Credit institution

Applicable regulations, authorisation criterias, licensing procedures and review times, licence extension procedure

If you wish to pursue banking activities, i.e. granting loans or receiving funds from the public, you must submit an application for a credit institution licence to the Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de résolution (ACPR), which will notify the European Central Bank (ECB) of this request.

If you also wish to provide investment services, you must apply to be licensed as a credit institution providing investment services (CI ISP). Depending on the proposed investment services, the AMF may be asked to provide its observations to the ACPR or to approve the programme of operations. In all cases, please see the section on investment firms.

 

Applicable Regulations
Authorisation types: Licence
Competent authority:ECB based on ACPR proposal
Legal definition:

Legal entity that carries out banking transactions within the meaning of article  L.311-1 CMF in the normal course of its business

 

Licensed as a:ReferencesType of transactions
BankL.511-9 et seq. CMFAll banking transactions
Mutual or cooperative bankL.512-1 to L.512-104 CMFAll banking transactions subject to limitations resulting from applicable laws and regulations
pecialised credit institution (including mortgage credit companies and home finance companies)L.513-1 et seq. CMFAll banking transactions resulting from applicable laws and regulations or licensing decisions
Municiapl credit banksL.514-1 CMFReceipt of funds from the public, provision of means of payment, pledge loans and, if allowed under the licence, other types of loans to natural persons, local public institutions and associations, subject to limitations resulting from applicable laws and regulations.

 

Authorisation criterias

Before licensing a credit institution, ACPR-DAAR and the ECB check the following:

Type of licence requestedObligations
Credit institution
  • suitability of the legal form for the proposed activity,
  • minimum paid-up capital,
  • programme of operations, technical and financial resources, organisation,
  • identity and status of capital contributors, and where applicable, of their guarantors, and the size of their holding,
  • central administration located in the same national territory as the registered office,
  • the activity must be effectively run by at least two people, whose knowledge, experience and fitness must be demonstrated, both individually and collectively, as must their availability; these persons should also meet the propriety requirements for their position,
  • members of the governing body must meet knowledge, experience, fitness and propriety requirements, assessed both individually and collectively, and also satisfy the availability and propriety requirements for their position,
  • managers of key functions must meet propriety, knowledge, experience and fitness requirements,
  • assets must exceed liabilities by an amount that is at least equal to the minimum capital requirement.
Licensing procedures and review times

Before starting activities, you must:

  • contact the Authorisation, Licensing and Regulation Division to present your plans and proposed timetable;
  • prepare an application for the desired licence, including all supporting documentation:

The complete application must be submitted in two copies (or three if it includes the provision of investment services). Furthermore, an electronic version of the dossier should be sent to 2785-SECRETARIAT-SERVICE-UT@acpr.banque–france.fr or by means of a USB key if need be.

After receiving your application, the Authorisation, Licensing and Regulation Division will review your request. Credit institution licences are issued by the ECB based on draft decisions sent by the ACPR. The licensing decision must be taken within six months of receipt of a complete application. If the application is incomplete, additional information may be requested and the review period extended. The total time allocated to the ECB is 12 months from receipt of the initial application.

Licence extension procedure

When does an application need to be made for authorisation?

Your institution is planning to pursue new banking activities or offer new investment services (in the case of CI ISPs) that are not currently covered by its licence.

In this case, you must apply to extend the licence granted to your institution or to update its programme of operations before starting these new activities, following the procedure and using the form for the licensing procedure.

After receiving your application, the Authorisation, Licensing and Regulation Division will review your request and, as applicable, send a draft decision to the ECB. A decision must be taken within three months of receipt of a complete application. If the application is incomplete, additional information may be requested and the review period extended.

Please:

  • contact the Secretariat of the Authorisation, Licensing and Regulation Division to organise a meeting to present your plans and proposed timetable;
  • mail in a detailed request for prior authorisation for an extension of activity accompanied by a licensing application (cf. above), making sure to complete all the relevant sections. In the letter, please specify in particular:
    • the strategy followed,
    • the timetable for completing the project,
    • the expected impact of the change in the activity of your institution, by filling out the sections of the form corresponding to your request (notably the proposed programme of operations, forward-looking management information and the supervisory arrangements that you plan to set up).

Updated on: 07/11/2017 15:59