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Financial markets & infrastructures Banking Act (LSRAB): APF Notification

Automated Processing Facility (APF) notification

Published on December 12, 2014

In accordance with Article L. 451-4 of the French Monetary and Financial Code, Article 315-67 of the AMF General Regulation includes provisions applicable to persons and entities that use an automated processing facility (APF or also called trading algorithm). The General Regulation article will be effective as of 1 January 2015.

The procedure for declaring APFs to AMF is described below.

Trading algorithms concerned

Under Article 315-67 of the AMF General Regulation, the principle of mandatory notification applies to all types of trading algorithms used to issue orders on a regulated market or a multilateral trading facility (MTF) concerned, including those delivered as “standard features” by trading station suppliers when they allow the user to set order execution modes according to certain market parameters (VWAP, TWAP, etc.).

Smart Order Routers, however, which are used to route customers’ orders to the trading venues offering the best execution conditions, are not subject to mandatory notification (as per Paragraph I of Article 315-67 of the AMF General Regulation, with reference to Article 533-18 of the French Monetary and Financial Code on the obligation to obtain the best execution conditions).

Financial instruments concerned

The provisions apply when the APF issues orders concerning securities of companies with their registered head office in France. The following instruments are therefore concerned for these issuers settled in France:

  • Equity securities, including shares in French open-ended investment companies (SICAVs),
  • Debt securities, including certificates and warrants issued by French investment services providers (ISPs), whatever the underlying asset.

 The following financial instruments, however, are not concerned:

  • Financial contracts, including those for which the underlying asset is an equity security of a company with its head office in France,
  • Sovereign loans, loans issued by local or regional authorities or by French bodies which represent or are governed by the State.
  • Securities issued by foreign subsidiaries of French companies.
  • Shares in common funds, including ETFs organised as funds.

Entities subject to notification

The provisions of Article 315-67 apply to any person using one or more APFs issuing orders for securities of a company with its head office in France.
The following table summarises the scope of notification by APF user type.

User type Scope of notification (1)
French ISP (and its branches) EEA regulated markets (RM) and multilateral trading facilities (MTF) (2)
EEA ISP (and its branches, including those in France) French RM and MTF
Resident in France other than an ISP (3) EEA RM and MTF
Non-resident (entity regulated in its country outside the EEA, non-regulated entity - EEA and non-EEA (3) and non-resident natural persons (3)). French RM and MTF

 

(1) Always concerning securities of companies with their head office in France
(2) List of EEA markets available on the ESMA MIFID database.
(3) Excluding customers of online brokers or online banks, in which case notification is by the broker/bank.

Thus:

  • ISPs with branches must make a single notification for all the APFs used by themselves and their branches;
  • When an ISP provides a customer with an APF via direct access to a market the customer makes a notification (according to the scope of notification above); the ISP only makes a notification if it also uses this APF itself (according to the scope of notification above).
  • When an EEA ISP provides a French ISP with an APF via direct market access, which targets EEA markets outside France, the foreign ISP does not make the notification (even if it uses the APF itself); the notification is made by the French ISP;
  • When a management company or bank transmits orders to an ISP which uses APFs to execute the orders received, only the ISP using the APF makes the notification.

Data storage

Article 315-67 of the AMF General Regulation stipulates that ISPs, and any person or entity, using an APF must set up the necessary procedures and internal organisation to store for a period of five years the APF used for each transaction, each order and each order modification or cancellation. This obligation thus applies to the APF user. In practice, the user of an APF provided by an ISP can rely on the ISP to store the data, having first ensured that the ISP in question has set up a suitable data storage system.

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Legal information
Head of publications: Florence Gaubert, Executive Director of AMF Communication Directorate.
Contact: Communication Directorate – Autorité des marches financiers 17 place de la Bourse – 75082 Paris cedex 02