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Providing an overall view of the financial system

The ACPR has developed its research capabilities

The financial crisis exposed insufficient knowledge of the factors and mechanisms that spread individual and systemic problems in the financial sector. To address these deficiencies and participate in international research activities, the ACPR has been working in recent years to bolster its in-house research and analytical capabilities while at the same time leveraging external partnerships. Its research has looked at sector-specific risks, the performance of stress tests and the coordination of regulatory impact studies. The ACPR also conducts thematic analyses (solvency, liquidity) and comparative studies.


These cross-cutting analyses (across a population of individual institutions) enable supervisors to situate individual institutions relative to the rest of the market, which is a considerable advantage when it comes to ensuring effective supervision and spotting individual weaknesses.


The ACPR also draws on work on supervision provided by external and independent research units. This work is characterised by a scientific approach that is especially rigorous because it is accompanied by greater sharing of data than in the past. Whether regulators agree with them or not, these research findings fuel the public debate and contribute to an adversarial assessment of supervision in the financial sector. These open debates between supervisors, professionals and academics raise the quality of prudential supervision, which thus gains in credibility and effectiveness.


The research and analysis activities of the ACPR consequently help to improve prudential supervision, contributing to strengthen oversight at the operating level.


The ACPR has developed training programmes

The innovative nature of the financial sector and the emergence of new risks mean that high technicality and constant change are characteristic features of the ACPR’s activities. Developments in the sector are reflected in the adoption of complex new prudential regulations (CRD IV, Solvency II) and accounting regulations (IFRS), which require skills to be continually upgraded. Added to this, the establishment of the SSM has led to European convergence in supervisory methodologies and tools, as well as a shift towards use of English as the day-to-day working language.


To respond to these challenges, the ACPR has adopted an ambitious training strategy based around continually strengthening the business area expertise of banking and insurance supervisors. Teaching of English has also been stepped up and adjusted to reflect European requirements. Educational resources are centralised at the ACPR’s training centre, which is where training is provided.


The ambition contained in the strategy is reflected in the substantial financial resources allocated, amounting to approximately nine training days per staff member per year. The emphasis is put on initial training for new arrivals, with insurance and banking training streams, the latter of which includes a significant SSM component. This area also encompasses all business area training that is designed to develop and maintain regulatory expertise.


The ACPR provides skills training courses leading to industry-recognised certifications and diplomas in the areas of accounting, actuarial services and financial analysis. These courses account for a small but steadily growing share of overall training.


The training organised by the ACPR is designed to be open to the outside by bringing in speakers and trainers from the private and public sectors and by welcoming participants from other French and European public institutions.


This training commitment is coupled with a drive to rationalise and control costs, notably by pooling resources with the Banque de France and the ECB, and by using innovative teaching tools.


The training efforts deployed by the ACPR help to keep the level of supervision in line with the top international standards. They also strengthen the professional credentials of ACPR experts and in so doing support dynamic and varied career paths within the ACPR, between supervisory functions and international activities, say, and also within the Banque de France, for example in financial stability-related activities.


An approach opened to the development of fintechs and innovation

The ACPR develop its own integrated approach within the ACPR FinTech Innovation Unit set up in 2016. This unit takes a collaborative approach that is designed to build expertise in emerging innovation-related issues and to facilitate the fintech licensing process. The unit draws on the technical expertise gained by the Banque de France from operational projects (blockchain being an example) and the contacts that it maintains with providers of technological solutions that are supporting digitilisation of the financial sector, including big data, artificial intelligence and digital identification. The unit works alongside the AMF when its activities involve investment services, including within the FinTech Forum, which has been expanded to include France’s Data Protection Agency (CNIL), Cybersecurity Agency (ANSSI) and Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) in an effort to promote improved dialogue between public authorities and the Fintech community.


The integrated approach taken by the ACPR FinTech Innovation Unit is important given the growing digitilisation of the financial sector, a trend that is in evidence in new payment and financing solutions (e.g. crowdfunding, alternative lending platforms) but also in investment services (e.g. automated financial advisory services) and insurance (Insurtech). It is especially necessary because some innovations, such as blockchain technology and optimised data usage, are common to several sectors or activities supervised by the ACPR, like banking, insurance and investment services. Through the unit, the ACPR thus helps to support the growth of fintechs by striking a balance between the fluidity required by these innovative developments and the vital prudential security. As part of these efforts, the ACPR works with international taskforces on fintech- and digital-related questions to promote a vision founded on proportionate regulation and supervision.

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Updated on: 06/12/2018 10:24