Medcraft hits back at overseas trip criticism

Australian Securities and Investments Commission chairman Greg Medcraft has defended his role as the head of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions, saying the body does important work fighting cyber crime and reforming capital markets.

Australian Securities and Investments Commission chairman Greg Medcraft has defended his role as the head of the International Organisation of Securities Commissions, saying the body does important work fighting cyber crime and reforming capital markets.

Mr Medcraft's chairmanship of IOSCO has drawn the ire of politicians and regulators, who say he should spend less time travelling overseas and concentrate on Australia's problems.

Mr Medcraft set out the IOSCO's work in a letter to Bank of England governor Mark Carney, who also heads the Financial Stability Board. Established following the global financial crisis, the board is an adjunct of the Group of 20 and is tasked with co-ordinating world financial standards and regulations.

"We see cyber crime as a key risk not only to the markets we regulate but to the stability of the global financial system," Mr Medcraft wrote in the letter, dated October 28.

He said the IOSCO was researching corporate bond markets as part of work on "ensuring capital markets play a leading role in supporting long-term investment in both growth and emerging and developed economies". This work is to be "aligned" with the agenda at next year's G20 meeting in Brisbane.

Mr Medcraft said the IOSCO was also working on co-ordinating regulatory responses to crowd funding.

While crowd funding, where potential customers contribute money to kick-start a project, is increasingly popular, its rapid emergence has made it difficult for regulators to fit it into their existing legal frameworks. Mr Medcraft said he had asked two IOSCO committees to "develop a mandate urgently to address the key issues and guide the development of global regulatory approaches in this emerging area".

He said the IOSCO was also developing a "tool kit of measures to regulate cross-border activity".

On Saturday, it was reported Mr Medcraft spent at least 51 days overseas on IOSCO and ASIC business. National Party senator John Williams said Mr Medcraft "shouldn't worry about the world's problems until he fixes Australia's first". Senator Williams is a driving force behind a Senate inquiry into ASIC.

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