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1. Defining the activity
The Financial Investment Advisor (CIF) is a professional working as a professional in:
- advising on investments in financial instruments (equities, bonds, etc.);
- Advice on the provision of investment services;
- advice on carrying out transactions on various assets.
To go further Article L. 541-1 of the Monetary and Financial Code.
Two degrees. Professional qualifications
a. National requirements
In order to carry out the activity of CIF, the person concerned must comply with all the following conditions:
- Be at least 18 years old
- usually reside in or be legally established in France;
- be registered in the single register of the Orias (single register of insurance, banking and finance intermediaries);
- have not been the subject of a final conviction in the last ten years:- for crime,
- a firm prison sentence or at least six months' suspended imprisonment,
- removal from the duties of public or ministerial officer;
- not subject to a ban on practising, a temporary or permanent suspension, or a total or partial withdrawal of accreditation; In addition, it must also be up to date with the annual contribution (450 euros) from the Financial Markets Authority (AMF).
To go further Article L.500-1 of the Monetary and Financial Code.
To perform the functions of CIF, the professional must either:
- Have a three-year degree in legal, economic or management graduate studies;
- Have completed 150 hours of vocational training in connection with CIF missions;
- have two years of professional experience in the five years prior to taking up operations related to investment, banking or the provision of investment services.
To go further Article 325-1 of the General Regulation of the Amf .
Costs associated with qualification
The training leading to CIF's professional qualification is paid for and the cost varies depending on the course envisaged. For more information, it is advisable to check with the institutions concerned.
b. EU or EEA nationals: for temporary and occasional exercise (Free Service Delivery (LPS))
In order to strengthen investor protection and to harmonise the conditions for investment service providers across the European Union (EU), directives on financial instrument markets have been adopted on 21 April 2004 and 15 May 2014 by the European Parliament and Council.
In derogation from these so-called guidelines MIF I And MIF II , the exercise of CIF's activity in France, on a temporary and casual basis, is not regulated for a national of an EU member state or the European Economic Area (EEA) in France on a temporary and casual basis.
Thus, the national who wishes to practice in France will be subject to the regulations applicable to French nationals (see above "2." a. Professional qualifications").
To go further : European Parliament and Council Directive 2014/65/EU (MIF II) of 15 May 2014; Regulation 600/2014 of 15 May 2014 of the European Parliament and Council.
c. EU or EEA nationals: for a permanent exercise (Free Establishment (LE))
The same exemption applies to EU nationals who wish to carry out CIF on a permanent basis.
It will then be subject to the regulations applicable to French nationals (see above "2). b. EU or EEA nationals: for a temporary and casual exercise (Free Service Delivery)").
Three degrees. Conditions of honorability, ethical rules, ethics
a. Rules of good conduct
The CIF is subject to compliance with the rules of good conduct and must:
- Act honestly, fairly and professionally;
- Respect fairness
- inform customers and satisfy their interests
- Empower themselves to prevent and manage any conflict of interest;
- carry out its missions independently.
To go further Article L. 541-8-1 of the Monetary and Financial Code and Articles 325-3 and following of the AMF's General Regulation.
b. Application to join a professional association
The CIF must join one of the following AMF-approved associations:
- Investment, finance and corporate transfer analysts and advisors (Acifte);
- National Association of Financial Advice - Cif ( Anacofi-Cif ) ;
- National Chamber of Wealth Management Advisors ( CNCGP ) ;
- National Chamber of Financial Investment Advisors ( CNCIF ) ;
- Independent Wealth Management Consulting Company ( CGPI Company ).
These associations can register themselves in the single register of their members.
The association determines the written procedures for admission and sanction of the professional.
This association is responsible for ensuring:
- monitoring the professional activity of its members;
- their collective representation;
- to defend their rights and interests.
The association verifies that the CIF has an activity program stating:
- The types of activities carried out by the professional;
- The structure of its organization
- the identity of its shareholders and the amount of their shareholding.
The association determines the procedures for membership, withdrawal of membership, control and sanction of its members through written procedures.
To go further Article L. 541-4 of the Monetary and Financial Code; Article 325-2 of the AMF General Regulation.
The act of an CIF practising illegally is punishable by five years' imprisonment and a fine of 375,000 euros, under the same conditions as the scam (see Article 313-2 of the Penal Code).
In the event of a violation of the registration rules, the CIF faces a two-year prison sentence and/or a fine of 6,000 euros.
To go further Article L. 546-4 of the Monetary and Financial Code.
It's a four-degree one. Insurance
a. Obligation to register in the orias single register
The CIF must be registered on the agency's single register of insurance intermediaries for the maintenance of the single register of insurance, banking and finance intermediaries ( Orias ).
For any application for registration, the professional must register on the Orias and provide online:
- a registration certificate in the Register of Trade and Companies (Kbis) of less than three months or, failing that, an ID if it is not registered in the register of trade and companies;
- a certificate of membership in a professional association (cf.supra "3.3. b. Application to join a professional association";
- proof of professional ability, i.e.:- i.e. a three-year graduate degree,
- a minimum of 150 hours of training acquired from a professional or organization engaged in financial investment advisory activities,
- two years of professional experience in the past five years;
- a certificate of professional civil liability (see infra "4.0). b. Insurance");
- registration fees (30 euros).
If no payment is made within 30 days of receiving the application, it will be refused.
Orias registers the applicant within a maximum of two months of receipt of his full file.
To go further Articles L. 546-1 and L. 541-2 of the Monetary and Financial Code; Section L. 512-1 of the Insurance Code.
As a professional, the CIF must take out professional liability insurance.
This guarantee takes effect on 1 March for a period of twelve months and is tacitly renewed on 1 January of each year.
When the professional starts his cIF business, his insurance contract runs for the period of the date of registration to March 1 of the following year.
The threshold for this guarantee is 150,000 euros per claim and 150,000 euros per year of insurance for legal entities with less than two employees.
To go further Articles L. 541-3 and D. 541-9 of the Monetary and Financial Code.
Five degrees. Remedies
French assistance centre
The ENIC-NARIC Centre is the French centre for information on academic and professional recognition of diplomas.
SOLVIT is a service provided by the National Administration of each EU member state or party to the EEA agreement. Its aim is to find a solution to a dispute between an EU national and the administration of another of these states. SOLVIT intervenes in particular in the recognition of professional qualifications.
The person concerned can only use SOLVIT if he establishes:
- that the public administration of one EU state has not respected its rights under EU law as a citizen or business of another EU state;
- that it has not already initiated legal action (administrative action is not considered as such).
The national must complete an online complaint form. Once his file has been submitted, SOLVIT contacts him within a week to request, if necessary, additional information and to verify that the problem is within his competence.
To enter SOLVIT, the national must communicate:
- Full contact details
- Detailed description of his problem
- all the evidence in the file (for example, correspondence and decisions received from the relevant administrative authority).
SOLVIT is committed to finding a solution within ten weeks of the day the case was taken over by the SOLVIT centre in the country in which the problem occurred.
Outcome of the procedure
At the end of the 10-week period, SOLVIT presents a solution:
- If this solution resolves the dispute over the application of European law, the solution is accepted and the case is closed;
- if there is no solution, the case is closed as unresolved and referred to the European Commission.
SOLVIT in France: General Secretariat for European Affairs, 68 rue de Bellechasse, 75700 Paris ( official website ).