Representing financial market professionals based in France



Éducation financière - Réalisation d’un kit pédagogique

L’AMAFI a participé à la création d’un kit pédagogique à destination des enseignants et des prescripteurs d’orientation de l’éducation nationale. Il a pour but de leur permettre de comprendre l’univers des marchés financiers et d’être en mesure d’en parler à leurs élèves avant leur choix d’orientation.


EFSA – Paris meeting, 14-15 December

In mid-December, AMAFI hosted a meeting of the European Forum of Securities Associations (EFSA). The gathering was an opportunity to talk about issues of shared interest, including Level 2 implementation of the revised MiFIR, Europe's Retail Investment Strategy, the potential shortening of the settlement cycle to T+1 and the ongoing Listing Act negotiations.

The meeting’s other purpose was to discuss the industry's capital-market priorities for the next European Commission. In the lead-up to the June 2024 elections and associated institutional renewal, EFSA has tasked itself with drawing up shared proposals to build deeper European markets that are better equipped to play a part in financing the continent’s economy. France's securities regulator, the AMF, represented by Secretary General Sébastien Raspiller, laid out its own European priorities at the meeting and held discussions with EFSA members.

The EFSA will reconvene in the second quarter of 2024 at a meeting hosted by the Danish Financial Markets Association (FIDA), which is set to take over from AMAFI in acting as the Forum's secretariat for a year.


Market abuse – Pre-hedging

Last summer, ESMA published a report on feedback to the 2022 call for evidence on pre-hedging practices, i.e. hedging transactions conducted in an anticipatory manner ahead of potential transactions by a client or counterparty. Following the release of the report, AMAFI reiterated to the AMF, and subsequently also to ESMA, some of the positions contained in its feedback to the European authority (AMAFI / 22-67).

In a note to the two authorities (AMAFI / 24-06), AMAFI stressed that pre-hedging is vital to orderly financial markets and should not be systematically viewed as insider dealing. It also urged ESMA to draw a clearer distinction between hedging and pre-hedging and underlined the challenges in gathering prior consent from clients for pre-hedging on electronic or request-for-quote markets.


Open Finance

Last year, as part of its European Data Strategy and more specifically the Digital Finance Strategy, the European Commission published proposals aimed at allowing customers to share their data on “investments in financial instruments” held by financial institutions with third-party providers. The “Open Finance” initiative is taking the form of a proposal to amend the Payment Services Directive and a proposal for a Financial Data Access (FIDA) Regulation.

This project raises significant data sovereignty issues for the European Union. It could have far-reaching ramifications for wholesale market participants, which will be forced to mobilise substantial resources, despite the uncertain customer benefits in an area where many of the most advanced countries are allowing market forces to operate. At a time when AMAFI is stressing the critical importance of competitiveness for EU market participants (link News report), this proposal is extremely unwelcome. 

Accordingly, AMAFI is arguing for the scope of the regulation to exclude customers classified as professionals under MiFID, for whom data portability is not an issue.


T+1 Settlement

In the wake of the US industry’s decision to shorten its settlement cycle to one day after the date of the trade (T+1) in April 2024, the UK and EU launched studies to determine whether to follow suit and reduce their own cycles from the current two days to one day.

AMAFI teamed up with France Post Marché and the AFG to respond to ESMA's consultation on introducing a T+1 or even T.0 settlement cycle in Europe (AMAFI / 23-85).

The associations agreed to review only the T+1 scenario, since introducing same-day settlement would entail deep-seated changes to the technology currently used by financial markets and looks unworkable in the short and medium term.

AMAFI offered the following observations:

  • In a purely European context, there is no objective benefit to switching to T+1. While it makes sense to consider the international environment and the attractiveness of European markets, there is no evidence that the settlement period determines a market’s appeal to issuers or investors.
  • Switching to T+1 in Europe would mean a radical shift for EU market participants, including market infrastructures. For this reason, such a move cannot be compared to the switch from T+3 to T+2 carried out several years ago, which did not involve changes for infrastructures.
  • Shortening the settlement cycle is not compatible with the trend towards longer trading hours, notably for the benefit of retail customers in the EU.
  • Last but not least, this change would require substantial resources, which could be more usefully put towards projects with greater value added.

At this stage, the technical drawbacks appear to outweigh the benefits. In addition, while the move to T+1 by other jurisdictions will definitely have consequences for European stakeholders (investment firms and management companies), the effects should not be overestimated. It would be more sensible to estimate the costs and benefits of switching to T+1 in Europe once other markets, and especially the US market, have moved to the new timing.


Compensation des dérivés

Le Parlement européen et le Conseil viennent de trouver un terrain d’entente sur le rapatriement dans l'Union européenne de la compensation des dérivés.

