AMF to change its regulations on knowledge and competence assessments at investment firms

AMF to change its regulations on knowledge and competence assessments at investment firms

AMF

The Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) is about to change to its General Regulation and policy on investment services provider requirements regarding knowledge and competence assessments of individuals holding certain positions. In that regard, the French regulator opened a public consultation on Tuesday, which will end on 20 July 2017.

The regulatory changes are related to implementation of ESMA guidelines on the assessment of knowledge and competence ahead of MiFID II application.

In its draft position-recommendation, the AMF states that investment services providers such as forex and binary options brokers must verify that the individuals who give advice or information on financial services or instruments on their behalf are competent and have sufficient knowledge on these matters. Verifications should be carried out within six months of their hiring.

Investment firms are required to verify the minimum knowledge of individuals holding certain key positions, such as salesperson, portfolio manager, financial analyst, or compliance officer. A greater level of knowledge and competence is required of individuals giving investment advice.

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. It also regularly publishes warnings against unlicensed investment firms.

In September last year, the AMF banned the advertising of over-the-counter (OTC) financial derivatives such as forex, binary options and contracts for difference (CFDs) with a leverage greater than 5:1. The ban on advertisement of derivatives applies to all online space and media platforms, as well as to sponsorship deals.

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