Bank of France

Bank of France


Headquarters Paris, France
Established 18 January 1800
Governor François Villeroy de Galhau
Central bank of France
Preceded by Banque Royale
Succeeded by European Central Bank (1999)1
1 The Bank of France still exists but many functions have been taken over by the ECB.

The Bank of France known in French as the Banque de France, headquartered in Paris, is the central bank of France; it is linked to the European Central Bank (ECB). Founded in 1800, it helped resolve the financial crisis of 1848 and emerged as a powerful central bank. Its main charge is to implement the interest rate policy of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB).


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 the bankers a monopoly over French finance by giving them control of the new Bank of France.[1] For the first fifteen years it was the sole issuer of bank notes in Paris, and this privilege was extended to other financially important towns and the rest of the country by 1848.[2]

Linkage with the ESCB

ATM of the Bank of France in Paris.

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 Bank of 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".

Headquarters : Hôtel de Toulouse in Paris



In 2010, the French government's Autorité de la concurrence (the department in charge of regulating competition) fined eleven banks, including Bank of 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.[5][6]

See also


  1. 1 2 Quigley, Carroll (1966). Tragedy And Hope. New York: Macmillan. p. 515. ISBN 0-945001-10-X.
  2. Bank of France, Encyclopaedia Britannica
  3. Graeber, David (2011). Debt: The First 5000 Years. Brooklyn, NY: Melville House. p. 342. ISBN 978-1-933633-86-2.
  4. 1 2 3 4
  5. Collusion in the banking sector, Press Release of Autorité de la concurrence, République Française, 20 September 2010, retrv 20 September 2010
  6. 3rd UPDATE: French Watchdog Fines 11 Banks For Fee Cartel , Elena Bertson, Dow Jones News Wires / Wall Street Journal online, retr 20 September 2010

Further reading

External links

Coordinates: 48°51′52″N 2°20′21″E / 48.864478°N 2.339289°E / 48.864478; 2.339289

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