What Is the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO)?

What Is the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO)?


The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) represents a global alliance of securities regulatory agencies with a primary mission to establish and uphold universal benchmarks for the efficiency, orderliness, and equity of financial markets. The key objectives pursued by IOSCO encompass the promotion of stringent regulatory practices to ensure market orderliness and efficiency, collaboration with exchanges by offering support on technical and operational matters, and the establishment of comprehensive standards to monitor cross-border investment transactions across diverse markets.

International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO): Membership and Structure

By February 2022, the International Organization of Securities Commissions boasted a robust membership of over 231 entities.

The membership is categorized into three distinct groups:

  1. Ordinary members representing primary futures markets and securities regulators within a jurisdiction, each holding one vote.
  2. Associate members, comprising additional futures and securities regulators in jurisdictions with multiple regulatory bodies. Associate members lack voting rights and Executive Committee eligibility but are part of the Presidents' Committee.
  3. Affiliate members, encompassing self-regulatory organizations, stock exchanges, and stock market industry associations. These members lack voting rights and are ineligible for the Executive Committee or President's Committee but may participate in the Self-Regulatory Organizations (SRO) Consultative Committee.

IOSCO convenes through multiple committees, conducting conferences worldwide several times a year. Its administrative headquarters, the General Secretariat, is situated in Madrid. Additionally, there are four regional committees and a technical committee responsible for a significant portion of the organization's regulatory activities.

The Evolution and Global Impact of IOSCO

The formation of the International Organization of Securities Commissions traces back to 1983 when the Inter-American Regional Association, established in 1974, expanded its reach and transformed into a global cooperative, heralding the birth of IOSCO. Notably, the initial inclusion of regulators from Indonesia, France, Korea, and the United Kingdom marked the organization's first step beyond the Americas. The turning point arrived with the July 1986 Paris Annual Conference, the first time the IOSCO Annual Conference took place outside the Americas.

Today, IOSCO operates extensively, encompassing over 130 jurisdictions, representing more than 95% of the world's markets. The organization is renowned as the authoritative source for establishing global market operation standards. In 1998, the pivotal IOSCO Principles received approval, setting the benchmark for securities markets worldwide. Subsequently, IOSCO unveiled a comprehensive methodology to attain these significant benchmarks. The organization's work earned a commendation from governments worldwide, particularly after 9/11, as cross-border transactions necessitated heightened scrutiny and regulatory oversight.


The International Organization of Securities Commissions stands as a formidable global force in securities regulation, with over 231 entities in its membership across 130 jurisdictions, representing 95% of world markets. Its commitment to establishing universal market standards has earned it a reputation as the source of global benchmarks. Through diverse committees and conferences, IOSCO fosters collaboration and promotes rigorous practices for market stability. Its dedication to advancing cross-border investment integrity garners recognition from governments worldwide.

Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO)
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