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Sustainable finance

10 October 2022

The emergence of a financial model that better integrates sustainability issues and contributes to financing the energy transition is a crucial issue for both the planet and finance. Focus on our approach, our publications, and actions in the field of sustainable finance.

A strong commitment by the AMF

Our approach is based on the conviction that the regulator has an important role to play in encouraging and accelerating transformations, while preserving financial markets, financial stability and investors.

Through its regular reports on non-financial approaches in collective management  and on social, societal and environmental responsibility (CSR reports), as well as its regular interactions with stakeholders on these subjects, and its strong involvement in European regulatory initiatives, the AMF has gradually strengthened its commitment to sustainable finance. This has resulted in the creation, in July 2019, of a Climate and Sustainable Finance Commission dedicated to these cross-cutting themes and bringing together the Paris center's stakeholders on the subject of sustainable finance.

A major focus of our strategic plan #Supervision2022, sustainable finance is implemented in all our missions and activities. Our objective is to change practices, increase transparency and facilitate the consideration of sustainability issues as well as the mobilisation of capital for more sustainable activities. Our action is part of the European Commission’s action plan for financing sustainable growth. 

Article 77 29° of the PACTE law has also added a specific mission for the AMF, making it responsible for ensuring the quality of information provided by asset management companies on their investment strategy and the way they manage risks related to the effects of climate change.

Our priority areas of action for 2022

The AMF’s priority actions for 2022 highlight the following sustainable finance objectives:

  • Support issuers in the implementation of the European taxonomy and contribute to the development of corporate sustainability reporting standards,
  • Ensure the effectiveness and credibility of the financial market transition and support marketplace efforts to fund the transition to a carbon-neutral economy,
  • Promote the development of appropriate labels and standards.

Focus on recent actions carried out in our areas of intervention

Non-financial information of listed companies and climate reporting

The quality of environmental and social data, and therefore the non-financial information of listed companies is essential to investor decisions and to the monitoring by investors of their commitment policy. All the stakeholders of companies are interested in this data. In this context, the AMF accompanies listed companies in the preparation of their non-financial statements, in particular by putting forward best practices and recommendations.

The resulting doctrine is consolidated in successive editions of its report on the social, societal and environmental responsibility of listed companies, which was last published in 2019. The AMF also reviews the non-financial information published by issuers when reviewing universal registration documents (URD).

 More specifically, the AMF published a report in December 2021 on corporate carbon reporting covering both financial and non-financial aspects. The AMF also published a study on climate reporting according to the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) referential at the end of 2020. The regulator assessed the implementation of this referential by 10 French financial institutions based on an in-depth analysis of published reports and interviews.

Finally, the AMF is also accompanying the development of the green, social and sustainable bond market by ensuring, in particular, the transparency of the information provided to investors on the allocation of the proceeds and the implementation of an appropriate regulatory framework.

Responsible asset management

Sustainable financial now represents a structural trend of the sector. Several AMF publications, focusing on asset management actors, have covered the subject, through different angles. The goal is to highlight trends observed in the market, and share good practices and recommendations, to bring attention to eventual bad practices, or to clarify the Authority’s expectations or doctrine. This last objective led to the adoption of Position-Recommendation 2020-03 in March 2020, updated in January 2022, which aims to limit the risks of greenwashing.

Following the adoption by the European Commission of new measures relating to the integration of sustainability factors, the AMF launched a consultation in May 2022 on the integration of sustainability-related obligations into its general regulation.

The AMF also works jointly with the Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de résolution (ACPR), and has published in this context a second AMF/ACPR report on the monitoring and evaluation of climate-related commitments of financial institutions in December 2021. The AMF had published a pre-report on fossil fuels in October 2021 in which the policies of asset management companies were evaluated as well as the implementation of recommendations given in the first report.

Our recent reports and news:

Education for retail investors and accompanying professionals

Reinforcing the education of retail investors about sustainable investments is essential to accompany the changes underway. This is one of our objectives. We are developing specific guides on these topics for individual investors. This also means understanding their expectations and needs.

The AMF has published the results of two studies on the perception of responsible or sustainable financial products by the French and the expectations of savers, which have revealed a growing interest on the part of individuals but also a strong need for education and transparency of this type of investment.

In 2021, the certification in sustainable finance was reinforced for professionals. The AMF has decided, on the proposal of the Financial Skills Certification Board (HCCP), to create a new module to test the knowledge of professionals on green and responsible finance, and to give greater weight to these questions in the general exam for AMF certification. The first training organizations have been certified to organize the sustainable finance exam in September 2021 and the first exams were held in early 2022. This module, which is open to all, is particularly aimed at professionals working as salespeople, who are required to collect their clients' preferences in terms of sustainable investment from August 2022 for Investment Service Providers (ISP) and January 2023 for Financial Investment Advisers (FIA).

Focus on our contribution to European and international work

The AMF actively participates in discussions at the European level regarding the implementation of the European Commission’s action plan. In 2021, the AMF actively collaborated with European supervisors at the elaboration of several major texts such as the Delegated Regulation on Article 8 of the Taxonomy Regulation and the Delegated Acts on sustainability preferences, fiduciary duties and product governance.

The Authority is also actively involved in discussions regarding the evolution of regulation. For example, the AMF has recently renewed its call for a European regulation of ESG data, ratings and related services. It has also participated in the European and international work regarding sustainable reporting standards.

Contributions also include the following publications and proposals: