France Financial Regulation: AMF and ARPP Join to Issue Responsible Influence Certificate in Finance

Qualification to Impact Crowdfunding, Digital Assets.

The Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) and the Autorité de Régulation Professionnelle de la Publicité (ARPP) have partnered on the “Responsible Influence Certificate” designed to create a seal of approval for social media influencers.

The AMF says the partnership was commenced in 2021, and now almost 1,000 French influencers have successfully completed this online general training course on best practices in influencer marketing.

The AMF says that it has recently brought its expertise to the ARPP to set up this training course on the rules applicable to the financial products and services sector within its scope (excluding banking and insurance). This covers investment products like equities, bonds, ETFs, funds, and derivatives as well as various services like investment advice.

The Certificate also covers crypto or digital assets, other alternative assets like wine or collectibles, and securities issued by crowdfunding platforms.

To receive a Certificate, applicants must score 75% or higher on a multiple-choice test.

The ARPP monitors certified content creators and can withdraw the certificate in the event of non-compliance with the Consumer Code on Communication rules and those of the ARPP Code.

The AMF Chair, Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani, said that investor protection is a top priority and if an influencer is paid it is vital that the public is informed.

“Finance is a highly regulated sector, and investment communications must comply with the rules and be clear, accurate, non-misleading, and balanced. It appears that some influencers are unaware of this. This responsible influence certificate in financial advertising will help to professionalise this field and protect investors from financial products that are too complex or too risky. We encourage professionals who turn to influencers to ensure that they have obtained the certificate.”

Stéphane Martin, General Manager of the ARPP, said the Certificate contributes to the education that content creators need in the context of commercial influencer activity.

“The Certificate is useful for everyone. By combining their respective areas of expertise, the work with the AMF to create a specific module for financial advertising, enabling influencers to understand the applicable provisions of positive law and the Recommendations of the ARPP Code, is part of a common and shared objective of protecting the public-retail investors.”

The two authorities have also collaborated on updating the ARPP’s Codes on the financial sector and on creating a new Code for the advertising of digital assets to reflect changes in regulation and practices. These Codes will apply from 1 October.

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