A lire dans Finascope : Interview de Stéphane Giordano, Président de l’AMAFI. 




Enjeux 2024

Retrouvez dans la deuxième édition de cette publication de l’AMAFI un panorama des grands enjeux de l’année pour les acteurs de marché.

Les priorités pour les marchés européens de capitaux, MiFIR, EMIR, Retail Investment Strategy, attractivité de la Place, finance durable …autant de dossiers structurants pour l’AMAFI et ses adhérents à découvrir dans ces pages.

Télécharger "Enjeux 2024"


Capital Markets Union – Priorities for the Union’s capital markets

With a view to European elections in June and the priorities for the next European Commission mandate, AMAFI has published a set of recommendations aimed at encouraging deep, liquid, and competitive capital markets that can contribute to business financing and offer effective savings tools (AMAFI / 23-88).

The proposals, which resulted from months of work by AMAFI’s European Action Committee, call for a radical shift in thinking that will put competitiveness on an equal footing with financial stability, transparency and investor protection.

AMAFI Chairman Stéphane Giordano has shared these proposals with institutional talking partners both in France (minister’s offices, Treasury and AMF) and in Europe (Commission, ESMA and member state representatives).

In France

There is broad consensus that European firms and markets are losing their competitive edge, at a time when market-based financing for the economy is far below potential. Domestic talking partners therefore welcomed AMAFI’s proposals to change the European system, which include making it mandatory to conduct competitiveness tests before introducing new legislation, empowering ESMA to issue no-action letters, and two key recommendations on securitisation and the development of long-term savings tools.

France is due to propose a series of reforms before the end of April. These will be crafted by a task force formed at the behest of Bruno Le Maire and led by  Christian Noyer, former French central bank governor, to  contribute to the current reflections to reinvigorate the Capital Markets Union initiative.

In Europe

While representatives from the Commission and member states welcomed AMAFI’s proposals in principle, some expressed caution on their implementation procedures and effects. For example, measures to strengthen ESMA’s powers, which would mean the loss of supervisory sovereignty, or to develop a European securitisation market backed by a pan-European guarantee from the European Investment Bank, require a level of solidarity that some member states would refuse to countenance.

AMAFI held extensive discussions with Verena Ross, Chair of EMSA, which has set up a Task Force  to work on these issues and is expected to announce its conclusions in late May. Chair Ross welcomed AMAFI’s proposals overall, especially those on calibrating rules at Levels 2 and 3 rather than Level 1, and on the need to expedite the European legislative process, for example by empowering European supervisory authorities to issue no-action letters. However, she expressed a nuanced view on several points.

On the proposal to add competitiveness to ESMA’s mandate, she agreed that this might be beneficial for rulemaking but was less convinced by the argument with regard to supervision.

In addition, allowing local markets to develop, including through their proprietary practices, could lead to national differences that might hamper the construction of the single market.

Chair Ross also said that long-term savings products targeting households would need to be simple, affordable and moderate in terms of risk. In its proposals, AMAFI likewise suggests considering the risk involved in channelling savings to companies, but also the need for collective savings tools.

AMAFI is sharing part of these messages within the European Forum of Securities Associations (EFSA), for which it is providing the secretariat for 12 months. EFSA in turn recently passed on its recommendations for developing the Capital Markets Union (AMAFI / 24-20) to the European institutions. The forum was given the opportunity to present its proposals to one of the European Commission’s directorates, as part of an EU competitiveness report being prepared by Mario Draghi and scheduled for release by the end of June.


Retail Investment Strategy – European Parliament’s position

The European Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs has adopted a position on the Retail Investment Strategy (RIS). Among the topics of particular interest to AMAFI, several stand out:

  • Inducements ban: AMAFI is pleased that the Parliament’s position does not include a full or partial ban but notes the inclusion of a clause requiring a review to be carried out five years after the Level 2 legislation is adopted. .
  • Value for money: AMAFI notes that European benchmarks established by ESMA and EIOPA, or by national authorities for solely local products, are to be used as tools to supervise business practices. However, besides being inapplicable to structured products, the proposed approach would not involve the industry in setting the benchmarks and would concentrate on costs at the expense of performance or other qualitative factors.
  • PRIIPs: AMAFI is disappointed that sustainability disclosures apply only to products subject to reporting obligations under the Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation and are not aligned with MiFID II provisions. It is also disappointed that plain vanilla products have been kept within the scope of packaged retail investment and insurance products (PRIIPs).

On the Council side, member states continue to negotiate, and a general approach may be reached by the end of June. Should that be the case, trilogue negotiations would then start at the close of 2024 under Hungary’s presidency, once the institutional renewal process is over.