IOSCO: The World Standard Setter for Globalized Financial Markets

By: Antonio Marcacci


As the current endless crisis clearly proves, world financial markets are closely interconnected. In order to provide a legal backdrop, a soft-law body, named the International Organisation of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), was established and tasked with encouraging an efficient flow of capital. Funded as a Pan-American, and subsequently worldwide, forum more than thirty years ago, IOSCO is a multilateral regulatory network whose members are the public regulators of more than ninety percent of the world’s securities and futures markets. It is devoted to promoting common and efficient regulations, setting the floor for the exchange of information between its members, improving the effective surveillance of international securities transactions, and increasing the mutual assistance necessary for the integrity of global financial markets, valued at over $800 trillion. IOSCO is now the primary institution through which international standards, memoranda, and guidelines concerning the securities markets are promulgated. This paper examines the way this relatively hidden organisation works by trying to figure out its regulatory role in the international financial arena.


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