France’s New Fintech Regulator Gets Muted Welcome

  • JJ Hornblass
  • June 1, 2016
  • 1

canstockphoto9251271Today marks the official start of France’s new fintech regulatory division.

Unfortunately, it is not garnering much interest — and that might be because, well, it’s boring.

The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), France’s financial regulator, has a job ad on LinkedIn for a “Chargé de mission” for the new fintech division. It does not appear to have received 10 applications yet, as of today.

The division’s mandate is not exactly thrilling:

The mission [is] to reposition the AMF field of competitiveness, particularly against other foreign regulators; analyze developments in the investment services sector …, identify the regulatory adaptations to accompany and guide the development of these innovations; and place the AMF regulator as [a source of] open innovation, contributing to the national effort to make Paris a privileged location in European Fintech.

The AMF effort makes clear another truth: that fintech regulation is not becoming a contributor to innovation, but a wild alphabet soup of initiatives — just like so many other financial regulatory efforts around the world. The European Securities and Markets Authority, International Organization of Securities Commissions, European Systemic Risk Board and Financial Stability Board all have fintech initiatives underway. That’s probably why one of the requirements for the AMF job is “excellent capabilities in pedagogy.”

The head of the AMF division is Franck Guiader, who has mainly been involved in regulation of the asset management industry. Last November, he wrote “that [regulatory] convergence in the EU is no longer a theory or an objective, but more and more a reality.” Let’s hope that applies to fintech, too.

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JJ started the first iteration of Bank Innovation back in 2007, and has been working on it ever since. He also serves as President & Chief Executive Officer of Royal Media, Bank Innovation’s parent. He founded Royal in 1995 and oversees all aspects of the New York-based diversified media company. Prior to forming Royal, JJ was on the editorial staff of American Banker, the daily newspaper, and worked as an editor of a business magazine in Hong Kong. As a reporter and editor, he has won journalism awards from the National Press Foundation, Newsletter & Electronic Publishers Foundation, and the Reader’s Digest Foundation. He has a BS in Economics from Yeshiva University and a Master’s from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. He was also a Fellow at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Graduate School of Banking. He lives in New York City with his wife, two daughters, and son. He counts among his accomplishments one New York City Marathon, two New York City Triathlons and the 2010 Father’s Day 5K, the first race he ever ran with his daughters. He can be reached at hornblass@gmail.com or 212-564-8972.

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