issued that only capital market operators duly registered by the Commission are eligible to be paid brokerage fee/receiving agents’ commission and such Operators shall not pay or offer a percentage of the commission earned from services provided in a transaction as an incentive for investment.

Any capital market operator found to engage in this practice or similar acts shall be subject to strict regulatory actions in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Commission.

The public is enjoined to utilize the Commission’s whistle blowing mechanism to provide information on any known or suspected case for necessary action.

The SEC must have uncovered countless cases of this sharp practice before it issued the warning.

The Commission did not mention how it discovered the wrongdoing. People familiar with the matter said it could have discovered the underhand dealing via its whistle blowing feedback mechanism.

No brokerage or capital market operator was named as culprits, a market analysis who spoke to PageOne’s business desk anonymously said the practice is a common knowledge but it is unethical for various reasons including conflict of interest.