12th October, 2015
Iosco Boosts Resolve to Protect Investors, Develop Markets and Collaborate for Global Financial Stability
The Board of the International Organization of Securities Commission (IOSCO) – the Organization’s governing and standard setting body – met recently in Toronto, Canada for a 2-day meeting in continuation of IOSCO’s objective of ensuring continued investor protection as well as sustenance and growth of capital markets across the globe. The Director General of the Securities and Exchange Commission, Mr. Mounir Gwarzo, participated actively in the meetings in his capacity as the Chairman of Africa and Middle East Regional Committee (AMERC) and member of the Management Team and the Board of IOSCO.
Amongst others, discussions at the meeting focused on priority areas of the IOSCO 2020 Strategic Direction. These include identifying and responding to global market developments and the inherent risks, providing assistance to IOSCO members, especially in the area of capacity building and technical assistance, and supporting the G20/FSB efforts to promote stability in the global financial system.
Issues deliberated upon at the meeting included the risks posed by Central Counterparties (clearing systems), market conduct, cyber resilience and audit quality. Members discussed next steps following the just concluded work on cross border regulation and endorsed proposed work to provide further guidance to financial benchmark administrators on crowd funding. Specifically, the Malaysian and Ontario Securities Commissions undertook to come up with workable guidelines on crowd funding which are expected to assist other members in developing the necessary regulatory framework for this new but fast growing industry. Earlier in the year, SEC Nigeria had proactively commenced the development of a regulatory framework for crowdfunding through its Rules Committee. The expected frameworks from Malaysia and Ontario will give SEC Nigeria a good basis to assess the robustness of its own framework. Indeed, the Nigerian capital market eagerly awaits the full takeoff of crowdfunding as its introduction will further deepen the markets in alignment with the aspirations to expand product offerings and boost financial inclusion as contained in the 10 – year capital market Master Plan. Other issues discussed include corporate governance and international integrated reporting.
In addition to approving work done on the risks posed by the asset management industry and the resolve to publish a report on liquidity risk management in collective investment schemes, the meeting also considered the need to give fillip to the growth of SMEs across global markets and approved progress achieved so far in the areas of special considerations which regulators and governments may be required to offer to encourage the growth and listing of SMEs on structured exchanges.
The meeting ended with a determination to continue work on the planned launching of a Global Certificate Program for securities regulators, the establishment of training hubs in its four regions and the development of an online tool kit to further boost its capacity building efforts. For the Africa Middle East Region, Mr. Gwarzo is currently coordinating efforts in setting up these training hubs. He gave updates on the progress so far in kick-starting an Executive MBA program in Financial Regulation and Public Policy. As part of commitment to capacity building, members also resolved to support target seminar programs for staff of member jurisdictions in the coming year. They agreed to promote improved cooperation and exchange of information among themselves for enforcement purposes through the enhancement of the current Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding. They praised the recent launch of the Global Database of Assessments and Country Reviews which is aimed to serve as a peer review mechanism for members.
It is without doubt that a lot of IOSCO’s current initiatives will considerably benefit the fastest growing capital markets within its fold, most of which are members of its Growth and Emerging markets Committee. For Nigeria, the moves will give a much welcome impetus to the achievement of milestones set out in the 10-year Master Plan and the emergence of a modern, vibrant and efficient capital market in Nigeria.
SEC Nigeria is a leading member of IOSCO and is determined to improve on its participation in relevant activities of IOSCO for the collective benefit of all stakeholders, the capital market and the Economy in general.