French reg' tightens professional certification requirements for sustainable finance

On the 02/11/21 at 7:38AM


Tuba Raqshan

Following a proposal by the Financial Skills Certification Board (HCCP), the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) has decided to create a module in order to check professionals' knowledge in green and responsible finance, with greater emphasis on these subjects in its general examination for AMF certification.

Acknowledging that understanding and considering ESG issues, energy transition and climate issues are major challenges when it comes to training, the AMF is planning to create a common core of knowledge in sustainable finance. This, said the French regulator, is essential for the proper understanding of these issues and will improve the quality of advice given to clients.

Accelerating the transition to sustainable finance by supporting the Paris financial center is one of the AMF's main priorities for action in 2021, said AMF Chair Robert Ophèle. “It is necessary to enhance the knowledge of professionals in this still emerging field in order to create trust and to help retail investors understand the range of green and responsible investments better,” he added.

The AMF will significantly expand the section devoted to sustainable finance in its general examination questionnaire while offering a new certificate to those who wish to specialise in this domain. The number of questions on sustainable finance in the general exam will increase from four to 15 out of a total of 120 questions (compared to 115 today). The questions will revolve around green finance, managing climate risk, socially responsible investment (SRI) and labels, ESG criteria and management approaches. The new programme will be published in the next few days and will be in effect from mid-March 2021.

The new sustainable finance certification will be endorsed by a specific examination and certificate. This optional module will contain 60 questions, covering sustainable finance terminology and ecosystem, the French and European regulatory framework, ESG issues, non-financial asset management approaches and marketing of sustainable investment products.