SEC is scrutinizing overnight blockchain companies: chairman

UNTV News   •   January 24, 2018   •   3881

FILE PHOTO – Hard disks are pictured inside a server room at a company in Bangkok, Thailand, April 5, 2016. REUTERS/Athit Perawongmetha/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is scrutinizing public companies that change their name or business model in a bid to capitalize upon the hype surrounding blockchain technology, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton said on Monday.

Dozens of little-known companies across the globe have seen their share prices leap in recent months after unveiling plans to enter the bitcoin industry or that of its underlying distributed ledger blockchain technology.

In December, the SEC temporarily suspended trading in the shares of Crypto Company (CRCW.PK), a small firm that saw its stock rise more than 2,700 percent after signing a deal to buy a cryptocurrency data platform.

Clayton warned that it was not acceptable for companies without a meaningful track record in the sector to dabble in blockchain technology, change their name and immediately offer investors securities without providing adequate disclosures around the risks involved.

“The SEC is looking closely at the disclosures of public companies that shift their business models to capitalize on the perceived promise of distributed ledger technology and whether the disclosures comply with the securities laws, particularly in the case of an offering,” he told a conference on Monday.

The chairman also said the SEC had seen “disturbing” evidence that legal professionals have been wrongly counseling clients that initial coin offerings, whereby cryptocurrency start-ups solicit funds from investors who receive tokens in return, do not need to comply with federal securities law.

The SEC has previously said that such fundraisings should comply with securities law and has warned investors more broadly over the risks of cryptocurrency fraudsters.

“I have instructed the SEC staff to be on high alert for approaches to ICOs that may be contrary to the spirit of our securities laws and the professional obligations of the U.S. securities bar,” Clayton said.

Reporting by Michelle Price; Editing by Marguerita Choy

SEC to adopt zero face-to-face transaction policy amid COVID-19 case spike

Robie de Guzman   •   January 13, 2022

 

MANILA, Philippines — The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) announced it will be implementing a zero face-to-face transaction policy in its offices in Metro Manila starting Thursday, January 13.

In a notice issued on January 11, the SEC said the policy will be enforced in its main office within the PICC Complex in Pasay City and former headquarters along EDSA in Mandaluyong City, in  view of the fresh surge in COVID-19 cases in the region.

The policy will be in effect “until further notice.”

The commission said all applications for company registration, submissions of reportorial requirements, and other transactions will be accepted and processed through its online portals, email, courier and other remote means.

The SEC said it will maintain a skeleton workforce and implement other alternative work arrangements to ensure uninterrupted delivery of services despite the adjustments in its operations.

It advised the public to contact their hotline numbers or the concerned departments provided here for queries and other concerns.

SEC issues moratorium on registration of online lending platforms

Robie de Guzman   •   November 5, 2021

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said it has imposed a moratorium on the registration of new online lending platforms (OLP) of financing and lending companies.

In a statement, the SEC said the moratorium takes effect on Friday, November 5.

The commission on November 2 issued SEC Memorandum Circular No. 10, Series of 2021, which provides for the Moratorium on New Online Lending Platforms, ahead of the release of new rules that will govern the licensing and registration of the OLPs of financing and lending companies.

“We are currently crafting new guidelines that will allow lending and financing companies to better address the needs of borrowers and, at the same time, plug loopholes that give rise to abusive and predatory practices,” SEC Chairperson Emilio Aquino said in the same statement.

“We have seen the emergence of financial technology companies that engage in predatory lending, taking advantage of those struggling financially during the pandemic. The Commission will work toward stamping out these abusive financing and lending companies that do nothing but bury borrowers in even more debt,” he added.

The SEC said that OLPs that have been recorded prior to the moratorium, may continue to operate and be used for online lending or financing.

“The Commission will subject the existing OLPs to strict monitoring, audit and review to ensure their compliance with all applicable laws, rules, and regulations,” it added.

To date, the SEC has cancelled the licenses of 35 financing/lending companies due to various violations of applicable rules and regulations.

The commission also said that it has revoked the certificate of registration of a total of 2,081 lending companies for their failure to secure the requisite certificate of authority, pursuant to Republic Act No. 9474, or the Lending Company Regulation Act of 2007.

At least 58 online lending applications have likewise been ordered to cease operations for lack of authority to operate as a lending or financing company, the SEC said.

 

Court orders arrest of KAPA Ministry founder, execs for fraud raps

Robie de Guzman   •   February 12, 2020

KAPA Ministry founder Joel Apolinario

MANILA, Philippines – A court in Bislig City, Surigao del Sur has ordered the arrest of Kapa Community Ministry International Inc. founder and other group executives on charges of investment fraud, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) said Wednesday.

The Bislig City Regional Trial Court Branch 29 on February 11 issued warrants of arrest against Kapa founder and president Joel Apolinario, trustee Margie Danao and Corporate Secretary Reyna Apolinario along with promoter Marisol Diaz, Adelfa Fernandico, Moises Mopia and Reniones Catubigan.

In a statement, the SEC said the warrants of arrest were issued after prosecutors at the Department of Justice filed criminal charges against the group for violations of Republic Act 8799 or the Securities Regulation Code.

State prosecutors accused Kapa of “willfully, unlawfully and criminally” engaging in the selling or offering for sale or distribution of securities in the Philippines without a registration statement duly filed with and approved by the SEC. Kapa officials were also accused of promoting the investment scam.

In April 2019, the SEC revoked KAPA’s certificate of incorporation for serious misrepresentation of what it could do or was doing to the great prejudice of or damage to the general public.

Under its scheme, KAPA enticed the public to “donate” P10,000 in exchange for a 30% monthly “blessing” or “love gift” for life, without having to do anything other than shell out money and wait for the promised payout.

In June last year, the commission filed a criminal complaint against KAPA, for employing a Ponzi scheme, an investment program that offers impossibly high returns and pays investors using the money contributed by later investors.

In the same month, the SEC secured a freeze order from the Court of Appeals covering all bank funds and assets linked to the group.

Separate warrants of arrest against Fernandico and Mopia were issued by the Quezon City Regional Trial Court.

The SEC also reminded the public to exercise more caution and discernment as certain supporters and promoters of KAPA peddled false information about the group’s supposed revival.

REACH US

The Philippine Broadcast Hub

UNTV, 915 Barangay Philam,

EDSA, Quezon City M.M. 1104

(+632) 8396-8688 (Tel)

info@untv-newsandrescue.com (General inquiries)

ABOUT UNTV

UNTV is a major TV broadcast network with 24-hour programming. An Ultra High Frequency station with strong brand content that appeal to everyone, UNTV is one of the most trusted and successful Philippine networks that guarantees wholesome and quality viewing experience.