Bank Regulatory Structure:


GGD-95-152: Published: Aug 31, 1995. Publicly Released: Sep 6, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the French bank regulatory structure and its key participants.

GAO found that: (1) three independent committees oversee bank authorization, regulation, and supervision in France; (2) the Credit Institutions Committee (CEC) is responsible for authorizing and licensing credit institutions, approving any significant changes to a credit institution's structure and ownership, and disapproving management changes; (3) the Bank Regulatory Committee (CRB) is responsible for developing the regulations applicable to credit institutions; (4) the Banking Commission (CB) is responsible for supervising all credit institutions authorized under the French Banking Act of 1984, monitoring the financial soundness of credit institutions, enforcing legal and regulatory requirements, and providing technical assistance to other supervisory committees; (5) the French bank regulatory system is cohesive in spite of having three regulatory bodies with distinct jurisdictions; (6) the Minister of Economic Affairs has an influential position in bank regulation and supervision because he is the Chairman of CRB and a member of CB and CEC; (7) CB obtains the information necessary to enforce compliance with banking regulations and is able to assess the financial condition of credit institutions by conducting permanent oversight and on-site inspections of financial institutions; (8) the Bank of France is responsible for bank-related activities, such as liquidity provision, crisis management, payments settlement, international negotiations, and lender of last resort; and (9) the French Bank Association administers the deposit protection program for its member banks.

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