French government unveils draft law on economic modernisation

French minister of finance Michel Sapin has presented the outlines of the draft law on transparency, anti-corruption and economic modernisation.

Its first component aims to regulate lobbying activities and protecting whistleblowers, especially in the financial sector, by creating a special status.

Another facet of the draft law seeks to fight and prevent corruption in France with the creation of a dedicated institution. It notably intends to ease legal actions against foreign public agents involved in corruption cases in France and to implement an anti-corruption mechanism in French large companies.

The third part considers financial regulations and the modernisation of the French economy with some impacts on the asset management industry.

The draft law plans to strengthen powers of the French market regulator AMF. Market abuses will be more penalised. Individuals involved in market abuses’ cases could be sentenced to five years’ imprisonment and fined up to €100m against two years’ imprisonment and fines not exceeding €1.5m currently.

The AMF will have the choice of fining abusers up to €100m or 15% of the legal person’s turnover.

Derivatives are in the eye of the French government which wants to reinforce transparency and investors’security using them. The draft laws plans to ban digital advertising for high risky investments, such as Forex trading platforms and binaries options, to retail investors.

The draft law mentions the launch of pension funds “à la française” the French minister of Economy Emmanuel Macron recently promoted.

Sapin said some €130bn of assets would be considered by these new bodies aimed at financing French companies, mostly through equity investments.

The draft law is to simplify the financing of small and medium size companies as well as of infrastructures through loans and debt.

Other measures enshrined in the draft law include the option for individuals holding a Livret de développement durable to finance social economy.

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