By Simon Miller

The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has established comprehensive arrangements with the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority (CIMA) and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) as part of long-term strategy to improve the oversight of regulated entities that operate across national borders.

The two memoranda of understanding (MOUs) reached this month follow on a similar supervisory arrangement that the SEC concluded with the Quebec Autorité des marchés financiers and the Ontario Securities Commission in 2010 and expanded to include the Alberta Securities Commission and the British Columbia Securities Commission last September.

The SEC’s latest supervisory cooperation arrangements will enhance SEC staff ability to share information about such regulated entities as investment advisers, investment fund managers, broker-dealers, and credit rating agencies.

“Supervisory cooperation arrangements help the SEC build closer relationships with its counterparts to cooperate and consult on each other’s oversight activities in ways that may help prevent fraud in the long term or lessen the chances of future financial crises,” said Ethiopis Tafara, director of the SEC’s Office of International Affairs.

The SEC entered into its first supervisory cooperation MOU in March 2006 with the United Kingdom’s Financial Services Authority. Following the recent financial crisis, the Commission has expanded its emphasis on this form of continuous supervisory cooperation in an effort to better identify emerging risks to US capital markets and the international financial system.

As part of this effort, SEC commissioners and staff co-chaired an international task force in 2010 to develop principles for cross-border supervisory cooperation. These principles have since proven to be a useful guideline for structuring MOUs around the type of information to be shared, the mechanisms which regulators can use to share information, and the degree of confidentiality this information should be accorded.

Additional information about SEC cooperation arrangements with foreign regulators can be foundhere:

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