SECP and PTA Join Forces to Tackle Illegal Lending Apps

The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) and the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) have taken a significant step towards combatting illegal lending apps by deciding to establish a joint monitoring and reporting mechanism. This collaborative effort aims to ensure timely and appropriate actions against such unlawful practices in the digital lending space.

To formalize this cooperation and strengthen their partnership, SECP Chairman Akif Saeed and PTA Chairman Major General (Retd) Hafeez Ur Rehman held a high-level meeting. During the productive discussions, they emphasized their commitment to enhancing collaboration to enhance the security of Pakistan’s digital landscape.

Recognizing the value of joint endeavors, both organizations agreed to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) as the basis for future collaborative initiatives. The MoU will play a pivotal role in fortifying the regulatory framework and addressing issues that fall under their respective jurisdictions. In particular, they focused on the need for a joint monitoring and reporting mechanism to address the challenges posed by illegal lending apps effectively.

In the meeting, Chairman Saeed briefed his counterpart about the SECP’s framework for digital lending apps and the role of cybersecurity auditors in ensuring the confidentiality and security requirements of these apps. He also highlighted the SECP’s publication of a whitelist on its website, which validates the legal status of digital lending apps operating in Pakistan. Moreover, he shared the SECP’s ongoing efforts to develop a robust cybersecurity framework in response to the growing digitization in the corporate and financial sectors, seeking feedback from the PTA.

The PTA chairman appreciated the SECP’s comprehensive regulatory framework for lending apps and specifically acknowledged the significance of data localization measures. Both regulators agreed to conduct a joint awareness campaign to educate the public about the risks associated with illegal digital lending apps, with the aim of protecting consumers from potential fraudulent practices.

By forging this alliance and signing the MoU, the SECP and the PTA are poised to tackle the challenges of illegal lending apps effectively and promote a more secure and reliable digital environment for the people of Pakistan.