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The Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) examines authorisation applications for custody account keeping activities filed with the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR) by institutions wishing to exercise the function of depositary. The AMF defines the attributions and obligations relating to this function in its General Regulation.
The following entities can be UCITS depositaries:
In order to be able to operate as a UCITS depositary, the entities mentioned in 3° to 5° above must be authorised to perform the related service of custody account-keeping
The following entities can be AIF depositaries:
In order to be able to operate as an AIF depositary, the investment firms must be authorised to perform the related service of custody account-keeping and permanently have capital equal to or greater than the initial capital level specified in article 9 of Directive 2006/49/EC.
Depositaries of undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities (UCITS) and alternative investment funds (AIF) have two main missions: custody of the assets held by the undertakings for collective investments (UCIs) and ensuring that any decisions by the UCITS, the AIF or its management company comply with the applicable laws and regulations and with the provisions set out in its prospectus.
The UCITS V Directive states that entities other than national central banks and credit institutions (and branches of credit institutions) that wish to perform the function of UCITS depositary must be authorised.
The AMF, the French Prudential Supervisory Authority (ACPR) and the Treasury have decided to implement an authorisation for investment firms acting as UCITS depositaries, which can be obtained in the same way as the ACPR's authorisation for investment services providers.
Investment firms must first get their programme of activity approved by the AMF and then get an authorisation from the ACPR. They do not, however, have performance specifications (the various points from the performance specifications are replicated in the programme of activity drawn up specially for the depositary business).
French credit institutions and French branches of EU credit institutions must submit their performance specifications for approval. These performance specifications outline the conditions in which the depositary performs its activity (resources, organisation, procedures, etc.).
Credit institutions and investment firms (operating under French law or via a French branch) must keep their performance specifications up to date and send them to the regulator.