June 2017

There can be no compromises when it comes to security

The massive cyberattack that took place last May should make everyone rethink their approach.

This is particularly true in the area of payments, which for several years the European Commission has considered entirely in terms of competition.

To bring down prices, new players had to be brought in, no matter the consequences. As is often the case, industrial and infrastructural concerns were forgotten: who is financing these new players? Who takes care of maintenance? However, payment infrastructure requires substantial investment (both initial and ongoing) to constantly improve its effectiveness and security.

Worse than this, security issues took second place.
Certainly, the European directive on payment services (PSD 2) requires a high level of security, but with one defect. Its security standards, returned to the competent authority (EBA - European Banking Authority), will only come into effect until after the directive itself, which requires that new entrants, account aggregators and third-party payment companies be given access to payment and client data.

And even worse, the EBA proposed strict security standards, after many months of hard work and consultation, yet these standards were immediately contested by the new players. They believe these standards are too restrictive, and are pushing the European Parliament to reject them unless the European Commission waters them down. A Brussels-style compromise appears to be taking shape, and it's quite likely that the basic security requirements for payment services will be lifted.

This is where banks draw the line. There can be no compromises when it comes to security. The work of the EBA, the only stakeholder with in-depth expertise in this area, must not be weakened to benefit special interest groups. Our time would be better spent wondering about their intentions: the fact that they are asking for security standards to be lowered while attempting to enter the payment services industry is hardly reassuring, because the payment process is only as secure as its weakest link.

Clients have the right to retain their peace of mind with respect to the security of their personal data and funds. This peace of mind is an asset and a point of pride for the banking sector. This is why the struggle to implement PSD 2 is a critical concern for us, and why we will never willingly compromise on security concerns (Link to FBE press release).
Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani
Chief Executive Officer of the French Banking Federation

Tweeter : @FBFFranceTweeter : LinkedIn

Our Positions

Basel: watch out!
For several months, European and Japanese banks have warned about the risk of a "bad" Basel accord, and condemned the lack of transparency of the Committee's work. Luckily, European leaders remain vigilant and refuse to endanger the financing of the European economy. However, a Committee offensive seems to be taking shape for mid-June, and the pressure to make the Europeans give in and accept a very bad agreement will be extremely high. Let's hope that they will be able to protect their legitimate interests.

€2,203 billion in credit: banks are driving the growth of the French economy
The strength of France's credit market, with performance greater than 5%, has made the country one of the leaders in the eurozone, with extensive access to credit and an interest rate environment that remains positive for households and businesses. Banks help businesses: loans outstanding are up by 5.3% year-on-year, for a total of €927 billion. The acceleration observed over the last six months represents one of the biggest increases in corporate lending since 2009. Banks are also there to help households with the financing for all of their projects. Loan outstandings to households amounted to €1,112 billion, up 5.6% year-on-year.

In their own words

Malta, 8 May 2017, European Banking Federation (EBF) Board Meeting
"It is up to policymakers now to finalise the regulatory agenda and strike the right balance, avoiding undue impact on the financing of households and companies while ensuring the development of a safe, sustainable and competitive European financial services industry that benefits all our economies,” explained the President of the EBF Board, Frédéric Oudéa.

FBF in the media

Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani appears on RFI Radio’s "Eco d'Ici Eco d'Ailleurs"


The Chief Executive Officer of the FBF made a guest appearance on the radio to talk about new ways of providing banking services. She reminded listeners that the use of digital technologies by banks was nothing new, and that banking apps are among the apps that are most used on a day-to-day basis. She also insisted that “ the French banking model is that of a universal bank with strong local roots that can meet many of its clients’ needs at once ”. In this respect, the emergence of FinTechs does not threaten the banks. Rather, it is an opportunity for innovation. However, innovation must not result in deregulation. Indeed, “ regulations are absolutely critical for maintaining client trust in the financial sector in the broadest sense of the word, and should apply to everyone. [..] Security is an immensely important issue.

Link to the podcast

“Bank Bashing” condemned by the French banking industry (AFP dispatch, article in Le Monde)


The FBF and several unions representing employees in the sector condemned the abusive language used by Gilbert Collard. The banking profession and its workforce of 370,000 felt impelled to respond because of his shocking words, which attacked our personal and professional dignity. We are proud to work in our institutions, and just as proud of our commitment to serving the French people and the French economy.

The French and Chinese banking associations deepen their cooperation – (AFP dispatch)


Philippe Brassac, Chair of the FBF, and Guangwei Pan, the Chair and Chief Executive Officer of the China Banking Association, emphasised that in the context of Sino-French discussions the countries’ respective banking industries had much to share and cooperate on in terms of green finance, FinTech and international regulation. In fact, this partnership agreement is aimed at establishing regular dialogue and joint collaboration between the two banking associations. Discussions will deal with changes in the banking industry and may also lead to the development of joint positions on international banking regulations. The two associations also intend to explore topics such as training for bank employees, green finance, and the role played by digital technology in banking systems.

Link to the press release



ECB: Press conference on monetary policy (Tallinn)

12 - 14

FundForum International 2017 (Berlin)

14 - 15

Basel Committee meeting (Sweden)




ECOFIN Council meeting


ACPR conference (Paris): “What are the risks, regulations and supervision for the banking industry?” speech by Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani

19 - 25

EU Sustainable Energy Week


FIN&TECH Community event, Paris

Tweet of the month

Figure of the month

[Communiqué] Fiers de notre métier et de notre engagement au service de l'économie de notre pays

150 houses and 420 vehicles are financed every hour by French banks