The Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) in France has published its priorities for 2023. AMF Chair Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani included working to enhance retail investor protection, pursuing sustainable finance as well as financial innovation during the next 12 months.
“The AMF is the regulator of Europe’s leading financial center in terms of market capitalization. This is a situation that we should be pleased about and that requires us to be up to the tasks,” said Barbat-Layani. “This will be one of the strongest determining factors of the strategic plan for the next five years that we are currently working on, and that I think I will be able to present to you before the summer … A demanding and competent regulator is the best contribution we can make to the attractiveness of the Paris financial market.”
The AMF’s priorities for action in 2023 focus on four areas:
- Promote finance that meets the new expectations of retail investors: the AMF aims to provide useful, easy-to-read information to enable investors to make informed investment decisions. The AMF says it will seek out new channels to raise public awareness of the risk of scams while taking action on the marketing of risky investment offers and promotion on social media and by influencers.
- Take up European and international challenges: the AMF says it will work to promote supervisory convergence by actively participating in the European Securities and Markets Authority [ESMA] work as well as other global initiatives. It also intends to take a proactive stance on new European legislation, with a focus on investor protection. The AMF will continue to support financial players in implementing the new legislation, including the European Regulation on Markets in Crypto-assets (MiCA). At the same time, the AMF calls for an acceleration of the timetable for the transition to mandatory authorization for non-registered digital asset service providers within a timeframe to be determined.
- Develop the regulatory framework for sustainable finance and combat greenwashing: the AMF will continue to support listed companies and asset managers in implementing sustainable finance legislation. This year the AMF will review the first reports by listed companies on their economic activities that are considered environmentally sustainable. The AMF will also assist the financial market to prepare for implementation of the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD). It will also seek to combat the risk of greenwashing better.
- Ensure robust and efficient supervision: the AMF will continue to secure its enforcement policy and adapt its tools to keep pace with changes in behaviour and technology. It will step up its use of data, while continuing to experiment with the possibilities offered by artificial intelligence technologies.
- For investment management companies:
- cybersecurity arrangements, with special focus on the processes and procedures in place for external IT service providers;
- financial management delegations, and more specifically the governance and human resources of investment management companies and risk control systems; application of SFDR;
- the quality of reporting data, tested on the reports required under the money market fund regulation, on alternative investment fund managers, and on the ratios and information sent to the AMF via the ROSA extranet;
- environmental, social and governance (ESG) reporting of benchmark administrators.
- For market intermediaries and infrastructures:
- the quality of post-trade transparency data on bonds under the Markets In Financial Instruments Directive (MIFIR), and transaction data from reporting on derivatives under the European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR) and securities financing transactions as regards the Securities Financing Transactions Regulation(SFTR);
- provision of market data by trading venues;
- cross-border activities.
- For marketing and advisory players:
- marketing in distributor banking networks and compliance with the rules laid down in the Markets in Financial Instruments Directive (MiFID), with special focus on the online customer journey;
- marketing materials;
- investor claims handling;
- supervision of financial investment advisers, with special attention paid to the marketing of atypical, risky products or products that are banned from being marketed in France.
- For investment management companies:
The AMF-ACPR Joint Unit is expected to start work on the adoption of the provisions of MiFID II and the Insurance Distribution Directive (IDD) by market participants in order to understand any difficulties that they may encounter in applying them and to improve market compliance.