The Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) is pursuing its commitment to making the Paris financial market more appealing by launching AGILITY, a program devoted to guiding financial firms through the French authorisation process. It will provide a range of services, notably helping financial firms authorised in the UK set up in France. With 2WeekTicket pre-authorisation, they can begin the process of opening offices in France in just two weeks.
The AMF is gearing up to work with traditional and ground-breaking firms based in the UK looking to locate some or all of their business in continental Europe to gain access to the single market and the European passport.
The AGILITY outreach programme targets management firms and FinTech companies that fall under the AMF’s jurisdiction. It has three main elements:
- The 2WeekTicket: management firms and FinTech companies can supply an authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority and fill out a standardised form from the AMF to receive “pre-authorisation” in just two weeks. The notice will certify that the companies are believed to meet the conditions for receiving a definitive authorisation. It will allow them to get a head start on the work of opening new offices, such as searching for a suitable location. The authorisation giving access to the European passport will be issued two months later, provided of course that the applicant meets all of the requirements.
- Access to English-speaking “coaches” at the AMF: these coaches will help applicants understand the regulations and statutes that apply to their planned activities, starting with the pre-authorisation period and continuing through the six-month monitoring period following authorisation.
- Coordinated access to a single contact point at the AMF and ACPR for innovative companies offering services that fall under the jurisdiction of both regulators.
The AMF’s approach to outreach and innovation is based on the idea that complying with the European regulatory framework will help firms win the confidence of retail investors and FinTech backers, and will lend credibility to their international development efforts. Where there are no European rules governing their business, they can follow the most relevant French framework, such as the AMF’s regulations on crowdfunding, for example.
With AGILITY, the AMF proposes to let firms work within its “Regulatory Soundbox”, referring to sound rules giving access to European passports, which gives them a firm footing from which to innovate and oversight that is proportional to their activities.