On Friday, 28 July, French Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) published its guide on funding of research by investment firms under MiFID II (link). This guide follows AMF’s September 2016 consultation on funding of research and the corresponding February 2017 feedback statement. It seeks to provide market participants with additional interpretation and practical implementation guidance in respect of rules pertaining to funding of research as set out by MiFID II and the corresponding Commission Delegated Directive (EU) 2017/593 (CDD 2017/593). The guide is focuses in particular on Article 13 CDD 2017/593 provisions that permit two alternative methods for the funding of research:
- Direct payment for research by investment firm and using the investment firm’ own resources; or
- Payments from a separate research payment account (RPA) controlled by an investment firm.
The AMF’s guide includes seven sections – (1) Scope of application of the funding of research, (2) Definition of research, (3) Minor non-monetary benefits, (4) Macroeconomic analysis, (5) Corporate access, (6) Operation of the research budget and (7) Research Payment Account (RPA). It is designed to complement the existing Q&A guidance on investor protection topics issued by European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) and most recently updated in June 2017 (link). The AMF intends to update the guide as and when additional clarification at ESMA level will become available.
Earlier this month, on 12 July 2017, the order amending provisions of the AMF’s General Regulations was published in the French Official Journal (link). The order, among other, transposes into French legislative framework provisions of Articles 11 – 13 CDD 2017/593 setting out detailed rules on inducements, payment for research and operation of RPAs.