The International Organization of Securities Commissions has announced the creation of a Task Force on Commodities Markets, co-chaired by the FSA and the CFTC, to examine the volatile commodities futures markets.

On 1 October 2008, the Technical Committee of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) announced the establishment of its Task Force on Commodities Markets (Task Force) to examine the recent increase in volatility in the commodities futures markets.

IOSCO

IOSCO is an international regulators forum. Its members regulate more than 90 per cent of the world’s securities markets. Its primary objectives include promoting high standards of regulation to maintain market integrity, facilitating the exchange of information between regulators, conducting surveillance of international securities transactions, providing mutual assistance to members and ensuring effective enforcement.

The Objectives

According to IOSCO, the Task Force has a number of goals, including the two main ones:

  • To analyse whether or not supervisory bodies are keeping up with increasing globalisation, innovation and other important developments within the commodities futures markets
  • To analyse whether or not regulatory bodies are working together effectively to deal with the increasing globalization of the commodities futures markets

CFTC and FSA as Co-Chairs

The Task Force is to be led by the US Commodities and Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) and the UK Financial Services Authority (FSA). While the CFTC states that it has taken significant steps to align itself with the increasing number of changes to the commodities futures markets, it feels it needs to share its approaches and views with other relevant international regulators so that supervision can be coordinated more effectively.

While leading the Task Force, the CFTC and the FSA will oversee an IOSCO team composed of members from both developed and emerging markets.

It remains to be seen whether the creation of the Task Force will have a significant effect on the promotion of efficient international cooperation by and between the relevant commodity market regulators, and whether it will lead to an increase in the enforcement activities undertaken by such regulators.