François Villeroy de Galhau: France - a European powerhouse for financial service innovation

Speech by Mr François Villeroy de Galhau, Governor of the Bank of France, at the FinTech Forum, Paris, 25 January 2017.

The views expressed in this speech are those of the speaker and not the view of the BIS.

Central bank speech  | 
03 February 2017

Good morning to all of you. I am delighted to be here today. Who could have imagined just a few years ago that a central banker would be making an appearance at a forum on innovation? I remember when we first met up, about a year ago, with the developers from the start-up Labo Blockchain to work on a Proof of Concept, everyone from the Banque de France had made an effort: they'd dressed casually for the occasion- except that all the developers had decided to turn up in a suit and tie. It was a complete role reversal! But things change very rapidly. Today, our dealings with innovators go far beyond any of the assumptions we might have had about each other: the Banque de France is testing blockchain technology and is opening a LAB to work with start-ups; the ACPR (the supervisory body which I chair) has welcomed more than 100 key innovators since the creation of its FinTech Innovation Unit, and has set up a FinTech Forum with the AMF to increase our interaction with innovators. For all actors in the financial industry, including for the Banque de France and the ACPR, the digital revolution is creating challenges but also incredible opportunities that are just waiting to be seized, whether by FinTechs themselves, by the entire financial system - banks and insurers - or by the French and European economy as a whole.