The Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), the French financial markets’ regulator, has presented its annual report during a press conference in Paris.
Gérard Rameix, chairman of the AMF, has pointed out that the French asset management industry manages €1,349bn of assets at the end of 2014, up to 3% yoy. The number of asset management companies approved by the AMF rose by 23%.
The implementation of the AIFMD has put further strain on the AMF as over 400 approval documents have been transmitted, three times more than usually, spotted Rameix.
While the AMF welcomes the recovery of activity and optimism towards the markets, Rameix said the global financial situation remains uncertain for two reasons.
According to him, the implementation of financial stability reforms which aimed to prevent another crisis is still not complete and the actions taken by Europe to fight the crisis of 2008, such as the quantitative easing policy, have not given the results expected in the real economy.
Rameix also touched on the drop of interest rates and the quantitative easing (QE) policy led by the ECB. He said QE “might generate risk on financial markets”, including “the inflation of some assets, the threat of a bond crisis in case a rate hike is not handled correctly and the unreasonable search for high yield.”
The AMF also took a firm stance on forex online and binary option trading, which they said offer retail clients risky and deceptive solutions.
In 2014 only, the French regulator fined 79 physical or legal persons for a total amount of €33m, the highest since the launch of the AMF. It has also conducted 27 inquiries and established 46 reviews of financial companies.