Nigerian regulator bans BGL Securities over market abuses
- SEC also said it has banned Albert Okumagba, the Managing Director of BGL Securities, for 20 years.
The Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has revoked the registration and operational licence of BGL Securities Limited and BGL Asset Management Limited for breach of capital market rules.
In the order announced on Thursday, SEC also said it has banned both Albert Okumagba, the Managing Director of BGL Securities, and Chibundu Edozie, the Deputy Managing Director, for 20 years for violating the code of conduct for market operators. Okumagba and Edozie were fined N100,000 each.
In addition to cancelling its licence, SEC said it has further fined BGL Securities Limited and BGL Asset Management Limited a total of N27 million for breaching the code of conduct for capital market operators and their employees.
About 22 employees of the two companies have also been banned for various terms and fined several amounts by SEC. Three accused persons were, however, discharged as the allegations against them were not substantiated.
The move by SEC came after the Commission upheld the decisions of its administrative proceedings committee on a matter brought against BGL Securities and BGL Asset Management by Afolabi Gabriel Oluwaseyi and nine others over an alleged failure to liquidate investments in both the companies’ Guaranteed Consolidated Notes (GCN) and Guaranteed Premium Notes (GPN).
Upon investigation of the complaints, SEC said its administrative committee, which began sitting on February 6th 2016, discovered that BGL Securities and BGL Asset Management owed the petitioners about N2.185 billion.
Furthermore, SEC said although BGL Securities is registered with the Commission as a broker/dealer in securities, the company has no registration as a fund or portfolio manager. More so, GCN and GPN were not registered with the Commission and therefore “operated as a fraud and deceit to the investing public.”
“[BGL Securities] and its employees neither possessed the requisite authority nor the necessary skill needed to market, sell and manage these products as they were registered by the Commission as broker/dealers,” SEC said.
The securities regulator said by their actions or omissions, Okumagba and BGL used other convicted persons to engage in acts capable of adversely affecting the investing public’s image and confidence in the capital market.
In line with the provisions of Section 304 of the Investments and Securities Act 2007, SEC said all affected persons have been referred to its enforcement department as well as all appropriate law enforcement agencies, including the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.
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