December 2015

French banks in support of COP 21

Prime Time is the new monthly newsletter of the French Banking Federation, designed from the outset for quick consultation on tablets and smartphones. Without claiming to be exhaustive, just the main points in a nutshell, for a large audience. It puts a spotlight on the current events in the banking industry, its commitments and agenda. In French and English as the bank considers itself both French and European.

Bank and Climate. The two words are combined in the official partnership of the banking profession with COP 21. There is nothing artificial about this. Financing the fight against climate change is a key issue and an opportunity for banks. It is for them both a matter of social responsibility and an economic challenge. An opportunity to demonstrate their know-how as universal banks, as well as accompanying individual savings and eco-projects and green investments for companies. These projects require innovation, structured finance and market financing, through green bonds, where French banks are now among the world leaders. For this, we need the right regulatory framework, it's one of our key battles. To learn more, please refer to our publication Bank & Climate as well as the dedicated website for the general public (banqueetclimat.com).

The FBF also wanted an open discussion with political and economic leaders involved in energy transition. This was the purpose of the Bank and Climate conference, opened by the French Minister of Finance, Michel Sapin, on 24 November. The opportunity for the FBF to remind the authorities to give the right economic, regulatory and fiscal signals to enable the world economy and the finance industry to play its role, and to present the Contribution by the Union Bancaire Francophone (Francophone Banking Union) in the fight against global warming. Eleven national associations and three regional federations that are signatories to it are all committed to promoting investment and financing solutions that encourage low-carbon technologies. It's up to us now to keep our efforts up!

Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani
Chief Executive Officer of the French Banking Federation

Tweeter : Launch of the new #FBF #Newsletter - Prime #latestnews #FrenchBanksTweeter : Prime Time, the new monthly newsletter of the FBF

In our opinion

Banking regulation: a real paradox
While a draft European directive, known as "separation of banks" aims to reduce the size of banks and particularly their capital markets activities, a new international standard will apply to strengthen the security of very large banks and finally resolve the issue of "too big to fail" as the regulators now say such as Mark Carney, Chairman of the Financial Stability Board, and the rating agencies. This is TLAC, Total Loss Absorbing Capacity, which sets new requirements for capital and convertible debt. The new "special big banks " capital buffer is in addition to the recent European measure known as MREL- Minimum Requirement for Eligible Liabilities and own funds. The layers of capital are building up, without consistency between them and without taking account of risk models. This calls into question French universal banks that have been more resilient during the crisis than the UK and US banks (ECB report). And the financing of the economy in all this...?

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Combating the financing of terrorism: fully mobilized
The regulations are based on three measures: asset freezing at the request of public authorities, regular communication of information and declaration of suspicious transactions to Tracfin of which 80% come from banks. French banks are fully committed in the fight against the financing of terrorism and welcome the authorities willingness to further strengthen its efficiency. This fight requires all players who are part of the payment chain, whether it relates to financial institutions, payment institutions, electronic money institutions to be bound by the same obligations. Without exception. The banking sector voices its concern with regard to certain anonymous methods of payment such as pre-paid cards.

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FBF and media

Les Echos


"In terms of banking regulation, Europe must not be naive"

Frédéric Oudéa, FBF Chairman since 1 September 2015 :“The question today is knowing whether the regulatory environment will enable us to continue to serve our customers against a backdrop of a funding model that has demonstrated its efficiency. Let us avoid our universal banking model being weakened and other organisational models being imposed that are not suited to the needs of our economies. The financial sovereignty of Europe depends on this too”.

Option finance


"Payments : the big bang"

It’s just the beginning. Following the adoption by the European Parliament on 8 October 2015 of the revised payment services directive (PSD 2), the liberalisation of the payments market will stimulate innovation and competition. At what cost? The prospects open to new non-banking players raise a number of questions in terms of customer data security. Willy Dubost, director of systems and payments at the FBF warns that all market players must be regulated and supervised in the same way.

Le Monde


"The Herculean task of the European policeman"

One year after the launch of the Single Supervisory Mechanism, what has changed regarding the supervision of banks? The point of contact, which is now the European Central Bank for the 123 largest banks of the euro zone. "A necessary revolution so that it [the eurozone] operates better" said Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani, "And the stress tests for banks was essential to restore confidence in the strength of the banking sector and establish the credibility of the supervisor".



Climate Solutions. Grand Palais Paris. Conference « Financial regulation and the fight against global warming »


Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani speaks at a seminar on « Financial Regulation » organised by l’Agefi Paris


European Commission Green paper on Retail Financial Services


Green Growth and Sustainable Development Forum OECD. Paris


France Stratégie & Bank of France conference on the competitiveness of the French economy. Paris


Final reading of the 2016 Draft budget bill

Tweet of the month

Figure of the month

Online services provided by french #banks reduce paper consumption up to 25% #COP21 #greenfinance #fin4dev

Total outstanding loans granted in France at end of October 2015: €2,077 billion euros Source: Bank of France