AMF Chair Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani noted that the financial sector is highly regulated, and investment communications must be law-compliant, clear, and balanced.
Two regulators in France, The Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF) and the Autorité de Régulation Professionnelle de la Publicité (ARPP), have jointly set up a training module for finfluencers.
Previously, the two bodies created the Responsible Influence Certificate in 2021. Since its launch, nearly 1,000 influencers have received the certificate after completing the general training course on best practices in influencer marketing. In addition to the general certificate, influencers must now take the new module.
The newly introduced module will focus on influencers involved in the financial sectors. It addresses such topics as investment products, trading and investment recommendations, crypto assets and digital asset service providers and crowdfunding, among others. Finfluencers in France must obtain at least 75% of 25 multiple-choice questions to receive the Responsible Influence Certificate in Financial Advertising.
AMF Chair Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani noted that the financial sector is highly regulated, and investment communications must be law-compliant, clear, and balanced. “Protecting retail investors is our top priority. If a publication by an influencer is paid for, it is crucial that the public is clearly informed,” she said.
Countries Take Different Stances on Regulating Finfluencers
Diverging opinions trail the subject of whether or not to regulate influencers involved in the financial sector. In some quarters, influencers are the champion of the people. For example, the principal of ZeroCap, Trent Barnes, asserts that overregulating finfluencers would affect financially disenfranchised people.
Elsewhere, Anastasia Kor, a board member at Choise.com, believes the role of celebrity endorsers should not be overlooked. “As an industry, we need to find ways to ethically leverage celebrity popularity to promote our products,” she said
The result of this diverging opinion is observable in how different nations are trying to rein in their influencers. In Singapore, influencers must not promote any crypto asset on social media. Instead, crypto companies can only advertise their products on their platforms. For the European Union, crypto influencers must fully disclose the financial risks associated with the products they’re advertising.
Also, in the United Kingdom, influencers may face up to two years in jail, an unlimited fine or both. France may very well be the only nation registering its influencers. Launching the training module will help ensure that the influencers can rightly advise the public on financial matters.