“The emergence of truly European supervision of the capital markets is one of our main strategic goals. This is necessary for the establishment of Capital Markets Union and all the more so, for the EU27 to be united as one vis-à-vis third countries, with the United Kingdom at the forefront in the near future”, said Robert Ophèle, Chairman of the Autorité des Marchés Financiers, upon the publication of the institution’s 2017 annual report.
The AMF works daily to carry out the various tasks entrusted to it by lawmakers, namely to protect savings invested in financial products, monitor the information provided to investors and ensure the orderly operation of the financial markets. It operates in a mostly European regulatory landscape, whose framework has been substantially reformed since the 2008 financial crisis. Today the AMF is operating in a most particular context since, for the first time in its history, the European Union is living with the decision by one of its members, the United Kingdom, to withdraw. Over the course of 2017, the AMF’s activities in France and abroad were driven by four key convictions.
Promote the further integration of European supervision
This vision broadly underpinned the positions taken in recent months by the regulator regarding the reform of the European supervisory authorities and the revision of the European regulation on over-the-counter derivatives. The AMF believes that the powers of the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA) must be expanded in order for supervisory convergence to become a reality. This would involve reforming the governance of the European authority. Its direct powers could also be strengthened in certain specific areas that have a pan-European dimension, such as the supervision of clearing houses. The AMF also believes ESMA should play a greater role vis-à-vis third countries.
The prospect of Brexit has already led to the implementation of several elements of more integrated supervision. The AMF supported the initiative undertaken by ESMA that, in April 2017, led to the publication of an opinion covering general principles intended to foster consistency in relation to the authorisation, supervision and enforcement of entities that wish to relocate part or all of their operations to continental Europe. These principles were then set out in sector-specific opinions on market infrastructure, investment services providers and asset management.
Facilitate the implementation of a secure framework for the markets and asset management
The implementation of the new framework for markets in financial instruments (MiFID II) mobilised AMF’s teams in 2017 to transpose it within the time frame set by European lawmakers and provide support to industry professionals. The AMF General Regulation was restructured to incorporate the separation of the status of investment firm status from that of management company, as collective management is not subject to certain obligations arising from MiFID II. Last year, as was the case in 2016, the regulator continued its efforts to educate stakeholders on the implementation of new disclosure and reporting requirements and rules on the governance of financial products created or distributed.
Beyond MiFID II, in 2017 the AMF also spent time reviewing the remuneration policies of management companies and the technical specifications of depositaries. In addition, the AMF continued its work with a view to ensuring modernised and transparent collective management and permitted the use of new liquidity management tools.
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