|Purpose||Forum for national securities regulators|
Membership (February 2018)
|English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Arabic|
|Paul P. Andrews|
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:
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:
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:
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;