The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) has issued a report on best practice for securities activity via the internet, after identifying more than 2,400 sites for follow-up review on the basis of possible fraud, market abuse and unauthorised financial activities - including around 300 sites that involved cross-border activity.

Securities Markets in the Information Age, published in Stockholm at the organisation’s annual conference, also reviews the implementation of earlier recommendations by IOSCO relating to internet and regulatory issues.

“ We have proposed a number of recommendations and identified a range of possible responses that represent the consensus and best thinking of securities regulators,” says Georg Wittich, president of the German Bundesaufsichtsamt für den Wertpapierhandel and chairman of IOSCO’s internet task force.
“ We trust that the report will serve as a useful guide for the securities industry and regulators faced with these issues,” he added.

The results of IOSCO’s second annual International Internet Surf Day were also announced at the conference. During the investigation its members surveyed more than 27,000 financial services web sites, concentrating on fraudulent solicitation of investors, manipulation, the circulation of false or misleading information and insider trading.

The financial supervisory authority of the conference host, Finansinspektion (FI), recently found 35 Swedish web sites, out of a total of 210 investigated, to contain unauthorised financial products and unlawful investment offers. The investigation was conducted in co-operation with the finance department of the Swedish police.