Banque de France

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The Banque de France is the central bank of France; it is linked to the European Central Bank (ECB). Its main charge is to implement the interest rate policy of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB). It is headquartered in Paris.


In 1800 financial power in France was in the hands of about ten to fifteen banking houses whose founders, in most cases, came from Switzerland in the second half of the eighteenth century. These bankers, mostly Protestant, were deeply involved in the agitations leading up to the French Revolution. When the revolutionary violence got out of hand, they orchestrated the rise of Napoleon, whom they regarded as the restorer of order. As a reward for their support, Napoleon, in 1800, gave these bankers a monopoly over French finance by giving them control of the new Bank of France.<ref name="ref1"/>

Linkage with the ESCB

On 1 June 1998, a new institution was created, the European Central Bank (ECB), charged with steering the single monetary policy for the euro. The body formed by the ECB, and the national central banks (NCB) of all the member states of the European Union, constitute the European System of Central Banks (ESCB).

The ESCB is an institutional framework of a single monetary policy for the euro. According to the Banque de France's website, the "sharing of responsibilities between the ECB and the NCBs is based upon significant decentralization of the conduct of the ESCB's single monetary policy".


  • 1716 John Law opens the Banque Générale
  • 1718 The Banque Générale is acquired by the government and renamed Banque Royale
  • 1721 The bubble crashes and its chief executive flees for his life
  • 1800 Creation of the Banque de France by Napoleon Bonaparte<ref name="ref1">Template:Cite book</ref>
  • 14 April 1803, the new Bank received its first official charter granting it the exclusive right to issue paper money in Paris for fifteen years.<ref name="BoFH1"></ref>
  • 22 April 1806, a new law replaced the Central Committee with a Governor and two Deputy Governors. All three were appointed by the Emperor.<ref name="BoFH1" />
  • Decree dated 16 January 1808 set out the "Basic Statutes", which were to govern the Bank's operations until 1936.<ref name="BoFH1" />
  • Decree on 6 March 1808 authorized the Bank to purchase the former mansion of the Count of Toulouse in the rue de la Vrillière in Paris for its headquarters.<ref name="BoFH1" />
  • 1808–1936 The Bank's notes became legal tender; expansion of the branch network
  • 1936–1945 Nationalisation
  • 1973 Rewriting of the Bank's statutes
  • 1993 A landmark reform granted the Bank independence, in order to ensure price stability, regardless of domestic politics. This reform cleared the path for the European monetary union.
  • 1998 Entered into the European System of Central Banks


In 2010, the French government's Autorité de la concurrence (the department in charge of regulating competition) fined eleven banks, including Banque de France, the sum of €384,900,000 for colluding to charge unjustified fees on check processing, especially for extra fees charged during the transition from paper check transfer to "Exchanges Check-Image" electronic transfer.<ref name="autocon"/><ref name="wsjber"/>

See also

  • Economy of France
  • Euro
  • French franc
  • Governor of the Bank de France


<references> <ref name="wsjber">3rd UPDATE: French Watchdog Fines 11 Banks For Fee Cartel , Elena Bertson, Dow Jones News Wires / Wall Street Journal online, retr 20 September 2010</ref>

<ref name="autocon">Collusion in the banking sector, Press Release of Autorité de la concurrence, République Française, 20 September 2010, retrv 20 September 2010</ref> </references>

External links


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