France’s AMF plans to conduct 65 checks in 2019

Maria Nikolova

Thematic checks will focus on how new rules are implemented, whereas other “classic” checks will target major players or entities that pose particular risks.

France’s financial markets authority AMF has earlier today published a document outlining its supervisory priorities for 2019. A great part of the AMF supervisory role is performed via inspections of regulated entities.

The regulator says it aims to conduct 65 such checks in 2019. This marks a small change from 63 checks carried out in 2018.

The AMF says that the inspections are of two main kinds:

  1. “Classic” checks – they target major players or ones posing particular risks or ones mentioned in alerts.

  2. Thematic checks – they cover groups of companies as the regulator tries to assess how the entities comply with new rules.

The French regulator also set forth its supervisory priorities for 2019. The top priority with regard to supervision of asset managers is cyber security, whereas financial intermediaries will be monitored mainly for MiFID II compliance in areas such as transactions reporting.

The words “Forex” and “CFD” are not mentioned in the document. Apparently, the foci of the AMF will be on other aspects of supervision.

Let’s recall, however, that in a recent speech, Robert Ophèle – Chairman of the AMF, has voiced his concerns about the chaos that may emerge if the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) stops renewing its measures restricting CFD offering to retail investors and prohibiting binary options.

Serious problems have become apparent since the introduction of the new ESMA rules, AMF’s head stressed, explaining that these problems are due to the temporary nature of the product intervention measures, that is, that these measures last three months and then have to be renewed. This duration, according to Mr Ophèle, is too short and may increase certain risks. How to translate the EU rules into national ones is a particularly sensitive matter, he said, especially given that the national rules may be permanent.

According to Mr Ophele, it is particularly worrying that, once ESMA does not renew the rules for CFDs and binary options, there will be a multitude of national regimes regarding the offering of these products. This will result in chaotic surveillance of products that are marketed online.

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