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France: Draft Law on Regulating Banking and Finance

(Jan. 6, 2010) On December 16, 2009, at a Council of Ministers meeting, Christine Lagarde, French Minister of Economy and Finances, unveiled a draft law on regulating banking and finance aimed at implementing, at the national level, the decision of the G20 taken in Pittsburg in September 2009. (Assemblée Nationale, Projet de loi de régulation bancaire et financière, National Assembly website, (last visited Dec. 31, 2009).)

In its Title I, the draft law creates a Financial Regulation and Systemic Risk Council comprising representatives from the Bank of France and other financial market authorities. One of the Council's missions will be to advise the Minister of Economy and Finances on how to prevent and manage systemic risk. In an effort to further regulate the financial sector and the market, the Financial Market Authority will be granted the authority to take emergency measures limiting the negotiating conditions of financial instruments to deal with exceptional situations on the market. This Authority will also be given the power of oversight of credit-rating agencies. Finally, Title I reinforces supervision of European banking groups in conformity with Directive 2009/111/EC of September 16, 2009 (id.).

In its Title II, the draft law set forth measures aimed at improving the financing of the economy, to accelerate its recovery. The draft modernizes the public offers regime to increase shareholder protection. It also improves small- and medium-size enterprises' access to financing circuits of the economy (id.).