July 2016

"Welcome to Europe"

Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani

The FBF has repeatedly stated its wish to see the United Kingdom stay in the European Union. British citizens made the democratic choice to ask to leave the European Union. We are saddened by this choice, but we acknowledge it and, most of all, we are convinced that it is our collective duty to draw conclusions and seize its opportunities.

One of these opportunities is to increase the importance of the Paris financial marketplace and even develop our "City on the Seine." Of course, the London financial market is not going to disappear. But in a more multipolar European financial world, such an ambition is legitimate, given that France has the major asset of having four of the nine largest banks in Europe and of the twenty largest banks in the world. Most of all, it is strategic.

Development of a powerful, high-performing financial industry goes beyond our sector's interests. The financial system plays the vital role of financing the economy, in its various components, specifically that of our corporates. The competitiveness of the financial market is a key component in the competitiveness of the French economy as a whole, just like industrial and energy competitiveness. As such, it is a major issue for France, in terms of activity, employment, and economic sovereignty.

And now is the time to start acting like it. Brexit has created a shock wave, a salutary leap for mobilising around the appeal of the Paris financial marketplace. It is true that the government tackled the issue in June 2014 by creating a "Paris Marketplace 2020" Committee, with one of the targets being to promote an attractive, dynamic financial market in Paris, focused on financing the economy.

But today, this target is all the more pressing. Competition has already begun between the financial markets of tomorrow's European Union. Paris must play its hand, and is only a challenger when it comes to attracting the high added value jobs. As I said last month, all we needed was a strong sign from the government, which we now do. All of the public authorities have rallied to put Paris in "pole position": territorial governments, with the Ile-de-France region and the City of Paris as of 8 June, but also the government, with the special appearance by the Prime Minister at the Paris Europlace event on 6 July.

We applaud the measures announced by the Prime Minister. They do not resolve all structural competitiveness issues, but they do perfectly represent this proactive approach, and play on multiple essential levers, which affect businesses (taxes, streamlining) and employees (tax regime for impatriates, conditions for receiving them).

This inclusive approach is essential, because this competition will be won together or not at all. Developing a "City on the Seine" will not be easy, but now we can win this race, and prove the naysayers wrong, for, as we all know, "impossible is not French."

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

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Our Positions

The banking sector is still hiring
Even though it has not created any jobs in three years, the French banking sector confirmed its momentum on the job market, with more than 39,000 new hires in 2015. The qualitative aspect of these jobs is also worth noting: two-thirds of new hires are permanent positions, with priority placed on qualified recent graduates. As such, the workforce is getting younger: nearly 60% of recruits are under 30, and those with postgraduate degrees make up 47% of new hires. The number of women in banking is also increasing, accounting for 56% of those hired in 2015. And training is keeping up, with more than 6,000 work-study employees in 2015, the majority (58%) of which will stay in their jobs at the same company once they have earned their degrees.

“Basel IV”: French and German banks band together
The French Banking Federation and its German counterpart (Bankenverband) met with the finance ministers of the two respective countries, Michel Sapin and Wolfgang Schäuble, to discuss the need to draw clear red lines at the Basel Committee. French and German bankers, united in this unprecedented approach, drew attention to the significant increase in capital requirements that is emerging from the technical work for European banks on certain financing. There would be significant fallout in terms of their capacity to finance growth and jobs in Europe. Both federations hope that a united position among Europeans at the Basel Committee will lead them to revise its work.

“Finance is a weapon of mass construction”
Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani took part in the 2016 economic forum, Rencontres Economiques, in Aix-en-Provence and spoke on "the role of finance: weapon of mass destruction, or strong-arm of the States?". Speaking about corporate and investment banks (CIBs), she mentioned their key role for businesses, project and infrastructure financing, and hedging foreign exchange risks. CIBs are also a direct sovereignty issue for governments: French CIBs alone hold 9% of French government debt, actively putting it in the hands of investors. On top of this significant involvement in the French economy, there is also their role of guiding savings toward national financing requirements. These are all reasons to be concerned about the future of these players, who are essential for the future of our country.

Loud and clear

Jacques Delpla, Associate Researcher at the Toulouse School of Economics - Les Echos
"The eurozone must promote pan-European banks to absorb the asymmetric economic shocks and allow the eurozone to survive and thrive."

FBF and the media

BFM TV - Frédéric Oudéa


Brexit: “French banks are among the least impacted”

FBF Chairman Frédéric Oudéa addressed the consequences of Brexit for French banks. Should we fear a negative impact on our economy? He explains that it could even be the opposite. The Paris Financial Marketplace can give the City a run for its money. British banks are weakened by this decision, unlike French banks which are prepared and will be able to adapt. The plunge in the equity markets, which was an immediate consequence of Brexit, is now correcting naturally. Likewise, the fall of the pound will have very little impact on our banks, which have highly diversified models.

Europe 1 - Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani


“Paris will be the winner”

Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani was the guest of David Abiker on Europe 1 to review the UK's decision to exit Europe and its consequences. Since Brexit has stumped all the polls, it is important that the markets reorganise. She states that the City, which until now was the dominant financial market in Europe, is in practice no longer entitled to access the European Union's markets. Some financial players will have to relocate a portion of their activities in Europe to keep their European passport. The Paris Financial Marketplace is only a challenger, but it has considerable advantages, like involved local governments, modern infrastructures, and a confirmed political will. Excessive and unpredictable taxation remains a weakness compared to other European markets.

RTL - Willy Dubost


Yes, you can pay for purchases as low as one euro with a bank card!

When interviewed by RTL, Willy Dubost spoke about the promotional campaign for payment by contactless (NFC) cards starting at €1, launched by French banks in cooperation with the GIE Cartes Bancaires. More than half of bank cards in France are NFC-equipped. It's a secure, easy-to-use method of paying for your daily purchases. Customers and merchants are both reaping the benefits: "There's less cash in the register, so less risk of being robbed, and management costs will fall as a result." It also means less handling and therefore shorter wait times at checkout for customers. Already, 500,000 window stickers have been distributed to merchants who accept this method of payment.



EBA stress test results published

9 - 14

World Social Forum (international gathering of civil society: social development, ethical trade, environment, human rights).


MEDEF summer university: "Y croire et agir" (believe in it, act on it)


FBF press conference: "the BVA barometer on the image of banks"


ECOFIN informal council


Basel Committee

Tweet of the month

Figure of the month

Frédéric #Oudéa, @FBFFrance Chairman : "French #banks will be among the least affected" #Brexit

39 000: it's the number of hires in the banking sector in 2015