Fact Sheet for SEC's International Technical Assistance Program
International Institute for Securities Market Development of 2010
This is the 20th anniversary of the SEC's International Institute on Securities Market Development and the SEC's efforts to provide technical assistance to securities regulators the world over.
Securities regulators from abroad increasingly request opportunities to interact with SEC staff and share best practices for dealing with insider trading, market manipulation, pyramid schemes, money laundering and other enforcement issues, as well as with market development issues such as corporate governance, inspections and compliance.
The SEC's Technical Assistance program and sponsored institutes are designed to help foreign regulators develop enforcement and regulatory capacity.
- In FY 2009, the Technical Assistance program trained nearly 2,000 regulatory and law enforcement officials from over 100 countries.
- Similarly, in FY 2008, the program trained nearly 2,000 foreign regulatory officials.
- Regulatory officials from almost 200 jurisdictions joined the SEC to improve their skills and understanding between FY 2006 and FY 2008. This training was often done in partnership with other organizations and typically utilized a faculty of industry officials and seasoned practitioners as well as SEC staff.
Alumni of the institutes and other training programs comprise a strong network of leaders in foreign securities commissions and exchanges who have learned how the SEC and other regulators approach the challenges we share in common.
Better-trained colleagues overseas are only one benefit. The program builds crucial bridges among regulators that support cross-border enforcement and oversight efforts.
The SEC often requires assistance from regulatory authorities abroad in the form of banking, brokerage or telephone records, testimony, and other evidence as it pursues wrongdoing. In turn, it regularly receives requests for assistance from authorities in other jurisdictions. In FY 2009, for example, the SEC made 774 requests for assistance to foreign securities authorities, and responded to 408 such requests from abroad. The contacts forged through the Technical Assistance program often significantly advance SEC investigations and examinations, resulting in referrals, document production, and arrangements for freezing and securing the proceeds of fraud, in conjunction with our enforcement efforts.
- In addition to the Market Development Institute, the Commission conducts an Institute for Securities Enforcement and Market Oversight (Enforcement Institute). Our most recent event, held from November 2-6, 2009, was attended by 149 securities regulators from 50 jurisdictions. The Enforcement Institute is designed to share best practices and develop a network of securities authorities and prosecutors with capacity to respond quickly and effectively to market fraud and abuse.
- The SEC also conducted its first-ever International Institute for the Regulation and Inspection of Investment Advisors, which was attended by 89 delegates from 39 countries, from June 23-25, 2009.
These institutes serve the interests of investors and markets by promoting high quality securities regulation around the world. In addition, they foster important international contacts that serve to facilitate efforts in investigations and prosecutions that have an international component.
The SEC conducted at least one international bilateral or regional training program in each region in 2009 and into 2010. Examples include:
- Istanbul, Turkey: The SEC's largest overseas training program, with over 275 participants from 11 countries across Europe, the Middle East, Asia and the Caribbean.
- Latin America and the Caribbean: Including recent programs in Jamaica, El Salvador, Costa Rica, and Colombia, Trinidad & Tobago, Peru, and the Cayman Islands - each program was tailored to focus on regulatory and enforcement tools that address a host of market oversight issues.
- Asia: China, Malaysia and the Philippines hosted programs providing training on oversight of market intermediaries, financial reporting, and disclosure.
- Africa: Recent programs in Ghana, Kenya, Cape Verde, and Nigeria, were each tailored to address key issues facing African regulators and their markets.
- Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Hosted an SEC regional program in Riyadh for the Gulf States.
- Eastern Europe: Programs were held in Romania and the Ukraine.
The Technical Assistance program also conducted specialized training and assistance for jurisdictions having difficultly joining the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding. This international assistance directly benefits the SEC's enforcement program, as members of the IOSCO MMOU have the ability to conduct investigations on each other's behalf. Beyond staffing, the SEC's direct expenses for specific programs are typically underwritten by outside sources, including: the U.S. Agency for International Development, the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, the State Department's Middle East Partnership Initiative, Asian Pacific Economic Cooperation, and by local securities and other governmental authorities.