In our first monthly wrap up for regulatory developments in France we cover the latest papers from the Autorité Des Marchés Financiers (AMF) and the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR) for the period 1 August to 19 September 2022.

During this period there were no papers from the ACPR but the AMF published the following.

The AMF creates a working group on equity savings plans

On 15 September 2022, the AMF announced that it was creating a working group on equity savings plans (PEAs). The working group will be chaired by AMF Board member Jacqueline Eli-Namer and will hold its first meeting in September. The working group has been established in light of PEA-related complaints doubling last year and becoming the leading reason for referrals to the AMF Ombudsman in 2021. The working group’s task will be to identify the most important problems within the AMF’s remit, which therefore excludes PEAs set up with insurance companies and tax-related provisions. It will also propose solutions to these problems. The working group will hold its first meeting in September. It will consult the Public Finances Directorate General throughout the process. It will publish its report in the Q1 2023.

Call for candidates: renewal of the members of the Climate and Sustainable Finance Commission

On 15 September 2022, the AMF issued a call for candidates for the renewal of the office of the Climate and Sustainable Finance Commission (CCFD). The first term of the CCFD expires mid-October 2022. For this first renewal, the AMF is looking in particular for expertise on disclosure, transition plans, the fight against greenwashing, environmental objectives beyond climate change, social issues and environmental, social and governance data.  The CCFD’s working language is French

The AMF urges market participants to notify it of any anomalies found in net short position notifications

On 31 August 2022, the AMF issued a press release concerning the closure of an investigation where the holder of a net short position voluntarily notified it after identifying, during an internal review, anomalies in its notifications sent to the regulator. The AMF urges market participants to behave in the same way as the market participant concerned: to inform the AMF if anomalies are identified in the net short position notifications reported and to cooperate actively in implementing corrective actions and remedial measures.

The AMF publishes a summary of its SPOT inspections on STS securitisation

On 30 August 2022, the AMF published a summary of SPOT inspections on simple, transparent and standardised (STS) securitisation. The main objective of the SPOT inspections was to ensure compliance of the STS notifications incumbent on originators and sponsors within the framework of traditional securitisation transactions. The SPOT inspections covered a sample group of five investment service providers and covered the period 1 January 2019 to 30 September 2021.

Through the SPOT inspections the AMF has detected significant shortcomings in the required due diligence regarding STS securitisation by the investment service providers in the sample group. The quality of the arrangements governing the granting, monitoring and withdrawal of the STS label established by the inspected investment service providers shows an insufficient level of maturity, sometimes due to poor understanding of the regulations.

Sustainability requirements in the distribution of financial instruments: update on upcoming legislation and its implementation dates

On 12 August 2022, the AMF issued a press release concerning Delegated Regulation (EU) 2021/1253 which came into force on 2 August 2022, amending the MiFID II framework by introducing sustainability preferences. The press release also reminds investment services providers and financial investment advisers that the legislation will affect them from 22 November 2022 and 1 January 2023 respectively.

The press release also refers to the public consultation that ESMA held on the review of its guidelines on:

  • Suitability assessment requirements reflecting amendments to Delegated Regulation (EU) 2021/1253.
  • Product governance requirements to reflect the changes to Delegated Regulation (EU) 2021/1253.

In relation to the latter, ESMA’s consultation remains open until 7 October 2022 and the AMF encourages stakeholders impacted by the changes to contribute so that the proposed wording of the revised guidelines accommodates their operational perspectives to ensure that they can be implemented properly.

The AMF complies with the ESMA guidelines on updating stress test scenarios in accordance with Article 28 of the Money Market Fund Regulation

On 4 August 2022, the AMF updated its position DOC-2018-05 to reference the recent updates that ESMA made to its 2019 guidelines that define common reference parameters for different stress test scenarios under Regulation (EU) 2017/1131 on money market funds (MMFs). In particular, the updated guidelines reflect market conditions prevailing at year-end 2021 and include an increase of interest rate variation parameters. MMF reporting is communicated on a quarterly basis for MMFs with more than €100 million in assets, MMF managers must use the updated stress test parameters from 30 September 2022 onwards. The AMF draws market fund managers’ attention to the importance of updating these parameters on reporting due from 30 September 2022.