First Edition of Rendez-vous with the AMFSuccessful event helps protect consumers
Montréal – At the close of the first edition of Rendez-vous with the AMF, which took place today in Montréal, Jean St-Gelais, the President and CEO of the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF), expressed satisfaction with the day’s proceedings, noting: “Based on the quality of the exchanges and discussions held today among senior AMF staff members, guest specialists and the 350 or so persons representing various areas of the financial sector, I am quite pleased with today’s event.” Added the President and CEO: “This was the first rendez-vous organized by the AMF, and feedback from participants encourages us to repeat the experience next year.”
This first edition of the Rendez-vous with the AMF highlighted AMF activities related to regulatory and compliance matters as well as trends and issues impacting financial services around the world. Through workshops and presentations, some 30 panelists and speakers shared their knowledge and invited audience members to express their concerns and viewpoints. Moreover, the conference lunch featured a presentation given by Jochen Sanio, President of BaFin, the German financial supervisory authority, and a closing address was delivered by Québec Finance Minister Michel Audet.
According to Mr. St-Gelais, the event has enabled the AMF to better grasp market developments and will help the agency protect Québec consumers of financial products and services more effectively. “This is an ideal opportunity for us to gain a fuller understanding of issues and discuss possible options so that Québec investors can benefit from maximum protection,” said Mr. St-Gelais.
Québec Finance Minister Michel Audet, whose purview includes financial institutions and who attended the event, noted the relevance of the AMF’s initiative and the importance of maintaining ongoing exchanges with the financial community. He gave an overview of the activities now being conducted by the government with respect to legislation and regulations intended to enhance the regulatory framework and bolster confidence in the protection of investors.
“If the financial sector is to continue to develop, it will only succeed in doing so if consumers of financial products and services feel confident that current regulations are being enforced. We must therefore maintain a balance between these two goals and ensure that our regulatory framework is appropriate and in line with worldwide trends,” noted the Finance Minister.
At the event’s opening plenary session, Mr. St-Gelais stressed the importance of consumer awareness and education with respect to financial products and services. After highlighting a number of concrete actions taken by the AMF such as the one-stop service outlet for consumers and the launch of a fund for investor education and the promotion of good governance, the AMF President and CEO stated: “Together we must redouble our efforts with respect to consumer awareness and education. It is important that investors have a proper understanding of product offerings and the risks associated with these products. They must also remain on their guard against potential fraud. All of us should take up the challenge. This is particularly important because of an aging population. As we all know, some older citizens can more easily be the victims of fraud.”
As well, after discussing six initiatives intended to strengthen the AMF’s ability to take action and better protect consumers, Mr. St-Gelais noted that economic crimes were just as detrimental to society as were other types of crime and that they should be regarded with equal severity. “It is unacceptable for perpetrators of fraud to believe that they can have an easy ride in Québec. It is time to call on all parties involved in monitoring and suppressing economic crimes, including the courts and lawyers, for the purpose of carrying out concerted action supported by regulations that are adapted to our needs and strictly enforced,” concluded Mr. St-Gelais.
The Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) is the regulatory and oversight body for Québec's financial sector.
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Frédéric Alberro (514) 940-2176
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