The ISA considers its involvement in cooperation processes between securities regulators and enforcement bodies as a vital means of achieving the organization's enforcement objectives. An increasing number of investigations conducted by the ISA require information and activity outside of Israel. To achieve optimal results, the Department of International Affairs and Business Development works regularly with foreign authorities that are signatories to IOSCO's Multilateral Memorandum of Understanding Concerning Consultation and Cooperation and the Exchange of Information (MMoU).
International cooperation under the IOSCO MMoU is one of the significant components of the ISA's enforcement activities. To date, the MMoU is signed by more than 100 authorities from leading countries around the world, such as the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Japan, China, Brazil, India, and Australia.
Key Principals of the MMoU
1. The purpose of the assistance and exchange of information is to secure compliance with the respective laws of the authority that requested the information. The assistance shall include, without limitation, providing and obtaining information and documents to the requesting authority, and in some cases, taking a person's statement or testimony.
2. Cooperation between the authorities shall be subject to the restrictions of domestic laws applicable to each authority.
3. The assistance shall be provided, inter alia, for the purpose of investigating and enforcing laws related to the following issues:
a. Insider dealing, market manipulation, misrepresentation of material information and other fraudulent or manipulative practices;
b. Registration, issuance, offer or sale of securities and reporting requirements related thereto;
c. Market intermediaries, including licensed or registered investment advisers, brokers, dealers, and transfer agents;
d. Markets, exchanges and clearing and settlements entities;
4. The term of the agreement is unlimited, but any authority may terminate the agreement at any time by giving 30 days prior notice.
The full MMoU can be found here.
The Enhance IOSCO MMOU ("EMMOU")
Since the ISA joined the IOSCO MMOU in 2006 (the MMOU itself has existed since 2002), there have been many changes in the financial markets. Among them, regulatory changes and extensive technological changes. Over the years, the number of Assistance Requests exchanged between the member jurisdictions has also grown extensively: from 56 requests in 2003 to thousands of requests that are exchanged these days.
Accordingly, it was decided at IOSCO on an enhanced version MMOU, which includes five new powers, in which the signed jurisdictions will be required to provide assistance. The five new powers are: transfer of audit documents; mandatory arrival for testimony; Asset freezing; Provision of Communication (Internet + Telephone) data.
ISA's signing on the Enhanced EMMOU was made possible after extensive work carried out by the staff of the Department of International Affairs and Business Development. The team conducted intensive dialogue with the expert committees of IOSCO, which conducted a rigorous examination of the compliance of the provisions of Israeli law with the appropriate standards, in light of the requirements of the enhanced agreement.
In doing so, the ISA joins a select group of securities authorities around the world that have signed the Enhanced MMOU, including the United States, Hong Kong, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and Australia.
For the Enhanced MMOU click here
To the list of signatories to the EMMOU click here
Requests for Information and Investigation Assistance
The International Affairs and Business Development Department coordinates the processing of inquiries from and to foreign authorities. Requests for information and assistance are made directly between the ISA and the foreign authorities that are signatories to the IOSCO MMoU or other MMoU, and if not – the requests are made through the International Department of the State Attorney's Office, in accordance with the International Legal Assistance Law, 5758-1998.
In collaboration with the Department of Investigations, Intelligence and Market Surveillance, the International Affairs and Business Development Department also organizes overseas investigations in other countries. In recent years, the ISA has sent dozens of requests to foreign authorities for information and assistance with legal investigations under the agreements related to breaches of the Israeli laws and regulation. In addition, the department handled dozens of similar requests from foreign authorities.