FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washington, D.C., Oct. 31, 2003 The Securities and Exchange Commission today announced the public unveiling by the International Organization of Securities Commissions of its Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Consultation and Cooperation and the Exchange of Information. The MOU is the first global multilateral information-sharing arrangement among securities regulators and sets a new international benchmark for cooperation critical to combating violations of securities and derivatives laws. The MOU provides for the exchange of basic information in investigating cross-border violations, including bank, brokerage, and client identification records. Information provided through the MOU may be used to enforce compliance with securities and derivatives laws and regulations, including through civil and criminal prosecutions.
SEC Chairman William Donaldson said, "The SEC has long recognized that international cooperation is vital to an effective enforcement program. The IOSCO MOU is an important contribution to cross-border enforcement cooperation and a public statement that the world's securities regulators are committed to assisting one another in preventing and prosecuting violations of our securities laws. We are pleased to be a signatory to the MOU and anticipate that this agreement will enhance our ability to obtain information valuable to our enforcement investigations."
SEC Commissioner Roel Campos, who represents the SEC in IOSCO, also stated, "The IOSCO MOU is a significant initiative that sets an international benchmark for information sharing among securities regulators. We believe that investors and the markets will benefit greatly from the improvements in cooperation that result from regulators' ability to meet the key provisions of the MOU."
To become signatories to the IOSCO MOU, applicants must undergo a rigorous screening process to verify their ability to cooperate as provided in the IOSCO MOU. Under the MOU procedures, those IOSCO members that are unable to meet the MOU requirements cannot become signatories, but still may express their specific commitment to obtaining the necessary legal authority.
The MOU, which was approved by IOSCO last year, was publicly introduced by IOSCO at its Annual Conference in Seoul, Korea on Oct. 16, 2003. The SEC was among the first signatories to this agreement, which, over the past year, has grown to currently include 23 other securities and derivatives regulators.
IOSCO is the international forum of securities regulators. Copies of the IOSCO MOU can be accessed on IOSCO's website (www.iosco.org) or obtained from the IOSCO Secretariat.
For further information, contact the SEC Office of Public Affairs at (202) 942-0020.