Wednesday, January 08, 2003

Change in financial supervision in France

Financieel Dagblad reports this morning that France will consolidate its supervision on the Financial Sector. The 'Commission des opérations de Bourse' (COB), the 'Conseil des Marchés Financiers' (CMF) and the 'Conseil de discipline de la gestion financière', will merge into: Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AFM). This new supervisor will get a lot of legal competences en will also have member of the financial community in its board of directors. Most interesting however is that the new supervisor will be paid for by the companies it supervises.

With the move to direct taxation of supervision to the supervised entities, the Franch government copies a model that is already in place in a number of Anglo-Saxon countries. It is a sensible move towards more direct cost allocation and tax payment for public services. Yet, it is remarkable that in these times of governance-issues, no one questions whether it is wise to combine the hierarchical supervision relationship with a billing relationship that generally suggest that the paying company has a hierarchical influence over the provider of the services.

See also the page of the Paris Chamber of Commerce (in French), the early project proposal of the government and an article in LeMonde.