The role of the ACPR (Part I)
The (Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de résolution) (ACPR) is an institution created by the order of January 21, 2010 merging the banking and insurance licensing and supervisory authorities. Initially conceived as an independent administrative authority, the ACPR has lost this status since the law of January 20, 2017 on the general status of independent administrative authorities and independent public authorities.
The main objectives of the ACPR are to ensure the preservation of the financial system and to ensure that the customers of the persons under its supervision are well protected. To this end, the ACPR ensures that these persons comply not only with the European provisions directly applicable to them, but also with the provisions of the Monetary and Financial Code (CMF) as well as any other legislative or regulatory provision whose noncompliance would imply that of the other provisions (CMF, article L.612-1).
In this respect, the ACPR is responsible for a number of tasks, such as examining applications for authorizations or individual waivers submitted to it, or setting the cushion requirement applicable to global systemically important institutions and other systemically important institutions.
Among its missions, the ACPR must ensure that the persons under its control comply with the rules on the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.
In this context, the ACPR has the power to carry out documentary and on-site inspections of persons such as payment institutions, intermediaries in participatory financing and money changers (CMF, Article L.561-2).
The ACPR also has the power to take administrative police measures and to impose sanctions if it finds breaches of the legislative and regulatory provisions relating to the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing (CMF, Article L.561-36-1). Any person concerned by the supervision of the ACPR who does not comply with these obligations may be given formal notice to comply.
When the ACPR considers that a piece of information is necessary for the accomplishment of its mission, it may make this information known to the public. This hypothesis does not imply the enforceability of professional secrecy, which in principle applies to any person who has contributed to the performance of the ACPR's missions (CMF, Article L.612-17).
Other options may be considered by the ACPR, such as taking precautionary measures, which may consist for example in placing the person concerned under special supervision or temporarily limiting the exercise of certain activities of the person in question (CMF, article L.612-33). The ACPR may also decide to appoint a provisional administrator when the management of the person concerned can no longer be properly ensured.
As for the sanctions that may be envisaged by the ACPR, they may first be pecuniary in nature. In this case, the amount of the sanction cannot exceed the limit of one hundred million euros or ten percent of the total turnover (CMF, article L.612-40).
Sanctions may also take the form of disciplinary measures that may not last more than ten years. These include a warning, a reprimand or a ban on carrying out certain operations (CMF, article L.612-40).
Finally, certain specific circumstances may lead the ACPR to take appropriate measures, such as the temporary suspension of one or more executives when their direct and personal responsibility for breaches justifying the ACPR's intervention is established.
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