The ACPR contributes to the work of the Haut Conseil de stabilité financière (High Council for Financial Stability – HCSF). The HCSF, which is chaired by the Minister for the Economy and Finance, is the authority responsible for implementing macroprudential policy in France. The ACPR is represented on the HCSF by two people: its Chairman (the Governor of the Banque de France) and Vice-Chairman.
The HCSF is tasked with preventing systemic risk and facilitating cooperation and information-sharing between the institutions that its members represent (Finance Ministry, Banque de France, ACPR, AMF and ANC). With its collegial structure, the HCSF is able to bring together the viewpoints of all the represented authorities and to establish an overall vision of France’s financial sector.
The HCSF operates within the European institutional framework coordinated by the European Systemic Risk Board (ESRB). Depending on the circumstances, the HCSF may take decisions in collaboration with the European Commission, the European Central Bank (ECB), the European Banking Authority (EBA) and the macroprudential authorities of other EU Member States.
The ACPR also maintains close bilateral relations with the AMF. This collaboration is warranted by the growing interactions between different financial activities on ever more interconnected markets. ACPR/AMF cooperation promotes a better understanding of the activities and risks affecting the financial sector as a whole.
Collaboration with the AMF ensures that actions taken by the two authorities are effectively coordinated, irrespective of the status of the firms or sponsors of financial activities involved. It also paves the way for action in areas of shared interest, such as promoting the Paris financial centre. In this regard, for example, the authorities took the initiative in October 2016 to authorise a simplified licensing procedure in response to Brexit.
In the area of customer protection especially (see below), the ACPR has been collaborating successfully with the AMF for over six years through the Joint Unit for Insurance, Banking and Savings. The decision to set up the Joint Unit was spurred by the growing interconnections between savings products –especially life insurance and collective investment schemes – and the rise of new market participants. The unit has made it possible to significantly enhance the protection of customers across the entire financial sector, particularly in the marketing of savings products, crowdfunding solutions and distance selling. Coordinated supervisory and monitoring activities form the core of the Joint Unit’s work; at a time when digital technologies are taking off, these efforts are helping to provide customers with more effective protection in the face of innovative business practices, no matter what type of firm is behind them.
ACPR-AMF cooperation also led to the establishment in 2016 of the FinTech Forum. A body that engages in monitoring and dialogue while also offering up proposals, the forum brings together innovative companies, public authorities and supervisors in an effort to gain a better understanding of the opportunities and potential risks associated with the development of fintechs and innovation. The forum can also be consulted on proposed amendments to domestic or European regulations or AMF or ACPR policy. It additionally keeps supervisory authorities informed about areas of concern for the industry.
In this regard, and on a more general note, the ACPR is in constant dialogue with the industry and financial sector professionals. This dialogue is first and foremost institutional in nature and seeks to promote more effective information-sharing with the professional associations that represent the banking, insurance and other financial services sectors. The aim for the ACPR is to explain its vision and goals to facilitate the application of prudential regulations. These conversations also make it possible to flag issues of shared interest among institutions to be taken into account in the application and development of prudential rules.
With this in mind, the ACPR organises regular supervisory conferences – twice yearly in principle – to explore topical prudential issues. More generally, it disseminates communication materials, including reviews, annual reports, speeches and conference presentations, that cover its statutory assignments.
The ACPR thus engages with professionals through a rigorous and proactive communication policy, striving to explain the positions and recommendations that it publishes, for example in the area of customer protection. Such publications are always preceded by a consultation phase, notably involving the consultative commission on business practices. The ultimate goal of these consultations and publications is to promote clearly understood standards and a shared vision of prudential supervision.
Furthermore, the ACPR has built long-standing technical and operational ties to the leaders and experts of reporting institutions as part of the implementation of regulations. It draws on this dialogue to better accommodate the constraints and specific needs of French institutions, for example in changes to the European and international prudential framework. This also makes it possible to round out the prescriptive approach to regulation with a forward-looking method that incorporates a judgement-based approach. This approach is applied, for example, when conducting stress tests to assess the ability of financial institutions to withstand adverse conditions.
Through its dialogue with the industry, the ACPR endeavours to meet the following objectives:
- share a common vision founded on financial stability and confidence
- ensure the continuity of banking and insurance activities by taking a risk-based approach to prudential regulation
- better understand the diverse range of risk profiles and accommodate the specific needs of different institutions
- enable appropriate and proportionate application of regulations
- protect customers more effectively.
 Established by Article L. 612-47 of the Monetary and Financial Code.