Financial Sector in France – The Role Played by Banks

An Expert's View about Banking in France

Posted on: 25 Aug 2012

French banks are robust and are using their own resources to meet the tighter regulatory requirements.

Financial Services Sector in France – The Role Played by Banks ξ French banks are robust and are using their own resources to meet the tighter regulatory requirements. They retain a large portion of their earnings in order to comply with the new capital requirements imposed by the Basel II framework. This impacted on lending: to lend the same amount of money banks will have to allocate twice the amount. Market overview ξ There are 39,000 branches, 52,000 ATMs, 72 million current accounts, 50 million customer’s and16 billion payment transactions per year. ξ The sector is very concentrated. Top French Banks GNP: BNP Paribas (29.2%); Crédit Agricole (22,8%), Société Générale (17.6%), BPCE (15.6%), Crédit Mutuel –CIC (9.8%), La Banque Postale (3.5%). ξ More than half of their revenues come from Retail Banking. Investment Banking (BFI) was their second highest activity for revenue before Asset Management. This is rapidly changing due to the European economic and financial crisis. ξ The largest foreign foreign bank is HSBC with 1 7% GNP followed by Barclays. ξ The major banking/insurance companies are Allianz (1st in Europe), AXA (2nd in Europe), and Groupama. ξ Online banking in France is provided by Boursorama (subsidiary of Société Générale, (turnover 2012 € 204,2 m) and ING (turnover 2010 € 54,9 m). Key opportunities ξ Social ties: Banks invest over €150 million nationwide in charitable initiatives. They also back international charities. ξ Promoting microfinance: associations across France are now able to find a banking partner regardless of where they are located. ξ A leading role in financial education: Since 2004 the FBF has been leading a financial education and awareness programme for the general public and associations. The “Centre d’Information Bancaire” (Banking Information Centre) aims to help French people find out more about financial products and services to better manage their relationship with the bank. ξ Long-term sponsors of sports events: BNP Paribas supports tennis; Société Générale supports rugby, LCL backs cycling, the Banques Populaires supports sailing, Crédit Agricole backs football and the Caisses d’Epargne and Crédit Mutuel-CIC sponsor athletics. Total sports sponsorship amounts to an average of over €100 million per year. ξ Support for cultural events and protecting the environment. (I.e. contemporary art and protecting local heritage). The banking sector invests over € 10 m a year in this area. Latest export opportunities in Finance and Professional Services sector Latest export opportunities - France Getting into the market The main way of getting to the market is to meet the relevant contacts and to build long term relationships, as well as: ξ Attend seminars, conferences, trade fairs ξ Join the Franco-British Chamber of Commerce (FBCCI) or other Franco-British associations ξ Banks are a big user of IT services and consultancies (lawyers, audit, advertising, training etc) ξ Know both French and British laws and regulations ξ Be resilient when contacting potential French partners More about doing business in France Contacts Market intelligence is critical when doing business overseas, and UKTI can provide bespoke market research and support during overseas visits though our chargeable Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS). To commission research or for general advice about the market, get in touch with our specialists in country - or contact your local international trade team. Sophie de Bodisco, British Embassy Paris. Tel: +33 (0)144513341 or email: Contact your local international trade team UKTI Events UKTI runs a range of events for exporters, including seminars in the UK, trade missions to overseas markets and support for attendance at overseas trade shows. Latest events –Financial and Professional Services Major Events Forum de l’Investissement et du Placement -11-13 Oct 2012 Actionaria – 18-19 Nov 2012 Financium – 11-12 Dec 2012 Useful links More about OMIS and other UKTI services for exporters
Posted: 25 August 2012

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