The Autorité des Marchés Financiers Enforcement Committee said on Wednesday that it had issued a reprimand and imposed a fine of EUR 150,000 on the financial investment advisor, Auvergne Investissement Hôtels. A five-year ban was also put on Serge Emery, the Chairman, and a fine of €50,000 was imposed on him.

Auvergne Investissement Hôtels had its clients subscribe to shares in two German alternative investment funds (AIFs) that were not authorized to be sold in France between February 2017 and October 2019.

Financial investment advisors (FIAs) have allegedly failed to comply with their  obligations  to conduct their business in the best interests of their clients by  marketing  two AIFs to twelve of their clients. As a result, the Committee determined that the FIAs failed to act with the necessary competence, care and diligence.

However, the Committee dismissed the breach in the case of a thirteenth client, finding that this subscription was the client’s idea.

Additionally, the Committee found that Auvergne Investissement Hôtels committed three breaches of its AML/CFT obligations between September 2016 and July 2020 by failing to have any AML/CFT procedures, to disclose the identity of the FIA’s TRACFIN correspondent to the competent authorities, and to properly collect the identification details of two clients.

As Chairman of Auvergne Investissement Hôtels at the time of the facts, Emery was at fault for all the breaches found against the FIA.

Recent Issued Warnings

Recently, the AMF warned retail investors in the country against fraudulent offers to buy listed shares at preferential prices. The AMF said retail investors are generally contacted by e-mail or telephone after leaving their details on internet contact forms.

“These fraudulent offers to buy shares in listed companies, for example, US technology stocks or French stocks that are well known to the general public, are most often based on impersonations of European financial or payment institutions and can be presented in the form of savings accounts,” the market regulator warned.

The independent body said the warning was in response to the large number of reports it had received from retail investors through its AMF Epargne Info Service platform.

The Autorité des Marchés Financiers Enforcement Committee said on Wednesday that it had issued a reprimand and imposed a fine of EUR 150,000 on the financial investment advisor, Auvergne Investissement Hôtels. A five-year ban was also put on Serge Emery, the Chairman, and a fine of €50,000 was imposed on him.

Auvergne Investissement Hôtels had its clients subscribe to shares in two German alternative investment funds (AIFs) that were not authorized to be sold in France between February 2017 and October 2019.

Financial investment advisors (FIAs) have allegedly failed to comply with their  obligations  to conduct their business in the best interests of their clients by  marketing  two AIFs to twelve of their clients. As a result, the Committee determined that the FIAs failed to act with the necessary competence, care and diligence.

However, the Committee dismissed the breach in the case of a thirteenth client, finding that this subscription was the client’s idea.

Additionally, the Committee found that Auvergne Investissement Hôtels committed three breaches of its AML/CFT obligations between September 2016 and July 2020 by failing to have any AML/CFT procedures, to disclose the identity of the FIA’s TRACFIN correspondent to the competent authorities, and to properly collect the identification details of two clients.

As Chairman of Auvergne Investissement Hôtels at the time of the facts, Emery was at fault for all the breaches found against the FIA.

Recent Issued Warnings

Recently, the AMF warned retail investors in the country against fraudulent offers to buy listed shares at preferential prices. The AMF said retail investors are generally contacted by e-mail or telephone after leaving their details on internet contact forms.

“These fraudulent offers to buy shares in listed companies, for example, US technology stocks or French stocks that are well known to the general public, are most often based on impersonations of European financial or payment institutions and can be presented in the form of savings accounts,” the market regulator warned.

The independent body said the warning was in response to the large number of reports it had received from retail investors through its AMF Epargne Info Service platform.