Welcome Remarks at the SC x SC Fintech Conference (SCxSC)
5 October 2020  |   By: Datuk Syed Zaid Albar, Chairman, Securities Commission Malaysia
Welcome Remarks by Datuk Syed Zaid Albar 
Chairman, Securities Commission Malaysia 
SC x SC Fintech Conference (SCxSC)
5 October 2020

Good morning Ladies and Gentlemen,

1.

And welcome to the SC x SC Fintech Conference. And it is my pleasure to welcome all of you to this 7th iteration and the first time it is held virtually.

2. Given it is a tech event it is only fitting we use technology to connect. And I am very grateful we are still able to proceed with the support of our partners - Rakuten Trade, MDEC and of course members of the media.
3. Going virtual has brought advantages, for example, we can now accommodate 5,000 participants. And it has allowed us to bring on board experts from all around the world - the United States, Australia, United Kingdom, the Middle East and, of course here, from Malaysia, to share perspectives on digital trends. So a warm welcome to you as well.
4. Over the next three days, we are going to provide you insight on a broad range of topics and there are so many, but a couple are worth spelling out in detail. For eg, how Malaysian Fintechs have weathered the pandemic, we are going to be looking at the future financial architecture; cryptocurrencies and digital assets through the lens of Islamic finance; and also challenges and opportunities in data portability. So, a broad range of topics.
5. Our exhibitors are also online this year; and you can see them showcasing a suite of solutions. We have exhibitors from fund management, crowdfunding, digital assets and cloud services. I invite you to explore the platform you are on and to engage with exhibitors, network with participants, use the chat functions and make absolutely the most of this conference.
6. Now it is also interesting that you are also getting younger. SC x SC continues to attract much younger demographic; last year 40% under the age of 35 and this year 60% of you are under the age of 35. And you are from industry segments such as the financial industry, MSMEs, academicians, advisers and consultants, students and NGOs.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
7. Now in opening the conference, I'd like to focus on 3 areas, first digitisation, second retail participation and third alternative fundraising.
8. Let's turn to digitization, first. We have seen rapid adoption of digital technologies across every economic sector. Companies have relied on digital tools and means to reach out to customers, as well as to ensure uninterrupted operations due to the physical limitations imposed.
9. SC has been a strong and consistent advocate of digital innovation. We have been working closely with industry, during this pandemic to roll-out numerous digital initiatives to meet immediate market needs.
10. We are encouraging partnerships, between our intermediaries and e-services providers, such as e-commerce platforms and e-wallets, to widen distribution of capital market products.
11. At the recently held industry dialogue sessions we heard directly from Fintech players about their experiences and efforts to raise awareness and ensure continued investor access. That awareness and interest in online products and services has only increased during the lockdown.
12.

There is clearly a silver lining to this pandemic cloud. The SC is continuing to work together with industry to leverage these unexpected but positive outcomes to advance our digital agenda for the capital market.

One would caution, of course, about digitisation and that, is that as market participants scale up their use of technology and digital tools, we need to recognise the risks that come with increased technology adoption. The SC will remain vigilant and will continue to enhance the market's cyber resilience, particularly against cyber-attacks and online scams.

13. Market intermediaries can complement our surveillance and supervision by ensuring the resilience of their own cyber risk management framework and data protection protocols. So that is what I wanted to say about digitisation.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
14. Now on to my second point about retail participation. Despite this challenging environment, it is encouraging that investors have continued to show confidence in the Malaysian capital markets. We have seen a considerable increase in individual investor participation via digital investment managers, equity crowdfunding (ECF) and peer-to-peer (P2P) financing platforms, digital asset exchanges (DAX) and online brokers. So, the retail participation in this challenging environment, has only increased.
15. And I'd like to take this opportunity to remind investors once again to exercise common sense. Verify the individual or company offering capital market products or services - that they are on SC's public register. Please also help us by reporting any suspicious activities. As you know the number of online scams is increasing, so investors must avoid being deceived in their search for yield in this low interest rate environment.
16. Now, on a more positive note, SC issued three more digital investment management licences this year. We now have a total of seven. I am pleased to note that these digital investment managers have attracted many first-time investors… with close to 90,000 new accounts opened this year.
17. Demand for online brokerage services have also increased. The number of new account openings through online-only brokers, grew by more than 270% this year compared to last year. So, that is an almost 4fold increase. Their average trading volume have also tripled this year, so once again lots of silver lining.
18. The SC has also approved three digital asset exchanges last year. All three have now gone live with four digital assets permitted for trading on these platforms. Collectively, more than 400,000 accounts have been opened across these three DAXes. The value of trades surpassed RM 100 million in the month of August.
19. On to my third and final point and that is on alternative fundraising. It is gratifying to see ECF and P2P platforms more widely accepted today as a fundraising channel. I am very pleased to see that total funds raised have broken the 1 billion Ringgit mark this year, and they have benefited more than 2,500 MSMEs.
20. Supporting this growth are investors under the age of 35, who account for 60% of individual investors. The presence of retail investors – constituting 84% of participating individual investors - further underscores the appeal of these platforms.
21. This encouraging growth is testament to the hard work and perseverance of our Fintech players. You have continued to shine despite the challenging condition.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
22. So to conclude, a look to the future. John F. Kennedy said "Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future." We are in a fast-paced digital world today. It is increasingly critical to stay in touch with new developments coming our way.
23. The SC remains committed to promote what we might call the Triple A capital market; Accessible, Agile and Accountable. That includes broadening the range of alternative fundraisings and investment opportunities as the market matures, and further market innovations are welcomed and encouraged.
24. SC x SC serves to raise awareness on new developments and innovations, impacting our capital market which will collectively strengthen industry competitiveness, and also create a sense of community within the ecosystem.
25. With that I wish everyone a great time at SC x SC, and enjoy the meaningful and productive sessions ahead and help to continue to build Malaysia's Fintech ecosystem.
 
Thank you.
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