SGX RegCo to focus on meaningful regulation, says chief

Chief executive Tan Boon Gin said SGX RegCo aims to be more proactive in listening to feedback.
Chief executive Tan Boon Gin said SGX RegCo aims to be more proactive in listening to feedback.

The new unit set up to handle stock market regulatory functions is not looking to put in place more rules.

Instead, the focus will be on meaningful regulation, said Singapore Exchange Regulation (SGX RegCo) chief executive Tan Boon Gin. The RegCo, mooted a year ago and officially established last month, is preparing to take over all of SGX's regulatory functions by August.

Mr Tan, speaking recently at the Thomson Reuters Asean Regulatory Summit 2017, listed three factors which make for meaningful regulation. Firstly, the regulator needs to balance its role as a watchdog, protecting investors against market failure, with its role as a market shaper, to grow and develop the markets.

Its policymaking should also be informed by views from all market participants, he said, adding that SGX RegCo aims to be more proactive in listening to feedback.

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Finally, in order for regulation to be meaningful to all market participants, the regulator must be willing to be more open and transparent.

"We know that the market is sensitive to regulatory changes, and we will endeavour to signal major changes clearly and well in advance to give the market time to react. So from now on, the market can expect greater certainty in terms of timing and pace of regulatory change," he added.

Mr Tan also said the pace of global regulatory change in the last few years has been "unrelenting" and regulators have to continue evolving to keep up. Major rule changes are often event-driven and, over time, people might forget why they were implemented, he noted.

"We need to drill down to the precise mischief the rule was intended to address, and see whether it is still relevant today. Equally importantly, we need to see whether there have been other changes in the regulatory framework which make the rule less obligatory now."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 15, 2017, with the headline 'SGX RegCo to focus on meaningful regulation, says chief'. Print Edition | Subscribe