On June 26, the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) published its strategic guidelines for the period 2023 – 2027.
An eagerly-awaited document
This document was particularly eagerly awaited, as it followed two important events. Firstly, the arrival of a new chairwoman at the head of the AMF, Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani. Secondly, the Paris market’s accession to 1st place in terms of market capitalization in Europe.
To begin with, the document sets out an ambitious work program, with cross-cutting themes on the one hand, and thematic priorities on the other.
The first cross-cutting priority focuses on the integrity and attractiveness of the Paris financial center, with a strong emphasis on the fight against money laundering, but also on increased education about sanctions.
The second axis relates to the AMF’s desire for greater international influence, in order to compensate for the absence of a single European supervisor for financial markets. The AMF seems to regret this absence, which is certainly welcome.
Balanced thematic priorities – perhaps too balanced?
In terms of thematic priorities, there are three: protecting investors, promoting more sustainable finance and supporting innovation.
With regard to sustainable finance, the AMF recognizes the complexity and inconsistencies of the regulatory framework and announces its intention to improve its coherence, which will not be an easy task… It also announces as a priority the guarantee of extra-financial information, which is also good news.
Indeed, the lack of reliability of such information handicaps the entire financial market value chain. From issuer to asset manager to individual investor.
The third priority concerns investor protection
This priority covers 3 main themes.
The first is to protect investors and stimulate their critical thinking. The AMF talks about its mystery visits, which are to be stepped up. That is a positive step, given that they are a good control tool.
Unfortunately, little mention is made of financial education, which is mainly aimed at bank advisors. This is certainly necessary, but far from sufficient. Digital education is also mentioned, which is a good thing in an increasingly digitalized distribution world.
The AMF goes on to talk about technology watch and reinforcing the supervision of financial influencers.
The third part deals with quality-price issues, and in particular the level of charges for products sold and the quality of advice given. This section clearly shows the influence of the new European Retail Investment Strategy (RIS) mentioned in our blog on 8th June 2023. The notion of Value for Money confirms its importance.
It seems a pity to us that the AMF has not placed more emphasis on two important elements for the development of financial markets in France. On the one hand, financial education. This one is only mentioned and for which both the stakes and the means, with the arrival of new technologies, are considerable. Secondly, financial institutions need to know their customers and their risk profiles. This too needs to be improved in order to deliver better advice, something the AMF seems to be calling for.
To access the original publication on the AMF strategic guidelines for 2023 – 2027, click here.