Investment services providers (ISP) are defined by Article L. 531-1 of the Monetary and Financial Code. They are investment firms and credit institutions that have been authorised to supply investment services within the meaning of Article L. 321-1 (receiving and transmitting orders for third parties, executing orders for third parties, trading for own account, asset management, underwriting and placing). An authorisation is required to perform each of these investment services. The French Prudential Aupervisory Authority (Autorité de contrôle prudentiel - ACP) grants this authorisation after receiving the opinion of the AMF, unless the ISP's main business is asset management. In that case, the AMF, and not the ACP, gives the authorisation, with the ISP being designated an asset management company.
The AMF lays down the conduct of bussiness rules and obligations that must be fulfilled by authorised professionals to provide investment services.
The list of authorised asset management companies is available on the AMF website at the Geco database.
The list of investment services providers other than asset management companies is available on the ACP website http://www.acp.banque-france.fr/accueil.html.
As part of its supervision of investment services providers, the AMF may conduct inspections and investigations.
Update: 24 January 2012