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SEC Tasks Investors On E-Dividend Registration

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) at the weekend re-iterated the need for investors in the nation’s capital market to register for e-dividend so that they can receive the benefits of their investments in the capital market.

The commission’s Executive Commissioner Operations, Mr. Dayo Obisan, gave the charge during an interview in Abuja.

Obisan said the registration was necessary to reduce the unclaimed dividends profile as well as increase liquidity in the capital market and the economy.

He disclosed that the e-dividend mandate forms were available on the commission’s website, registrars and even in some banking halls and therefore enjoined investors to download the forms, fill them out and submit to be mandated for e-dividend.

He further clarified: “The forms are readily available on the SEC website, the registrars also have the forms on their websites, even some banks have them in their banking halls. We, therefore, enjoin investors to download the forms, fill them out and submit, if they have any problems, they can readily reach the SEC through our various contacts. Once we receive such complaints, we will be able to put them in the right part of what to do to ensure they are mandated for e-dividend.

“Remember that they are not only going to receive their current dividend. Once they are successfully mandated, past dividends will be paid as well. We want investors to be able to get the benefits of their investments as that would also help to attract more investors to the market as well as deepen the market”, the investment expert added

The Executive Commissioner also restated the commission’s commitment to protecting investors, adding that this necessitated the release of the directive on Know Your Customer Update to Capital Market Operators.

The SEC recently reminded Capital Market Operators of the Commission’s directives on update of investors’ Know Your Customer information which it said is still in effect describing the exercise as critical to deepening the participation of retail investors and therefore directed all CMOs to accord it the highest level of priority.

Obisan expatiated: “It is quite important to let the public know that all these details the Commission is requesting them to complete is for their own benefit. As a regulator, yours is to create an enabling environment and to protect the investor, and you can only direct the operators i.e. the registrars, brokers or every other person that falls under your regulation to ensure that they don’t frustrate that process which is why at the Capital Market Committee meeting, one of the resolutions was that any operator that actually frustrates the unclaimed dividend process will be heavily sanctioned.

“In a couple of weeks we will start seeing some vivid steps taken towards that direction because these are benefits directly attributed to people that have carved out of their income and decided to invest in the capital market. They must directly get the benefit of that investment. Every person’s activity must be seen to complement the effort of the regulator to ensure that they reap the fruit of their own labor.

“I will use this medium to appeal to investors to complete this KYC as it is for their own benefit. We have spoken with the leadership of the Trade Groups and they have gone ahead to do adverts on this issue just to be able to reach a large number of investors. If you are in doubt, speak to your broker or call the SEC and we will be able to guide you”, the commissioner added.

e-Dividend is the process of paying dividends due to shareholders through a direct credit into their chosen bank account electronically rather than the issuance of dividend warrant through the postal system.

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