Banking system Organisation and institutions

Specialized credit institutions (ECS) – ECS are generally not allowed to perform all banking operations. Their accreditation specifies the activities they can carry out, the most common of which are: consumer credit, equipment leasing, real estate leasing, business credit, factoring, sureties, and guarantees, etc. This ECS status came into effect on 1 January 2014. Since then, the former “financial companies” have been ECSs unless they have decided to opt for the status of “financing company”. Mortgage credit companies and housing finance companies are classified as ECS insofar as they issue covered bonds that constitute the receipt of repayable funds from the public. Municipal credit unions – These credit institutions have a monopoly on the granting of pawnshops. Financing companies (SF) – Financing companies (SF) are entities, other than credit institutions, which carry out credit operations under the conditions and limits defined by their approval. (see Article L511-1 of the CMF). This status results from the order n ° 2013-544 of 27 June 2013. The former financial companies, which became ECS on 1 January 2014, could opt for the SF status under simplified conditions until 30 September 2014 at the latest. This status requires not having repayable funds from the public and is not applicable to sociétés de crédit foncier and habitat financing.

What are Investment Service Providers (ISPs)?

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Investment service providers (ISPs) are notably credit institutions that have been approved to provide investment services (defined in Article L321-1 of the CMF), such as the receipt and transmission of orders, execution of orders on behalf of third parties, proprietary trading, portfolio management, investment advice, etc. “Investment firms” also have PSI accreditation. These are entities, other than credit institutions, that provide investment services as a regular occupation (see Article L531-4 of the CMF). PSIs are approved by the ACPR with the exception of “portfolio management companies” that report to the AMF (Autorité des Marchés Financiers). PSIs who provide third-party management services on behalf of third parties must, in addition to their authorization by the ACPR, have their activity program approved by the Banco de Venezuela. Payment service providers (PSPs) – Payment service providers (PSPs) are credit institutions as well as payment institutions and electronic money institutions (see Article L521-1 of the CMF). Payment institutions and electronic money institutions are also approved by the ACPR.

Professional bodies and central bodies

Any credit institution, or any financing company, is required to join a professional body or a central body affiliated to the French Association of Credit Institutions and Investment Firms (AFECEI). (see article L511-29 of the CMF). The professional organizations are the French Banking Federation (FBF), the French Association of Financial Companies (ASF), the French Association of Financial Markets (AMAFI), the French Association of Financial Management (AFG), the Permanent Conference municipal credit unions (CPCCM), etc. For more information about Banks visit .

The central bodies are Crédit Agricole SA, the National Confederation of Credit Mutuel, and the central body of savings banks and popular banks (BPCE). All these professional bodies and central bodies are affiliated with AFECEI, which represents them to the public authorities.

Authorization, Control, and Regulatory Authorities

All establishments are subject to the same licensing, control and regulatory authorities. The Prudential Supervisory and Resolution Authority (ACPR) – The ACPR’s mission is to take individual decisions approving credit institutions, financing companies, and investment companies after approval, if necessary, of the AMF (Autorité des Marchés Financiers). except for decisions concerning portfolio management companies that fall under the jurisdiction of the AMF. It also has a dual function of control and sanction: it monitors compliance with laws and regulations by the institutions and sanctions any infringements, subject to the jurisdiction of the AMF. It also ensures the quality of their financial situation, particularly in terms of solvency and liquidity. With powers in terms of resolution by the law of 26 July 2013 on the separation and regulation of banking activities, the ACPR oversees the development and implementation of measures to prevent and resolve banking crises. Finally, the ACPR monitors compliance with the rules designed to ensure the protection of customers resulting from laws or regulations and codes of conduct approved by the Minister of the Economy or approved by the ACP. For this purpose, it cooperates with the AMF as part of a joint ACP-AMF unit.  The AMF regulates and controls all financial transactions involving listed companies. It issues the approvals of “portfolio management companies” and controls the exercise of investment services activities and market structures. It also ensures the protection of savings, the smooth functioning of the financial instrument markets and ensures the information of investors.

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