General Regulation

Print

Duties & powers Settlements

The AMF offers a settlement procedure

Published on May 28, 2013

As an alternative to sanction proceedings, the Board may offer a settlement procedure to financial intermediaries that fail to meet their professional obligations. Settlement agreements are drawn up by the Secretary General and the respondent before being approved by the Board. They must then be ratified by the Enforcement Committee.

When can a settlement be offered?

The settlement procedure was introduced in 2010 by the Banking and Financial Regulation Act and applied through the Implementing Decree of 16 August 2011. It can be offered only in the case of a failure to meet professional obligations by market intermediaries, including investment services providers, management companies, financial investment advisers, direct marketers and persons acting under their authority or on their behalf.

The procedure does not cover cases of market abuse (insider dealing, dissemination of false information and price manipulation) or offences by market infrastructures (central securities depositories, securities settlement system operators, clearing houses and market operators).

Main stages in the settlement procedure

When it issues its statement of objections, the Board may also offer the respondent the opportunity to enter into a settlement procedure. The respondent has one month to reply to the AMF’s offer.

If the respondent:

  • does not accept the offer, sanction proceedings are opened
  • accepts the offer, the agreement must be signed within four months, failing which sanction proceedings will be opened.

The agreement is negotiated by the AMF’s Secretary General and the respondent, who undertakes, among other things, to pay the Treasury an amount not exceeding the applicable fine.

Once concluded, the agreement is submitted to the Board for approval.
If the Board:

  • approves the agreement, it is forwarded to the Enforcement Committee for ratification
  • does not approve the agreement, the Board may ask the Secretary General to submit a new draft agreement to the respondent. The new draft agreement must be concluded within a maximum of one month from the date on which the Board notifies its refusal to approve the agreement. This procedure may only be followed once. If the new agreement is not approved, sanction proceedings are opened.

Once approved by the Board, all settlement agreements must be sent to the Enforcement Committee to be ratified.

If the Committee:

  • ratifies the agreement, it is made public and posted on the AMF website
  • does not ratify the agreement, sanction proceedings are opened.

The Enforcement Committee’s decision on the settlement agreement may be appealed by the respondent and by the AMF Chairman.

If the respondent does not comply with the ratified agreement, the Enforcement Committee will open sanction proceedings.

Page top

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