The French banking system is one of the most robust banking systems in the world. The banking system in France has built up this stability due to two significant factors –
- The French banks have a steady loan performance, and
- Over the year the French banks have ensured that they have had enough capital and liquidity base.
As per Moody’s report, the only thing that the French banks should improve is their creditworthiness. Moody’s investor service expects that the creditworthiness of these banks will evolve within 12 to 18 months down the line.
Another challenge that looms large for the French banks is tepid economic growth. This slow growth affects the revenue and profit margin of the banks. But at the same time, this slow growth has also improved the bank’s loan quality and performance.
Structure of Banks in France
The French banking system is quite stable. There are around 400 banks in France and can be categorized into four distinct categories –
- Investment banks
- Banks that provide medium and long term loans
- Deposit banks, and
- The Bank of France
The Bank of France is the most important entity among all since it acts as the monetary authority of the country. Three major functions of the Bank of France are –
- First of all, the Bank of France sets the prevailing interest rates.
- Secondly, it ensures the smooth and swift functioning of the local banking system.
- Finally, it helps in articulating and chalking out monetary and credit policies.
List of Top 10 Banks in France
- BNP Paribas
- Credit Agricole Group
- Societe Generale
- Groupe BPCE
- AXA Banque
- Credit Mutuel Group
- La Banque Postale
- HSBC France
- Credit du Nord
- Credit Cooperatif
As per the total assets acquired in 2016, here’s a list of banks that top the rankings among 400 top banks in France. Let’s have a look –
#1. BNP Paribas:
This bank is one of the top 5 banks in the world. It has a presence in over 75 countries. As per the total assets acquired, BNP Paribas is topping the list of ranking in France. The total assets acquired by BNP Paribas in the year 2016 were Euro 2077 billion. It was established in the year 1848, almost 169 years ago. The last reported revenue and operating income were Euro 43.4 billion and Euro 10.8 billion. It is headquartered in Boulevard des Italiens, Paris.
#2. Credit Agricole Group:
As per the total assets acquired, this is the second-largest entity in the French banking system. The total assets acquired by Credit Agricole Group in the year 2016 were Euro 1723 billion. This entity is quite old and was established in the year 1894, around 123 years ago. It has reported their revenue and operating income in the year 2013 were Euro 31.178 billion and Euro 11.484 billion. It is headquartered in Montrouge.
#3. Societe Generale:
As per the total assets acquired, this is the third-largest entity banking system in the country. The total assets acquired by Societe Generale in the year 2016 were Euro 1382.2 billion. Societe Generale was established on 4th May 1864, almost 153 years ago. Its head-quarter is located in Boulevard Haussmann, 9th arrondissement, Paris. As per the last reported revenue and operating income in the year 2015, they were Euro 25.639 billion and Euro 5.681 billion.
#4. Groupe BPCE:
As per the total assets acquired, this is the fourth largest entity in the French banking system. The total assets acquired by Groupe BPCE in the year 2016 were Euro 1235.2 billion. Groupe BPCE was created by a merger between CNCE (Caisse Nationale des Caisses d’epargne) and BFBP (Banque Federale des Banques Populaires). It has more than 8200 branches and it has been serving around 40 million customers. It is headquartered in Paris.
#5. AXA Banque:
As per the total assets acquired, this is the fifth top bank in France. The total assets acquired by AXA Banque in the year 2016 were Euro 975.52 billion. It is relatively a new entity; it was established in the year 2002. It is a subsidiary of AXA France Assurance SAS. It serves more than 107 million clients across 64 countries. It has employed around 165,000 employees. In the year 2016, the reported net profit of AXA Banque was Euro 6331 million.
#6. Credit Mutuel Group:
This is the sixth top bank as per the total assets acquired. The total assets acquired by Credit Mutuel Group in the year 2016 were Euro 740 billion. Credit Mutuel Group was established in the year 1882, around 135 years ago. Its head-quarter is located in Strasbourg, Alsace. It mainly provides four kinds of services – corporate banking, consumer banking, insurance services, and private banking to the customers of France and also to foreign customers.
#7. La Banque Postale:
This is the seventh top bank as per the total assets acquired. The total assets acquired by La Banque Postale in the year 2016 were Euro 230 billion. This entity consists of over 10,000 post offices where all corporate and individual customers are served. La Banque Postale has over 30,000 employees who serve the customers.
#8. HSBC France:
As per the total assets acquired, this is the eighth top bank in France. The total assets acquired by HSBC France in the year 2016 were Euro 169.4 billion. HSBC France is the result of a merger among the Union Bank in Paris, Credit Commercial de France, the Banque de Picardie, the Hervet Bank in Paris, and Bank Beacque. Its head-quarter is located in Champs Elysees Avenue, Paris.
#9. Credit du Nord:
As per the total assets acquired, this bank stands at the ninth position. It has acquired total assets of Euro 5587.34 million. Its head-quarter is located in Mariehamn, Aland Islands. The net profit in the year 2016 was reported as Euro 21.70 million. This is a relatively smaller entity. It is part of the Credit du Nord financial group. It has over 785 branches and employed more than 8700 employees. It has a client base of 1.92 million.
#10. Credit Cooperatif:
This bank is much smaller than the other top nine banks. It has reported a net profit of Euro 43.40 million in the year 2016. It is relatively a new entity, established in the year 1989. Credit Cooperatif has employed around 1967 employees. This bank is popular for microcredits. As per the Microfinance Observatory Report, 19% of personal microcredit in France was offered by Credit Cooperatif
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