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|Established||18 January 1800|
|Governor||François Villeroy de Galhau|
|Central bank of||France|
|Preceded by||Banque Royale|
|Succeeded by||European Central Bank (1999)1|
|1 The Bank of France still exists but many functions have been taken over by the ECB.|
The Bank of France known in French as the Banque de France, headquartered in Paris, is the central bank of France; it is linked to the European Central Bank (ECB). Its main charge is to implement the interest rate policy of the European System of Central Banks (ESCB).
In 1800, financial power in France was in the hands of about ten to fifteen banking houses whose founders, in most cases, came from Switzerland in the second half of the eighteenth century. These bankers were deeply involved in the agitations leading up to the French Revolution. When the revolutionary violence got out of hand, they orchestrated the rise of Napoleon, whom they regarded as the restorer of order. As a reward for their support, Napoleon, in 1800, gave the bankers a monopoly over French finance by giving them control of the new Bank of France. Banker Claude Périer drafted the first statutes and Emmanuel Crétet was the first governor. For the first fifteen years it was the sole issuer of bank notes in Paris, and this privilege was extended to other financially important cities and the rest of the country by 1848.
On 1 June 1998, a new institution was created, the European Central Bank (ECB), charged with steering the single monetary policy for the euro. The body formed by the ECB, and the national central banks (NCB) of all the member states of the European Union, constitute the European System of Central Banks (ESCB).
The ESCB is an institutional framework of a single monetary policy for the euro. According to the Bank of France's website, the "sharing of responsibilities between the ECB and the NCBs is based upon significant decentralization of the conduct of the ESCB's single monetary policy".
In 2010, the French government's Autorité de la concurrence (the department in charge of regulating competition) fined eleven banks, including Bank of France, the sum of EUR384,900,000 for colluding to charge unjustified fees on check processing, especially for extra fees charged during the transition from paper check transfer to "Exchanges Check-Image" electronic transfer.