ESCCOM and FSRA Sign MoU to Enhance Financial Services Regulation

By Phiwa Sikhondze

The Eswatini Communications Commission (ESCCOM) and the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate on regulating non-bank financial services delivered through electronic communications.

The ceremony held today marked a commitment to collaboration between the two regulatory bodies. The MoU aims to enhance cooperation in regulating and supervising financial services offered through electronic communication platforms. It aims to address the challenges and opportunities presented by the digital economy, particularly in non-bank financial services.

The ESCCOM Chief Executive, Mvilawemphi Dlamini, highlighted the increasing recognition by financial institutions of the competitive edge provided by technology-based services, evidenced by the surge in online payment platforms and mobile money services.

He described the MoU between ESCCOM and FSRA as a strategic response to the challenges of balancing efficiency, competition, and consumer protection in the digital non-bank financial sector. The MOU underscores a commitment to collaborative regulation, dialogue on risk management, and capacity building to enhance economic development and maintain the integrity of financial systems.

“The exponential growth of digitalization and internet connectivity is the backbone of the fourth industrial revolution, which is permeating numerous sectors of the global economy and impacting sectors such as non-bank financial services.  The digital economy has enabled new internet-based business models with lower costs of operation that have significantly widened the reach among consumers.  The two authorities will foster open dialogue on operational and technology risk supervision, anti-money laundering, combating the financing of terrorism and proliferation, and cybersecurity.”

Dlamini continued. “As data becomes an even more important source of market power in digital non-bank financial services, a trade-off between efficiency, competition, and privacy, consumer protection arises. It is for this reason that the two authorities have found it prudent to conclude this MOU.”

Meanwhile, FSRA CEO, Ncamiso Ntshalintshali expressed delight during the signing. “This MoU represents a pivotal moment in our efforts to facilitate mutual assistance, information sharing, and enhance cooperation in regulating and supervising financial services offered through electronic communication platforms.”

Ntshalintshali emphasized the critical need for regulatory bodies to adapt and work together to manage risks and ensure fair access to financial services. He noted that the collaboration between ESCCOM and FSRA is aimed at maintaining market integrity, supporting efficient service providers, and making regulated services accessible to all. The CEO expressed gratitude to those who contributed to this initiative, highlighting their role in fostering a transparent and sustainable financial ecosystem.

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