IOSCO Releases Report on the Vulnerability of Senior Investors

By Ben Dell’Orto, Spring 2018 IAC Student Intern

The International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) recently released a report analyzing the threats particular to senior investors.

This is a particularly notable issue, since senior-age population percentage is only increasing. The World Health Organization predicts that “Between 2015 and 2050, the proportion of the world’s population aged 60 years or older will nearly double from 12 percent to 22 percent.” While today there are 125 million people aged 80 or older, in 2050 that number will amount to more than 400 million. 80 percent of these “older people will live in low- and middle-income countries.”

While an increase in life expectancy is certainly a positive by any metric, this means we must provide seniors with protection from unsafe investments, since they are becoming an even larger portion of the investment pool. The report notes that while the US and other developed countries are familiar with the challenges created by increasing life expectancy, many low- and middle-income countries are experiencing an even more dramatic boom.

74% of the IOSCO countries have special programs to protect seniors, though seniors are covered by other programs much of the time, not senior specific programs – only 59% have programs specific for seniors.

The report involved surveys of twelve countries and territories including the US, Hong Kong, the Netherlands, and South Africa. 89% of respondents agreed (the other 11% were “unsure”) that seniors risk falling victim to fraud or making a poor investment, and laid out recommendations which will follow in future posts.