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France issues new rules for financial influencers— what you need to know

In this post:

  • France’s AMF and ARPP have launched a “Responsible Influence Certificate” to regulate financial influencers, covering a range of financial products, including crypto-assets.
  • To earn the certificate, influencers must score at least 75% on a 25-question exam. The ARPP can revoke the certificate for non-compliance.
  • Contrasting other European regulations, France approved an amendment allowing registered crypto companies to hire influencers for advertising, with updates to financial sector codes expected in October 2023.

In a move aimed at professionalizing financial influencers, France’s Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) and the Autorité de Régulation Professionnelle de la Publicité (ARPP) have jointly launched a training module. This initiative is part of a broader effort to regulate commercial influence in the financial sector, an activity that has come under legal scrutiny.

The certificate’s scope and requirements

The “Responsible Influence Certificate” is not a new concept; it was first introduced by the ARPP in 2021. However, this marks the first time a specialized course has been designed for financial influencers.

 The training covers various investment products, from equities and bonds to ETFs, funds, and derivatives. Even non-traditional assets like wine and crypto-assets are included in the curriculum. Influencers must score at least 75% on a 25-question multiple-choice exam to earn the certificate. While not legally obligatory, the ARPP reserves the right to revoke the certificate for non-compliance.

The introduction of this certificate comes on the heels of the French Senate’s approval of an amendment in May 2023, allowing registered cryptocurrency companies to hire social media influencers for advertising. This contrasts sharply with the stance in the United Kingdom, where regulators have warned influencers that their promotions could result in up to two years in jail, an unlimited fine, or both.

The European Consumer Organisation is even lobbying for a total prohibition on crypto advertising for influencers.

The certificate aims to balance freedom of expression and consumer protection. It also serves as a model that could influence regulatory approaches in other countries, especially as the role of influencers in financial decision-making continues to grow. 

Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani, the AMF Chair, emphasized the importance of clear, accurate, and balanced investment communications. She stated that the certificate would “help to professionalize this field and protect investors from financial products that are too complex or too risky.”

The AMF and ARPP also plan to update their codes on financial and investment products and services, and they will conduct an awareness-raising session among ARPP members in the fall. This multi-pronged approach reflects a comprehensive strategy to adapt to the evolving financial influence and advertising industry.

Disclaimer. The information provided is not trading advice. Cryptopolitan.com holds no liability for any investments made based on the information provided on this page. We strongly recommend independent research and/or consultation with a qualified professional before making any investment decisions.

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