Representing financial market professionals based in France




Product governance

 As 2017 got underway, AMAFI shared an initial version of its guide to implementing product governance arrangements with the AMF and several French industry associations (FBF, AFG and AFTI). AMAFI will use the feedback to modify the draft before publishing it. The guide gives an overview of the legislative provisions, suggests criteria for identifying the target market, provides a contractual document to facilitate the negotiation of the agreements that must be established between producers and distributors, and contains a proposal to standardise exchanges between distributors and producers on sales outside the target market.

 AMAFI also replied to the consultation launched by ESMA in early October on the draft guidelines for product governance requirements (AMAFI / 16-61). AMAFI made the following key points in its feedback:

  • A more proportionate approach needs to be taken to identifying the target market (e.g. only certain criteria need apply in the case of plain-vanilla products);
  • Since automated processes are going to be needed to handle the volumes of data involved, it is important to enable the criteria for identifying the target market to be standardised;
  • ESMA’s guidelines fail to take proper account of the issues raised by portfolio diversification;
  • ESMA needs to confirm that target market assessments may be conducted only on the basis of the available information on the customer, which is in turn linked to the nature of the service provided by the distributor.

Package orders

ESMA has just completed a public consultation on the liquidity of package orders, i.e. involving the execution of at least two transactions that are interlinked in terms of risk and execution. The aim is to determine the conditions under which such orders may be considered to have a liquid market as a whole.

In its consultation feedback, AMAFI stressed the need to take great care, given the complexity of the issue, which has forced US authorities to delay the application of transparency rules for these transactions since 2014. AMAFI recommended that, at least initially, only packages whose components are all from the same asset class, traded on a trading platform, denominated in the same currency and liquid, should be considered as having a liquid market (AMAFI / 17-03).

Territorial scope

 Work has now been completed on clarifying the territorial scope of application of certain provisions of the MiFID 2 Directive and Regulation, notably as regards the application of these provisions to the branches of investment firms located outside the European Union (AMAFI / 17-05). As a general rule, subject to a few extensions outside the Union, the MiFID 2 framework is deemed to apply essentially to business conducted within the Union by European entities that are investment firms.

Cost disclosures

AMAFI is continuing its discussions with the AMF on the interpretation of provisions governing cost and expense disclosure obligations. AMAFI feels that ESMA should organise a consultation with the industry on finalising its Level 3 measures for these disclosure obligations. It teamed up with several other professional associations to make this point in a joint letter to ESMA (cf. AMAFI Info No. 127).


Prudential regime applicable to investment firms

On 4 November, the European Banking Authority (EBA) published a discussion paper on the prudential treatment applicable to investment firms not presenting systemic risk (cf. AMAFI Info No. 127). The aim is to set up an appropriate prudential regime for investment firms other than those identified as Global Systemically Important Institutions (G-SIIs) or Other Systemically Important Institutions (O-SIIs), which are the only ones that will be subject to the full CRR/CRD IV regime.

EBA is proposing an innovative approach to measuring the solvency of non-systemically important investment firms based not on the risk exposure of the investment firm but on the risk to which the investment firm would expose customers and the markets on which it operates in the event of its failure. EBA also leaves open the possibility of trimming and adjusting the existing regime for these firms, but has not clarified the nature of the proposed amendments at this stage.

In general, AMAFI wholeheartedly supports EBA’s aim of revising the prudential regime for investment firms. However, the proposed solvency approach, while appealing at first glance, is not entirely suited to the actual nature of the business activities carried on by investment firms in France. It also raises questions about maintaining the ability to conduct supervision on a consolidated basis of investment firms that belong to a banking group. To truly lighten the burden on these investment firms, steps would need to be taken to extensively revise the management rules applicable to these firms or Pillar II measures, which, under CRR rules, allow national regulators to impose supplementary requirements on a case by case basis. EBA’s report does not address these questions, and it is unlikely that satisfactory responses can be obtained sufficiently quickly.

Accordingly, AMAFI said that it would preferable and more practical to simplify and adapt the rules under the current regime and made a number of proposals to this effect (AMAFI / 17-09). Several of AMAFI’s sister organisations in Europe share these concerns.


Ruptures technologiques et finance

Consultez l’enquête « Ruptures technologiques et finance » rendue publique le 21 février à l’occasion des 7ème Rencontres des professionnels de la dette et du change.


Prix Turgot 2017 pour le livre "plus de marché pour plus d'état"

Publié par les éditions Revue Banque et Eyrolles, avec le concours de l’AMAFI, le livre « Plus de marché pour plus d’Etat ! » ; écrit par Philippe Tibi, Président d’Honneur de l’AMAFI et Professeur à Polytechnique et Francis Kramarz, Directeur du CREST ; a été récompensé par le prix Turgot du meilleur livre d’économie financière de l’année, mardi 7 mars.


Version 2017 des guides AMAFI TTF

La version 2017 des guides AMAFI TTF-FR et AMAFI TTF-EN est désormais disponible.


Abus de marché

L’AMAFI a mis à jour début février (AMAFI / 17-13) son document de questions-réponses sur le dispositif Abus de marché (MAR) dont la première version a été publiée en juin 2016 (AMAFI / 16-29).

Cette mise à jour a été l’occasion d’enrichir le document de nouvelles questions relatives aux sondages de marché, notamment sur la définition et le champ d’application des sondages de marché appliqués à des situations pratiques habituellement rencontrées par les adhérents telles que les credit update, les deal road show, ou les cessions de bloc. Sa traduction en anglais est en cours.

