Primary dealers are AFT’s close counterparties for all of its market operations. They advise and assist AFT with its issuance policy and debt management, and more generally, with any matter concerning the smooth operation of markets.
The members of the primary dealers' group have changed over time. Their ranks grew from 13 in 1987 to 22 soon after 2000. Today’s group of primary dealers represents the diversity of institutions active on the French government debt market: major retail banks, specialised institutions and French and foreign institutions.
As of 31 December 2018, the group of primary dealers was made up of 15 institutions from diverse areas of the world, including four French institutions, two German institutions, five North American institutions and one Japanese institution. This diversity underlines the central role and appeal of French Treasury securities on the euro debt market.
- BofA Securities Europe SA,
- BNP Paribas,
- Crédit Agricole - CIB,
- Deutsche Bank,
- Goldman Sachs,
- HSBC France,
- JP Morgan,
- Morgan Stanley (suspension of the primary dealership status from the 4th August 2020 to the 4th November 2020),
- NatWest Markets,
- Société Générale.
The reselection process that started in November in 2018 resulted in the renewal of the primary dealers for a three-year term on 18 December 2018. All these banks had applied for a new three-year term, proving that the primary dealer “label” remains an attractive attribute.
It is the primary dealers’ responsibility to participate in auctions, place Treasury securities and ensure the liquidity of the secondary market.
AFT deals with them as necessary for them to perform their duties:
- overseeing the proper functioning of primary issues;
- ensuring the liquidity of the secondary market in French Treasury securities and upholding their status as one of the euro area’s most liquid securities;
- promoting the market for Treasury securities;
- providing constant and highly pertinent advice to AFT on issuance policy, debt management, promoting the State’s creditworthiness, hedging the State’s financial risks and the workings of the fixed-income markets.
These duties are set out in a charter that governs the relations between AFT and the primary dealers, who have signed the charter and pledged to comply with it. They also undertake to act ethically and comply with best marketplace practices when carrying out their transactions.