Financial Regulatory Forum

France urges looser EU competition rules, wants “big European groups”

MARIGNANE, France, March 4 (Reuters) – The EU’s competition policy is preventing the creation of strong European companies and needs to be more flexible, French President Nicolas Sarkozy said on Thursday.

He made his comments as he unveiled new policies aimed at halting the decline in French industry which included a promise for a more active government role in companies where the state is a shareholder.

“I want the conception of European competition to move forward,” he said, saying that the policy should be looked at on a European level and not at the level of an individual country.

“Otherwise how do we create big European groups? Which big group in the world can conquer export markets without first being dominant in its own domestic market?” he asked.

He said Europe had lost the battle for consumer goods contracts and was facing increasing competition on major industrial contracts.

French lower house of parliament backs bank tax

PARIS, Oct 23 (Reuters) – France’s lower house of parliament on Friday approved a plan to impose a 10 percent tax on bank profits in 2010 despite opposition from the government.The National Assembly, adopted the opposition-proposed measure by 44 votes to 40.

However, a source in President Nicolas Sarkozy’s ruling UMP party said the government would ask for a new vote, claiming a technical problem because two UMP deputies had accidentally voted the wrong way.

There are 577 deputies in the lower house and President Nicolas Sarkozy’s centre-right UMP party has a comfortable majority but many were absent for the evening vote.

France worried about euro, wants G20 discussion

By Anna Willard
PARIS, Sept 23 (Reuters) – France is concerned about the level of the euro against other currencies and hopes the Pittsburgh G20 will set a timeframe for a future discussion on exchange rates, a French government official said on Wednesday.

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G20 heads for crackdown on bank bonuses

By Huw Jones and Anna Willard
PARIS, Sept 15 (Reuters) – Banks with low levels of capital will not be able to offer large bonuses under guidelines the G20 is set to discuss this month, the Financial Stability Board said on Tuesday.

“It’s important that firms conserve profits so they can rebuild capital and support lending,” FSB Chairman Mario Draghi told a news conference.

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