France’s New Fintech Regulator Gets Muted Welcome

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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