Sanctions & settlements

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Key concepts

Composition of the enforcement committee, how sanction proceedings are conducted and means of appeal

Published on February 14, 2017

Composition of the Enforcement Committee

The Enforcement Committee is composed of 12 members, including:

  • two councillors of the Conseil d'État appointed by the Vice-President of that body;
  • two justices of the Court of cassation appointed by the Chief Justice of said court;
  • six professionals, with legal and financial expertise and experience, appointed by the Minister for the Economy after consultation with organisations representing the financial sector;
  • two members, representing employees of finance sector firms, appointed by the Minister for the Economy after consultation with representative labour unions.

Committee members are appointed for a five-year once-renewable term. They elect a chairman from among the councillors of the Conseil d'État and the justices of the Court of cassation.

The Enforcement Committee may be structured as two divisions with six members each.

It rules on the complaints notified by the AMF Board.

How sanction proceedings are conducted

Initiation of proceedings

After reviewing the investigation or inspection report prepared by AMF staff, the AMF Board, which is the prosecutorial body, may decide to initiate sanction proceedings. It then notifies the complaints to the person concerned and forwards a copy of the statement of objections to the chairman of the Enforcement Committee. The statement of objections constitutes the indictment.

Upon receipt of the statement of objections, the respondent may consult the documents in the file and make copies. The Board representative also has access to the file.

The respondent has two months from receipt of the statement of objections to provide written comments to the chairman of the Enforcement Committee. He may be assisted or represented by the advisor of his choice.

Appraisal by the rapporteur

The chairman of the Enforcement Committee appoints one of the members to act as a rapporteur; the respondent may request that the rapporteur be disqualified.

The rapporteur has access to the investigation or inspection file reviewed by the Board and, as applicable, to the respondent’s written comments in response to the statement of objections and to the comments submitted in reply by the Board representative.

The rapporteur takes all necessary action. He may, in particular, interview the respondent, at the respondent’s request or on his own initiative; the Board representative; and any other person.

The rapporteur may refer the matter to the AMF Board if he believes that supplementary complaints should be filed or that complaints should be notified to another party or parties.

The rapporteur may, in the performance of his duties, seek assistance from AMF staff.

He presents his findings in a report. In practice, this report consists of a factual and legal analysis of the complaints notified and expresses an opinion on their validity. It is sent to the respondent, who has 15 days to submit his comments, and is provided to the Board representative, who may respond in writing.

Enforcement Committee hearing and decision

The full Enforcement Committee or one of its divisions may be convened.

The respondent is called in at least 30 clear days before the hearing and may request the disqualification of one or more members.

The hearing is open to the public. However, without consultation or at the request of the respondent, the chairman of the panel hearing the case may conduct the proceedings in camera for the sake of public order, national security or if a public hearing would compromise business secrecy or any other legally-protected secret.

The rapporteur presents the findings of his report orally.

The representative of the director general of the Treasury may make oral comments.

The Board representative may make oral comments in support of the complaints and propose a sanction.

The chairman of the panel hearing the case may interview any person whose testimony may be helpful.

The respondent, either on his own or with the assistance of his advisor, makes the case for the defence and must be able to have the last word.

Only the members of the panel — to which the rapporteur does not belong — and the AMF employee serving as hearing secretary are present when the decision is reached.

Publication of the Enforcement Committee’s decision

The Enforcement Committee’s decision is published on the AMF’s website unless such disclosure would seriously jeopardise the financial markets or cause disproportionate damage to the parties involved.

Appeals of the Enforcement Committee’s decision

Who may bring an appeal and within what timeframes?

The Enforcement Committee’s decision may be appealed by the respondent and the chairman of the AMF within two months of notification thereof.

The chairman of the AMF may also bring an appeal in response to an appeal brought by a respondent (known as a cross-appeal) within two months of notification to the AMF of such appeal.

An appeal by the chairman of the AMF, whether it is a main appeal or a cross-appeal, requires the Board’s approval.

Appeals seek to annul or alter, in whole or in part, the Enforcement Committee’s decision.

Which court has jurisdiction?

The Conseil d’État has jurisdiction to rule on appeals of the Enforcement Committee’s decisions brought by professionals subject to AMF supervision, as listed in Article L.621-9 II of the Monetary and Financial Code (investment services providers, depositaries, management companies, etc.), and individuals under their authority or acting on their behalf.

The Paris court of appeal has jurisdiction to rule on appeals brought by any other person.

Do appeals suspend execution of the Enforcement Committee’s decision?

Appeals do not have a suspensive effect.

However, sanctioned individuals who have brought an appeal may apply to the presiding judge of the Paris court of appeal or the urgent applications judge of the Conseil d’État for a stay of execution or for the suspension of the decision, as the case may be.

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Legal information
Head of publications: The Executive Director of AMF Communication Directorate.
Contact: Communication Directorate – Autorité des marches financiers 17 place de la Bourse – 75082 Paris cedex 02