The paper, which is born from an articulated research on the fundamentals of banking intermediation and on their application to the French regulation and markets, investigates on the strenghts and weaknesses of the French banking model. The view defended is that the French has taken some time advantage on the other European neighbours, by early adopting an efficient framework law disciplinating the entire sector, and that this advance has been maintained afterwards. The comparative advantage translates into a predatory attitude of the French commercial banks over the other (weaker) European financial institutions and on a relatively higher charter value of their licenses compared with the ones of other banks of the UE. In particular, the privatisation process bringing to the progressive sale of the French public banks is analyzed. The historical approach allows to introduce some nuances and to put under the right perspective the conflicts of interests faced by a State which is, at the same time, the regulator and the owner of the most valuable banking assets of a country.
French commercial banks, charter value, privatisation process, banking regulation, supervision, Loi Bancaire
This paper originates from two years of research, made across Genoa and Paris, and from a Ph.D dissertation successfully defended in front of an Italian jury. Several people have made comments and helped me during these years and would like to thanks them all, independently from their specific role and relative contributions to my research: Alessandro Goglio, Luca Gandullia, Jan Karlsson, Olivier Feiertag, Roger Nougaret, Pierre de Longuemar, Marc Flandreau, Franco Praussello, Pierre Henri Cassou, Hans Peter Scheller, Michel Pébereau, Benjamin J. Cohen, Antonio Garombo, Antoine Quet, Gianni Pittaluga and my family in Genoa. The usual caveats apply, however.
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