In January 2002 the Ministry of Economics and Finance published a document describing the main features of the French banking sector and showing its growing internationalization.

In 2000 195 banks were under foreign control in France, compared to 141 in 1984. Among these the proportion of European-controlled banking entities has been increasing since 1997, a result of the implementation of the European 'passport' throughout the European Economic Area (EEA). Most banking entities under foreign control in France originate from the United Kingdom (38), then from Germany (26), the United States (18), Belgium (13) and Italy (13).

By the end of 1999 63 French banks had 543 entities (227 branches and 316 subsidiaries) settled abroad. Fifty-one subsidiaries and 95 branches were located in other EEA member states, compared to 45 and 57 respectively in 1993. In 1999 most of these were located in:

  • the United Kingdom (51);

  • then Italy (33);

  • Germany (31);

  • Luxembourg (27); and

  • Spain (25).

By the end of the same year, French banks had 305 branches and subsidiaries settled outside the EEA in the follwoing areas:

  • the United States (31);

  • Switzerland (21);

  • Singapore (17);

  • Hong Kong (17); and

  • Japan (14).

Many subsidiaries and branches have been created in Eastern Europe during the last few years, a trend which should continue in the future with the accession of many Eastern European countries into the European Union.

For further information on this topic please contact Philippe Portier or RaphaĆ«le Navelet-Noualhier at Jeantet & AssociĆ©s by telephone (+33 1 45 05 81 96) or by fax (+33 1 47 04 87 98) or by email ([email protected] or [email protected]).