Access the presentation of the AMF
Access our missions: regulate, supervise, inform and protect
Investigations and inspections are conducted by AMF investigators and inspectors, who work closely with other French and foreign authorities that supervise the banking and finance industries. The Board may decide to initiate sanction or settlement proceedings on the basis of the reports relating to investigations and inspections.
The purpose of investigations is to identify perpetrators of possible stock market offences, whether they involve a listed company, a retail or institutional investor or a market professional.
The investigation covers one or more facts or events that could constitute stock market offences, such as:
It is the AMF Secretary General who decides to open an investigation based on observations gathered during market supervision, the monitoring of listed companies, information sent to the AMF or at the request of foreign authorities. The AMF Secretary General authorises the investigators by name.
The investigation procedure is governed by law and the AMF General Regulation. It is set out in a charter that specifies a certain number of principles of good conduct applied by the investigators, as well as the behaviour expected of the persons questioned during the investigations.
Investigators, against whom professional secrecy may not be invoked (except by officers of the court, or on grounds of defence secrecy, may:
> request to receive all documents;
> hear all persons who may be of interest to the investigation;
> access professional premises;
> carry out home visits and seize documents by a substantiated order by the custodial judge of the competent court.
The investigators gather information, which includes press releases from listed companies, trading data, statutory auditors' reports, correspondence, diaries, bank statements, telephone records, trading room telephone recordings and international requests.
Investigations are usually conducted by a team of two specially appointed and individually designated investigators. The diversity of professional backgrounds of the investigators makes it possible to bring together all the necessary technical and legal skills (auditors, accountants, actuaries, lawyers, legal specialists, engineers, magistrates, data scientists, quants, law enforcement officers, tax inspectors, Banque de France inspectors, market professionals, etc.).
The possible outcomes of an investigation
Following examination of the investigation report, the Board, as the AMF’s prosecuting authority, decides on the action to be taken:
The purpose of AMF inspections is to ensure that industry professionals regulated by the AMF and the individuals acting under their authority or on their behalf meet their professional obligations.
> requisition any document/information from all persons: audited entity, third person (statutory auditor, depository, client, etc.),
> order any information to be retained,
> hear all persons including members of the audited entity, third persons,
> access professional premises.
The AMF Secretary General takes the decision to open an inspection following a risk-based approach that considers events, behaviour or incidents likely to constitute a breach of professional obligations). He issues an nominatively designated inspection order to inspectors, specifying the purpose of the inspection.
The inspection is usually conducted by a team of two specially appointed and individually designated inspectors. The diversity of professional backgrounds of the inspectors makes it possible to bring together all the necessary technical and legal skills (auditors, accountants, lawyers, legal specialists, engineers, tax inspectors, Banque de France inspectors, compliance officers, market professionals, etc.).