Monday, September 30, 2019 / 11:16AM / By
IOSCO / Header Image Credit: World Investor Week
The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) today launched its third annual World Investor Week (WIW) following its success in previous years at attracting more than one thousand financial organizations to showcase their initiatives for promoting investor education and protection across the globe.
From 30 September to 6 October 2019, securities regulators, stock exchanges, international organizations, investor associations and other stakeholders from almost 90 countries are planning to offer an array of activities to increase awareness of investor education and protection in their jurisdictions. Activities range from 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 online investing, digital assets and initial coin offerings.
There will be a "Ring the Bell for Financial Literacy" ceremony which will be coordinated by the World Federation of Exchanges. These events offer a high-profile opportunity for WFE members to promote their work to improve financial education and literacy in their jurisdictions. These activities also bring stakeholders together to commemorate the progress made in their jurisdictions. More than 30 exchanges and central counterparties worldwide will celebrate opening or closing bell ceremonies during the 2019 WIW.
To coincide with the launch of the WIW, the IOSCO Board today published the Core Competencies Framework on Financial Literacy to assist members, investor education providers and other stakeholders in their efforts to develop and implement investor education initiatives. The Framework provides guidance to users on the content of investor education programs and indicates which areas could be assessed as part of an evaluation strategy.
To show the breadth of planned activities for WIW, here is a sampling of events: In Brazil, the 2019 edition of WIW will feature the annual Conference on Behavioral Sciences and Investor Education on 4 October. Schools, colleges and universities throughout Russia will offer online and offline lectures, providing students with basic knowledge on investing and stock market functioning. In Japan, the Financial Services Agency will be developing and disseminating practical and supplementary teaching materials for World Investor Week while dispatching specialized lecturers to teacher training courses at universities. In Romania, the Financial Supervisory Authority will organize an Academic Laboratory Program and kick off the Financial Education Program for the economics high schools and the train-the-trainer sessions for pre-university teachers. In China, the campaign of the China Securities Regulatory Commission will focus on the newly rolled-out SSE STAR Market and on raising awareness about alternative investments such as private placements.
MoneySense, Singapore's national financial education program, will hold four townhalls during the week of 30 September, which will include a daily panel discussion and an interactive platform that enables retail investors to engage directly with industry experts. In Portugal, the CMVM plans to organize a half-day conference on Doing digitalisation the right way" and an "Open Day - Bank branches in the main cities in Portugal where bank managers invite retail investors to have an open conversation with the Portuguese securities market regulator. Saudi Arabia is organizing targeted campaigns offering workshops, social media programs and specialized TV programs aimed at raising awareness of the importance of financial literacy.
International groups are also participating in WIW, which is endorsed by the Japanese G20 Presidency. The Financial Planning Standards Board (FPSB), together with its 26-member organizations representing 175,000 certified financial planners (CFPs), will celebrate the third World Financial Planning Day on 2 October to complement the activities of WIW. The FPSB's events focus on debt management, home ownership, retirement and investment planning, to promote financial literacy 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 seek to build educational capacity at both a global and regional level. The IFIE Americas Caribbean Working Group - representing 16 jurisdictions across the Caribbean - will focus on the protection of financial markets by raising awareness and understanding of financial technology via a Caribbean Fintech Pledge Initiative. The project will cover virtual and digital currencies and other assets that are gaining popularity among investors.
"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.".
Paul Andrews, IOSCO Secretary General, said, "IOSCO welcomes this third iteration of World Investor Week as evidence that this annual event is gaining significant momentum to protect investors and prepare them for dealing with the challenges of increasingly interconnected and digitalized capital markets."