International Organization of Securities Commissions
The International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) is an association of organisations that regulate the world’s securities and futures markets. Members are typically primary securities and/or futures regulators in a national jurisdiction or the main financial regulator from each country. Its mandate is to:
- Develop, implement, and promote high standards of regulation to enhance investor protection and reduce systemic risk
- Share information with exchanges and assist them with technical and operational issues
- Establish standards toward monitoring global investment transactions across borders and markets
|Purpose||Forum for national securities regulators|
Membership (February 2018)
|English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic|
|Paul P. Andrews|
IOSCO was born in 1983 from the transformation of its ancestor the "Inter-American Regional Association" (created in 1974) into a truly global cooperative. This decision to expand the organisation beyond the Americas was made at the annual gathered in Quito, Ecuador, in April 1983. At the same time, the organisation was renamed to IOSCO to reflect the expanded membership beyond North and South America. Securities regulators from France, Indonesia, South Korea, and the United Kingdom were the first agencies to join from outside the Americas. The IOSCO July 1986 Paris Annual Conference was the first to take place outside of the American continents and on that occasion a decision was made to create a permanent General Secretariat for the Organisation. One remnant of its early inter-American roots is that IOSCO's "official" languages are English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese.
In 1998 IOSCO started work on a number of important policies that led to broader set of guidelines. However it was the September 11, 2001 attacks as well as a series of large global financial scandals that started with Enron and including Worldcom, Parmalat, and Vivendi that brought urgency to this work and heralded IOSCO's evolution from an international “talk shop”, where little of substance was accomplished, to a serious international organisation with a real impact on the securities regulation. At the 1999 conference in Lisbon, it was decided to have a permanent headquarters for the administrative General Secretariat and that it should be based in Madrid.
In 2002 IOSCO adopted a multilateral memorandum of understanding (IOSCO MMoU) designed to facilitate crossborder enforcement and exchange of information among the international community of securities regulators. Then in 2005 IOSCO MMoU become the benchmark for international cooperation among securities regulators.
As of January 2019, IOSCO had 224 members. IOSCO members are divided into three main categories:
- Ordinary members: primary securities and/or futures markets regulators in a jurisdiction. A stock exchange or self-regulatory organization may be an ordinary member, but only if it is the jurisdiction’s primary securities regulator. Each ordinary member has one vote.
- Associate members: other securities and/or futures regulators in cases where there's more than one per jurisdiction. For example, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the North American Securities Administrators Association in the United States are associate members of IOSCO given that the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is the ordinary member from the United States. Associate members have no vote and are not eligible for the Executive Committee; they are, however, members of the Presidents' Committee.
- Affiliate members: include stock exchanges, self-regulatory organisations, and various stock market industry associations. Affiliate members have no vote, are not eligible for the Executive Committee, and are not members of the Presidents' Committee. Affiliate members that are self-regulatory organizations (SROs), are, however, members of the SRO Consultative Committee.
The organisation is made up of a number of committees that meet several times a year at different locations around the world supported by a permanent administrative General Secretariat.
Administratively, IOSCO is run by a General Secretariat based in Madrid, Spain. IOSCO’s current Secretary General is Paul P. Andrews, who started his renewable three-year term in March 2016. Previously, he served as the Vice President and Managing Director of Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) a self-regulatory organization in the United States.
The IOSCO Board is IOSCO's governing and standard-setting body. It is composed of 33 securities regulators; Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission CEO Ashley Ian Alder is the IOSCO Board Chair (he also chairs the Asia-Pacific Regional Committee). He is supported by two Vice Chairs, Ranjit Ajit Singh, Chair of the Securities Commission Malaysia (who chairs the Growth and Emerging Markets Committee, IOSCO's largest sub-committee) and Jean-Paul Servais, Chair of Belgium's Financial Services and Markets Authority (who chairs the European Regional Committee as well).
IOSCO has four regional committees:
- African-Middle East Regional Committee: chaired by Mounir Gwarzo of the Nigerian Securities and Exchange Commission
- Asia-Pacific Regional Committee: chaired by Ashley Ian Alder of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission
- European Regional Committee: chaired by Jean-Paul Servais of the Belgium Financial Services and Markets Authority
- Inter-American Regional Committee: chaired by Jaime González Aguadé of the Mexico's Comisión Nacional Bancaria y de Valores
The Technical Committee has been described as the one involving the most "grunt work". In short, it is made up of 16 of the larger securities agencies that regulate more developed markets. It is "self-constituting" in the sense that it determines which countries will be a member and it also determines procedures and agendas. In 1991, former SEC Chairman Richard C. Breeden was elected Chair of the technical committee and implemented reforms that gave it a "new vigor and a new resolution" that "bespoke an organization confident of its footing and its mission".
IOSCO is a member of, participates as an observer in, or coordinates with a number of other organisations. One of its most important relationships is with the Joint Forum of international financial regulators. IOSCO, along with the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision and the International Association of Insurance Supervisors, make up the Joint Forum.
Additionally, IOSCO is a member of, participates as an observer in, or coordinates with a number of other international organisations, including the OECD, FSB, Financial Action Task Force on Money Laundering, IASB, PIOB, IMF, World Bank, and European Commission.
IOSCO adopted in 1998 a comprehensive set of Objectives and Principles of Securities Regulation (IOSCO Principles). These continue to be developed and expanded. IOSCO recommends all its members to adopt these and helps its members assess the level of compliance with the principles. These include;
- Regulatory principles designed to improve auditor independence and auditor oversight
- Regulatory principles for corporate financial disclosure and transparency
- Regulatory principles regarding conflicts of interest for financial analysts
- A code of conduct for credit rating agencies
- A set of “core principles” for securities regulation designed to outline for IOSCO members what makes up “good” securities regulation
- A multilateral memorandum of understanding on enforcement co-operation, through which IOSCO members pledge to provide each other with collecting information and witness statements in an enforcement investigation
- IOSCO Annual Report 2016. Madrid: IOSCO. 2017. p. 76.
- The Road to Action: Financial regulation addressing climate change (PDF). London: Economist Intelligence Unit. 2017.
- "About IOSCO". IOSCO. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
- IOSCO. "IOSCO Categories & Contributions of Members".
- "Paul P. Andrews of FINRA Named IOSCO Secretary General" (PDF). IOSCO. 16 December 2015. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
- IOSCO. "About IOSCO – Structure".
- A. A. Sommer, Jr. (1996). "IOSCO: Its Mission and Achievement". Northwestern Journal of International Law & Business. 17 (1): 15–29.
- IOSCO (May 2002). "Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Consultation and Co-operation and the Exchange of Information" (PDF).
- IOSCO. "List of Signatories to the IOSCO Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding".
- IOSCO (Oct 2002). "Principles for Auditor Oversight" (PDF). IOSCO Technical Committee.
- IOSCO (Oct 2002). "Principles for Ongoing Disclosure and Material Development Reporting by Listed Entities" (PDF). IOSCO Technical Committee.
- IOSCO (25 Sep 2003). "Statement Of Principles For Addressing Sell-Side Securities Analyst Conflicts Of Interest" (PDF). IOSCO Technical Committee.
- IOSCO (Dec 2004). "Code Of Conduct Fundamentals For Credit Rating Agencies" (PDF). IOSCO Technical Committee.
- IOSCO (May 2003). "Objectives and Principles of Securities Regulation" (PDF). IOSCO.
- IOSCO (May 2002). "Multilateral Memorandum Of Understanding Concerning Consultation And Co-operation And The Exchange Of Information" (PDF). IOSCO.