Finance company

Licensing procedures and review times, licence extension procedure, parent companies of finance companies, steps to take with respect to the ACPR

If you wish to carry out credit transactions within the meaning of Article L. 313-1 of the Monetary and Financial Code in the normal course of business and for your own account, you must submit an application for a finance company licence to the Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de résolution (ACPR).

In addition to credit transactions, finance companies may pursue one of the following activities provided they have the requisite licence to do so:

  • Provide investment services: you must also apply for an investment firm licence. 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.
  • Issue and manage electronic money: you must also apply for an electronic money institution licence. In this case, please see the section on electronic money institutions.
  • Provide payment services: you must also apply for a payment institution licence. In this case, please see the section on payment institutions.

Before issuing a finance company licence, the ACPR checks the following (Art. L. 511-10 et seq. of the Monetary and Financial Code):

  • suitability of the legal form for the proposed activity,
  • minimum paid-up capital,
  • programme of operations and technical and financial resources,
  • 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, both individually and collectively, and also satisfy availability requirements,
  • 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 Directorate to present your plans and proposed timetable;
  • prepare an application for the desired licence (1), including all supporting documentation:

Credit institution not providing investment services


In the case of a dual licence (finance company-investment firm, finance company-electronic money institution or finance company-payment institution), please see the sections covering the appropriate licensing applications.


After receiving your application, the Authorisation Directorate will review your request. The ACPR will issue the finance company licence 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 ACPR to take its decision is 12 months from receipt of the initial application.


Pending the preparation of a specific model application, the form for credit institutions not providing investment services may be used.

Licence extension procedure

When does an application need to be made for authorisation?


Your institution is planning to pursue new credit activities that are not currently covered by its licence.

In this case, you must contact the ACPR to obtain authorisation to extend your initial licence before starting these new activities.



  • contact the Secretariat of the Authorisation Directorate to organise a meeting to present your plans and proposed timetable;  
  • send a detailed request for prior authorisation from the ACPR accompanied by a licensing application (cf. above), making sure to complete all the relevant sections. In the request, 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).

The ACPR has three months to issue a decision if the application is comple

Parent companies of finance companies

This section concerns companies that have been registered by the ACPR in the list of parent companies of finance companies because they have as their subsidiaries, either exclusively or principally, one or more finance companies or financial institutions. At least one of these subsidiaries is a finance company.


If this is the case for your company:

  • it is subject to prudential supervision on a consolidated basis;
  • it is required to provide the ACPR with certain information about its registered office and the members of its governing bodies;
  • the appointment of the persons effectively running the undertaking - of whom there must be at least two - must be notified to the ACPR, which will ensure that fitness, propriety and experience requirements are met;
  • it must seek prior authorisation from the ACPR for the acquisition of a qualifying holding in an approved institution.
Steps to take with respect to the ACPR

If your company is registered in the list of parent companies of finance companies:

You must send the Authorisation Directorate a duly completed information file.


In the event of subsequent changes to the company’s particulars:

You must report to the ACPR any changes to the particulars of the parent company of the finance company, particularly where these affect:

  • composition of the governing bodies;
  • share capital;
  • group organisation.

In this case, please complete an application to change the particulars of a finance company’s parent company and send it to the Authorisation Directorate duly signed by a person effectively running the undertaking.


In the event of the appointment or departure of a person effectively running the undertaking:


You must report to the ACPR within 15 days any new appointment or departure of a person effectively running the undertaking. The ACPR has two months from receipt of a complete application to challenge the appointment or renewed appointment of persons effectively running the undertaking if it believes that the persons in question do not meet the relevant propriety, fitness and experience requirements. The two-month period is suspended pending receipt of the observations of the company and the natural person in question in response to the evidence provided in support of the ACPR’s challenge. It may remain suspended until the expiry of the response period, which is set at one month.


In this situation, please send the Authorisation Directorate the duly completed application for the appointment of a person effectively running the undertaking.


In the event of the acquisition of a holding in an approved institution (such as a finance company, credit institution, investment firm, or an insurance undertaking):


The parent company of the finance company must apply for prior authorisation, under the same conditions as those applicable to any potential buyer taking a stake in the capital of a regulated institution.

Updated on: 04/29/2019 15:16