On June 23, 2016 the British voted in a referendum to take their country out of the European Union (EU).
This decision is the first stage in the exit process defined by article 50 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU).
The consequences of this decision will be mainly borne by the United Kingdom (UK) and European financial markets, which will be directly impacted both on short and long term.
From this perspective, Paris, as one of the leading financial market in Europe, must make sure to meet the needs of an unprecedented situation.
Following the Brexit, the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) is showing its willingness to attract financial assets in France by setting-up a dedicated welcome program for investment firms and FinTech companies based in the UK: AGILITY.
Indeed, "the AMF is pursuing its objective to make the Paris financial market more attractive by launching AGILITY, a program which purpose is to assist UK investment firms with the French licensing process. It will provide a range of services, notably helping financial firms already regulated in the UK, to be easily authorized in France. With 2WeekTicket pre-authorisation, they can begin the process of opening offices in France in just two weeks.
The AGILITY outreach programme targets investment firms and FinTech companies that fall under the AMF’s jurisdiction. It has three main steps:
- The 2WeekTicket: management firms and FinTech companies can supply an authorisation from the Financial Conduct Authority and fill out a standardised form from the AMF to receive “pre-authorisation” in just two weeks. The notice will certify that the companies are believed to meet the conditions for receiving a definitive authorisation. It will allow them to get a head start on the work of opening new offices, such as searching for a suitable location. The authorisation giving access to the European passport will be issued two months later, provided of course that the applicant meets all of the requirements;
- Access to “dedicated” English-speaking AMF contacts: these persons will assist the applicants to understand the regulations and statutes that apply to their contemplated activities in France, starting with the pre-authorisation period and continuing through the six-month monitoring period following AMF autorisation;
- Coordinated access to a single contact point at the AMF and ACPR for innovative companies offering services that fall under the jurisdiction of both regulators.
The AMF’s approach to outreach and innovation is based on the idea that complying with the European regulatory framework will help firms to win the confidence of retail investors and FinTech backers, and will increase credibility to their international development efforts. With AGILITY, the AMF proposes to let firms work within its “Regulatory Soundbox”, providing FCA regulated entities with strength and proportionality."
The AMF has set up a dedicated page on its website and questions can be sent to the following email address: [email protected]