Caseload rises by a fifth at French regulator

GavelThe ombudsman of the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), the French capital markets regulator, was called to mediate 20% more disputes in 2013 than in the previous year, a total of 907 cases.

Less than half of the cases – 44% – were decided in the investor's favour, but the AMF notes that investors only challenged the rulings they did not win in 6% of cases.

The number of cases relating to speculation on the foreign exchange markets, in investment schemes open to the general public, doubled in 2013 on top of a sharp rise the previous year. The AMF says the numbers reflect “the general public's vulnerability to the highly aggressive commercial practices of operators – licensed and unlicensed – that have proliferated because of the internet”.

There was also a doubling in the number of cases relating to employee savings plans. The AMF says the most common complaints concern the conditions under which savings are unblocked, the methods of receiving option forms and the clarity with which custody fees are explained when an employee leaves the company.

The ombudsman of the AMF provides a free mediation service designed to provide rapid out-of-court settlements of financial disputes coming within the regulator's jurisdiction.

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