SCA’s remote inspection initiative yields high satisfaction rates

SCA participates in a workshop to transfer its experience to over fifty financial sector representatives from across the globe

As part of the efforts of the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) to ensure business continuity, and of the precautionary measures taken to maintain public health and safety, SCA’s Supervision and Compliance Department has begun implementing the remote inspection initiative since early last March.

This initiative aims to strengthen the initiatives already launched by SCA in response to directives from the Cabinet to limit the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic on various sectors of the economy. It also forms part of the measures taken to support financial markets and the national economy. This move reflects SCA’s commitment to its operational and strategic plans and to its priorities, in line with the National Agenda.

According to the initiative, modern technology is used to access corporate servers and perform audits as per the inspection plan’s requirements and targets and in a manner that enables the department to continue to ensure the compliance of the entities falling under SCA’s supervision with the applicable laws and regulations.

The Supervision and Compliance Department has been measuring the impact of the initiative and its key outcomes, in collaboration with the Regulatory Policies and Future Foresight Section. A survey revealed that the satisfaction rate reported by the first remotely-inspected company was 85 percent, which is an outstanding percentage considering that this is the first time a company is 100 percent remotely- inspected. All other companies will be inspected over the coming period and will be surveyed for their satisfaction with this experience.

It is worth mentioning that the department’s experiment will be presented at a virtual workshop held by the Global Financial Innovation Network (GFIN) next August in an effort to explain the experiment and transfer SCA’s experience in inspection to participants in the workshop. The GFIN brings together over 55 financial sector representatives from across the globe and aims to facilitate the sharing of countries’ experiences in the financial sector and to bring innovation to regulations and technologies.

With the support of the wise government, SCA has previously introduced a package of initiatives including amending the limit down on share prices to 5 percent (with no change to the limit up), developing a mechanism to facilitate buybacks for listed companies, granting companies a 45-day grace period to disclose the 2019 audited annual financial statements, postponing the disclosure of the first quarter financial statements until the scheduled disclosure of the second quarter statements on June 30,  reaffirming that short selling is prohibited, and approving remote general meetings of public joint stock companies and electronic voting on resolutions.

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