France’s financial regulatory body, the Autorite des Marches Financiers (AMF), collected €10 million in sanctions in 2016, French media Les Echos reported last week. The figure is about half the amount collected a year earlier. In 2017, however, the regulator expects to collect a higher amount.
Gerard Rameix, Chairman of AMF noted that the fact that 2016 brought less proceeds in the form of sanctions does not mean that the watchdog has become less harsh. One reason there is a significant drop in the amount collected in 2016 is that a year earlier the watchdog imposed a single sanction of €10 million, which equals the total amount for last year.
The AMF has reported in 2015 it received 1,656 complaints from customers of forex and binary options brokers, which is a significant growth compared to the 64 complaints it received in 2011. It said at the time in the past six years, French investors have lost about €4.0 billion to illegal forex and binary option sites.
In September last year, the AMF banned the advertising of forex, binary options and contracts for difference (CFDs). The new rules are included in the Sapin II law and refer to advertising to retail investors. Rameix said law amendments are being made for other instruments, as well, including diamonds.
The AMF, an independent public authority, is in charge of the supervision of the financial markets in France. It licenses financial service providers, sets industry rules, and monitors whether entities comply with them. The regulator makes sure French citizens receive adequate information and safeguards their investments in financial products.