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The Joint Forum is an international advisory group providing recommendations for the insurance, securities, and banking industries worldwide. The group began meeting in 1996 on a recommendation from the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision (BCBS) and usually has three annual meetings. Its membership includes representatives of all three industries from 13 nations, including the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Australia, United States, and Japan. It issues regular advisories, along with research papers on the topic of financial regulation.
Each member nation sends one representative from each industry to the Joint Forum. In nations where banking, insurance, and securities have separate regulations, three representatives attend the forum. Other nations with combined regulatory agencies may have one or two representatives to represent their interests and point of view. In addition, the European Commission sits in on meetings as an observer, and representatives from the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO), Basel Committee on Banking Supervision, and International Association of Insurance Supervisors (IAIS) are also present.
Members of the Joint Forum have three subcommittees to discuss specific topics. One, conglomerate supervision, represents the original reason for the organization's founding — growing concern about conglomerate companies offering securities, banking, and insurance services under one umbrella. The group also has a consumer suitability committee, and a risk assessment and capital committee. Each of these groups can request research to further its aims, as well as developing proposals to discuss with the larger committee.
At meetings of the Joint Forum, members discuss topics of concern and interest, including economic trends, proposed deals in the financial industry, and regulatory shifts. The organization does not have the power to pass regulations, but it can make strong recommendations, and these are often adopted by member nations, as well as other countries with an interest in following the latest standards in the financial industry. The broad spectrum of member experience and concerns creates an opportunity to discuss a variety of issues.
People can follow the proceedings of the Joint Forum if they have an interest in the subject of financial regulation. After meetings, the organization usually releases press releases and publications, and people can also track activities within various member bodies, like the IOSCO. Recommendations for regulatory changes often include references to research, allowing people to look up the data to get more information about the thinking behind the recommendations. Members of the public may also have an opportunity to comment on specific topics, allowing representatives of the financial industry to weigh in on matters under discussion at the Joint Forum.