AMAF was founded by Sovereign Order more than fifty years ago. Its mission is to:
- Act as the professional body for authorized institutions conducting banking or financial activities in the Principality.
- Represent the Monegasque banking industry, particularly in relations with public authorities.
- Promote the sound development of Monaco’s banking sector.
Today, Monaco has a very extensive banking network, comprising thirty-six full service banks, and some fifty portfolio or mutual fund management companies.
The banking and finance industry is now one of the strengths of the Principality’s economy. It is:
- Prosperous: The resources deposited in the Principality have been multiplied by 3 in 15 years.
- International: 70% of the industry’s assets belong to non-resident clients from across Europe and sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East, Latin America and Asia-Pacific.
- Strictly regulated: Under various agreements between France and Monaco, Monegasque banks are supervised by the Bank of France’s Commission Bancaire and are therefore subject to the same prudential and regulatory rules as French banks. All supervisory activities are, of course, strictly regulated, which guarantees the confidentiality of transactions carried out by financial institutions in Monaco.
Asset management companies are approved and controlled by the Commission de Contrôle des Activités Financières (CCAF), which is supported at the highest level by the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), the French market regulator.
- Professional: The industry provides a full range of private banking products and services, as well as a personalized approach to a highly demanding clientele.
More importantly, it guarantees the confidentiality of “clean” money (see section below on “Confidentiality and the Drive Against Money Laundering”).
It also provides access to mutual fund management through a very broad array of investment funds covering every business sector and markets, including emerging markets.
- Internationally recognized: AMAF is an associate member of the European Banking Federation, the united voice of banks established in the European Union and European Free Trade Area. At March 31rd, 2009, Monaco joins the Single Euro Payment Area (SEPA). AMAF is also a founding member of the Union Bancaire Francophone created in September 2012 - which includes 16 Banking Associations of French-speaking countries.
Managers and employees of financial institutions operating in the Principality are bound by the rules of professional secrecy. A breach of these rules may be prosecuted under the provisions of Article 308 of the Penal Code.
This commitment is designed to protect customers’ interests and create the confidence required for the banking and financial sector to operate effectively.
As in all countries with an organized financial system, professional secrecy does not apply to information requested by the financial industry’s supervisory and money laundering authorities (see below), who themselves are bound by secrecy rules, or by local legal authorities involved in a criminal investigation.
The drive against money laundering and terrorism
One of the main directives given by H.S.H. the Sovereign Prince when he came to the throne was that Monaco should be at the leading edge of the drive to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.
For its part, the Association Monégasque des Activités Financières provides its members with a set of industry recommendations as strict as those prevailing in the world’s major banking sectors. They set out the obligations and diligence required of Monegasque financial institutions with regard to identifying and knowing their customers and monitoring capital movements.
The AMAF was also the driving force behind the creation – by ministerial decree of June 10, 2002 – of the Association Monégasque des Compliance Officers (AMCO), whose members meet regularly to exchange ideas and develop their expertise in the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing.