In France, the supervision of banking and insurance undertakings is carried out by the Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de résolution. The ACPR is an administrative authority, which, pursuant to the French monetary and financial Code, is independent both in financial terms and in the performance of its tasks. The ACPR is operationally attached to the Banque de France, which provides it with the resources necessary for its operation, notably human and IT resources.
The Authority was created on 9 March 2010, pursuant to the French Order of 21 January 2010, under the name ACP (it became the ACPR in 2013).
Its establishment is the result of the merger of the French supervisory authorities for the banking and insurance sectors, and the French licensing authorities.
The setting up of this authority with extended powers came as a response to the new challenges that emerged during the 2008 financial crisis and as its aftermath. Indeed, this new Authority is explicitly tasked with maintaining the stability of the financial system to prevent the occurrence of new financial crises. The ACPR also ensures the protection of the customers, policyholders, members and beneficiaries of the undertakings under its supervisory remit. In addition, the Authority is also responsible for combating money laundering and terrorist financing.
On 26 July 2013, the law on the separation and regulation of banking activities gave the Authority new powers in the area of banking resolution, to help resolve crises in a more cost-effective manner, which is when it became the ACPR. The resolution powers of the ACPR were extended to the insurance sector in December 2016.
Since the establishment of the Banking Union in the euro area, which was centred on the development of the Single Supervisory Mechanism in 2014 and subsequently extended to the Single Resolution Mechanism in 2015, the ACPR has been carrying out its banking supervisory functions under this framework.
The ACPR is also in charge of the supervision of the insurance sector. It carries out this mission within the harmonised European regulation framework promoted by the European Insurance and Pension Fund Authority, in which the ACPR is actively involved.
- monitoring compliance with anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing measures,
- as well as protecting customers, policyholders, members and beneficiaries.
As such, the ACPR is a comprehensive authority on more than one level:
- Contrary to a number of specialised authorities that only supervise one sector -either banking or insurance-, the ACPR attends to both. This organisational structure reflects a desire to capitalise on the existing synergies between banking and insurance oversight. Indeed, both sectors are closely interlinked in France, as the main French banking groups often have insurance subsidiaries that are among the most significant players in the market.
- The Authority’s mission is not limited to the purely individual oversight of each institution under its remit: it encompasses all the many areas of prudential supervision, including macro-prudential aspects through its financial stability mandate, which is bolstered by the ACPR’s ties with the Banque de France. In addition, the Authority also has powers in the area of resolution.
- Beyond its prudential supervision mission, the ACPR also monitors misconduct risks in both (banking and insurance) sectors, as regards business practices as well as the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing. This cross-sectoral approach contributes to strengthening the stability of the financial sector in its full dimension.
In order to fulfil its missions, the ACPR may take administrative police measures and impose sanctions.
The ACPR thus has overall competence it can exercise independently while taking into account a wide variety of concerns. Being supported by the Banque de France also provides it with additional resources.
The Authority’s organisational structure is centred around a general secretariat, which includes all the operational departments, as well as around several decision-making bodies: a Supervisory Board, a Resolution Board and a Sanctions Committee.
 The ACPR ensures the protection of customers in the banking and insurance sectors, excluding investors in financial securities, which fall under the remit of the AMF (the French financial markets Authority).
Updated on: 09/15/2023 17:53