The application of behavioural insights to retail investor protection

Interesting report by IOSCO (HT: Regulation Asia)

Building on that important research, this report provides a literature review and reports on the results of a survey of IOSCO C8 jurisdictions focusing on how behavioural insights could be, and are being, used to respond to the following questions relevant to retail investor protection (the “Topic Areas”):

• Disclosure design: How can we apply behavioural insights to the presentation of disclosures to optimize retail investors’ absorption of essential information and resulting behaviour, and to what extent does the answer to this question vary for different segments of retail investors and different product types?
• Online interfaces: Many entities provide online interfaces primarily directed at attracting investments from retail investors. What design features, such as layout, reminders, and warnings, can online interfaces incorporate to help investors make informed investment decisions?
• Timeliness of information: When are retail investors most receptive to relevant disclosure or educational content (e.g., when the investor begins a new job or is about to make key decisions about retirement)?

This report acknowledges that, while behaviourally-informed measures in these areas have the potential to promote informed investor decision-making, their potential comes with limits. 

Disclosure and information, no matter how well-designed and no matter how well-timed their delivery, may not be sufficient on their own to achieve comprehensive retail investor protection. Standards of conduct imposed on the investment professionals on whom retail investors rely to recommend and manage their investments, as well as the regulation of investment products sold to retail investors, will continue to be part of the comprehensive set of measures employed by regulators to further retail investor protection.

 

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One Response to “The application of behavioural insights to retail investor protection”

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