AMF Fines and Bans France Safe Media for Regulatory Violations

AMF finding result in a €300k fine and a 10-year ban for France Safe Media, with the manager also facing fines and a ban.

Home » AMF Fines and Bans France Safe Media for Regulatory Violations

France Safe Media (FSM), a tied agent offering contracts for differences (CFDs) through the online platform Alvexo, faces severe penalties as the Enforcement Committee of the French financial market regulator, Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), imposes fines and bans. The regulator’s investigation revealed multiple discrepancies in FSM’s operations, leading to a €300,000 fine and a ten-year ban on acting as a tied agent and providing reception and transmission of orders (RTO) services.

The regulator individually fines Lior Mattouk, FSM’s manager, €100,000 and imposes a parallel ten-year ban on his management or direction of any tied agent entity. Tied agents, acting as intermediaries, represent and offer products and services on behalf of service providers.

AMF Fines & a Ten Year Ban for Regulatory Violations

FSM, the tied agent of Cypriot investment services provider VPR Safe Financial Group Limited, faced enforcement actions based on five sets of breaches identified by the AMF between January 2019 and September 2021. Furthermore, The regulator highlighted significant deficiencies in FSM’s RTO business on behalf of third parties.

Among the identified issues, the AMF found that FSM needed to demonstrate its sales staff’s minimum qualification level and knowledge.The company needed to revise its questionnaires for assessing clients’ knowledge and experience with an appropriate scoring system. The regulator noted interference by account managers in the client assessment process, rendering the questionnaires ineffective.

The AMF expressed concern that FSM was unable to determine whether its clients had the necessary experience and knowledge to comprehend the risks associated with the offered products and services.

Additionally, FSM was found lacking in its promotional communications for CFDs. The company did not display the mandatory risk warning in its promotional banners, violating regulations. The AMF observed shortcomings in risk-related information, emphasizing the absence of appropriate warnings about the risks associated with CFDs in promotional materials.

Furthermore, the regulator pointed out that FSM should have informed clients about its tied agent nature of business and should have exercised due care and diligence in auditing processes. Moreover, The enforcement actions underscore the importance of regulatory compliance and transparency in the financial services industry, with the AMF taking significant steps to address the identified lapses in FSM’s operations.

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