L’Association travaille également à enrichir ce document de ses réflexions sur les recommandations d’investissement



MiFID 2 compliance of trading platforms

There is an operational risk of a market seize-up in early 2018. The issue lies with the fact that markets must make changes to their order management and data dissemination systems to comply with the new regulatory requirements. If they are slow in sharing their new technical specifications, members could be left with little time to adapt their own systems and carry out the tests needed to prevent problems. Given the number of markets operating in Europe, it is possible that members may not have the requisite resources at the end of the year to make the necessary adjustments. AMAFI has set up a specific group to assess the risk and, if necessary, suggest measures to respond to the situation. 

Transaction reporting

The AMAFI-AFTI Regulatory Reporting Group met with AMF staff to talk about questions raised by MiFID 2 transaction reporting requirements. Topics under discussion included ESMA’s guidelines on reporting average prices, following the joint letter from AMAFI-AFTI (AMAFI / 16-59) to ESMA’s Chair last December.

Product governance

AMAFI has published the first version of its guide to implementing product governance requirements (AMAFI / 17-22). Although initially drafted by a working group mostly made up of manufacturers, the guide also took observations from distributors on board. Accordingly, the guidance reflects input from manufacturers and distributors, particularly on proposals to standardise target market criteria and update distribution agreements to meet the new obligations. The guide, which also draws on conversations with the AMF and other industry associations, will be updated and expanded over the months ahead.

Cost disclosures

AMAFI teamed up with several other professional associations to ask ESMA to work with industry on finalising Level 3 measures on cost disclosure obligations. After EMSA responded favourably, AMAFI sent it a document (AMAFI / 17-18) setting out the primary concerns of members, particularly on cost calculation methodologies and transparency procedures.


At the close of 2016 ESMA released an initial version of its Q&A on commodities. However, the document leaves many questions unanswered, particularly concerning the practicalities of position reporting, for which no Level 2 measures are planned. AMAFI’s Commodities Committee therefore decided to set up a working group to provide input to ESMA’s work in this area by suggesting Q&As. The proposals, which were discussed ahead of time with the AMF, were submitted to ESMA, which reviewed them in its Commodities Task Force. Given how hard it is to reach consensus on reporting issues, a new version of the ESMA Q&A is unlikely to be released any time soon.

It is worth pointing out that, after intense discussion, the European Parliament finally adopted regulatory technical standards (RTS) 20 and 21 on ancillary activities and position limits respectively.

Best execution

The MiFID 2 Project Leaders Group has begun work in conjunction with the AMF on best execution reporting by investment services providers and execution platforms.


Following the publication by AMAFI at the beginning of the year of a note (AMAFI / 17-05) clarifying the territorial reach of certain provisions of MiFID 2 and Regulation, a meeting was held with AMF staff. They informed AMAFI of their preliminary approach on the subject, and particularly on the application outside the EU of certain provisions relating to transparency and transaction reporting. ESMA is currently working on this matter and should produce some clarifications in the next two months.



AMAFI continues to keep a close watch on the work being done at European level to adopt a new Prospectus Regulation, one of the first concrete measures in the CMU project.

While the regulation is expected to be definitively adopted following trialogue discussions and published in the coming weeks, attention is now turning to the Level 2 measures, which are currently being drafted but about which no details are yet available. Expectations are especially high concerning the streamlined requirements for the new EU Growth Prospectus. The goal here will be to follow through on one of the key aims of the new regulations, namely to promote financing for small and mid-sized companies. It goes without saying that AMAFI will remain very attentive and closely involved in the upcoming stages of this process.


Capital markets union (CMU)

In late January the European Commission began a mid-term review of its CMU action plan. The aim was to take stock of legislative initiatives undertaken since 2015 and gather feedback from stakeholders on positive aspects and possible improvements to the plan.

AMAFI, which had taken part in the previous CMU consultations (cf. AMAFI / 15-28), was keen to provide further input to the discussions, particularly now that they are taking place against the remarkable backdrop of the UK’s forthcoming departure from the European Union (EU). With this in mind, AMAFI put forward some general observations (AMAFI / 17-24):

  • In-depth discussions are needed on Brexit's consequences for the EU-27 financial system. Any talks must now be organised around the fact that Europe’s main financial centre will soon be outside the Union. Accordingly, it seems reasonable to take the time to properly measure the challenges and consider potential solutions.
  • The EU-27 must have the means to ensure its financial autonomy and security. This will entail looking closely at a number of questions, including the location of central counterparties and market platforms, and access to the data needed to follow and understand market developments.
  • Where necessary, effective convergence of national supervisory practices should be ensured. Targeted strengthening of ESMA’s role and powers could help with this.
  • Europe must adopt a policy for the treatment of third countries and the equivalence framework.
  • Now, more than ever, top priority must be given to capital and hence to equity markets, which are alone in providing risk finance for business development.
  • Finally, steps must be taken to apply the proportionality principle effectively and improve implementation of key legislation with a major bearing on the establishment of CMU.
Interviews (in French)

Union des marchés de capitaux : "ce plan est bienvenu, mais il manque d'ambition"

Accédez à l'interview de Pierre de Lauzun, intitulée : "Union des marchés de capitaux : "Ce plan est bienvenu, mais il manque d'ambition" publiée dans la Revue Banque.