Protecting Investors
Professional Investors Excluded

It is expected that the French government will soon submit a bill for Parliament's approval which, if adopted, will substantially reform the regimes governing unsolicited advertising for banking and financial services in France. The bill aims to:

  • simplify these regimes by unifying them;

  • strengthen these regimes with regards to advertising that is directed at non-professional investors; and

  • exclude relationships with professional investors from the scope of the new regime governing banking and financial activities.


Under the bill unsolicited advertising of banking and financial activities is defined as unsolicited contact with an individual or a legal person aimed at obtaining a person's consent to participate in one of the following transactions:

  • financial instruments;

  • core and non-core banking services;

  • core and non-core financial services; or

  • 'other investments' as defined by Article L550-1 of the French Monetary and Financial Code (eg, mortgages).

If the bill is adopted banking, financial services and investment advertising activities will all be subject to the same regime.

Protecting Investors

With a view to strengthening investors' protection, the bill expressly sets out mandatory rules of conduct that financial advisors must meet. These include the existing obligation to remit to any targeted person any prospectus or document specifically required by the legislation, and regulations governing the marketing of the products and the services on offer. They also give investors a new right to withdraw within 14 days of receiving the executed contract, without being subject to any penalty or having to justify his or her decision.

Professional Investors Excluded

In contrast to the current legislation, the bill excludes contact with professional investors from the scope of the regime.

The adoption of this provision in the final draft is likely because it will finally bring the banking and financial services advertising regime into line with other financial regulations that distinguish between non-professional and professional investors.

For further information on this topic please contact Philippe Portier or RaphaĆ«le Navelet at Jeantet & AssociĆ©s by telephone (+33 1 45 05 81 96) or by fax (+33 1 47 04 87 98) or by email ([email protected] or [email protected]).