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IOSCO launches World Investor Week 2018 to promote investor education and protection

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The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has launched its second annual World Investor Week (WIW), following its success last year at attracting more than 1,000 financial organisations to showcase their initiatives for promoting investor education and protection across the globe.

In Japan, where financial markets are the first in the world to open every morning, the Financial Services Agency inaugurated WIW with a formal ceremony at its headquarters in Tokyo.

From 1 to 7 October, securities regulators, stock exchanges, international organisations, investor associations and other stakeholders from more than 80 countries are offering an array of activities to increase the awareness of investor education and protection in their jurisdictions. Activities range from the organisation of workshops and conferences to local/national investor education campaigns, games and contests, and many of these events will continue throughout the rest of the year.

In addition to highlighting the importance of investor education and protection, a key objective of the WIW is to foster learning opportunities for investors – a particularly important goal in the current context of rapid technological innovation and increasingly interconnected financial markets. Indeed, this year’s WIW not only seeks to promote the basics of smart investing but also to ensure that retail investors understand the risks associated with initial coin offerings, crypto-assets and other online investments.

In Brazil, participants this week are using live sessions on social media to explain the rudiments of sound investing to the young; French groups are launching a radio campaign to spread the WIW´s key messages on investing wisely; US participants are holding an educational summit on investing for retirement; in Romania, students are debating financial issues in a public forum; Hong Kong stakeholders are staging an investor seminar titled changing landscape. Changing risks; undergraduates in Pakistan are competing in an inter-university stock trading contest; in Kazakhstan, a financial literacy roadshow is focusing on green and Islamic finance; and Zambian entities are offering awareness programs at schools and universities, workplaces and public forums, to name just a few of the many activities that are taking place in over 80 countries this week.

International groups are also participating in WIW, which is endorsed by the Argentine G20 Presidency. The Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB), together with its 26-member organisations representing 175,000 certified financial planners (CFPs), will celebrate World Financial Planning Day on 3 October to complement the activities of WIW. FPSB´s activities focus on debt management, home ownership, retirement and investment planning, to promote financial literacy further and encourage consumers to assume more responsibility for their finances.

The International Forum for Investor Education (IFIE) offers a variety of activities in support of WIW that help build capacity at both a global and regional level. The IFIE Americas Caribbean Working Group – representing 16 jurisdictions across the Caribbean – has launched a Caribbean-wide video initiative to present Voices of the Caribbean: Empowering the Caribbean toward Financial Independence and Resilience.

Ashley Alder, Chair of the IOSCO Board and the Chief Executive Officer of the Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission said, “The global scale of World Investor Week and the encouraging collaboration between IOSCO members and their stakeholders in conducting these activities demonstrates IOSCO’s strong commitment to investor education and protection.”

IOSCO Secretary General Paul Andrews said, “IOSCO welcomes this second iteration of World Investor Week as evidence that this annual event is gaining the momentum it needs to protect investors and prepare them for dealing with the challenges of increasingly interconnected and digitalised capital markets.”

The dedicated campaign website www.worldinvestorweek.org provides details on the various participating authorities and the international organisations supporting this effort.

IOSCO is the leading international policy forum for securities regulators and is recognised as the global standard setter for securities regulation. The organisation’s membership regulates more than 95% of the world’s securities markets in more than 115 jurisdictions and it continues to expand.

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