Denis Beau: The Bank of France over the years - serving the regions and its inhabitants

Speech by Mr Denis Beau, First Deputy Governor of the Bank of France, at the Central Bank and Territories conference, organised by Bordeaux Sciences Économiques and the Bank of France, Bordeaux, 27 April 2023.

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

Central bank speech  | 
09 May 2023

Dean of the Faculty, Denis, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Thank you very much for inviting me to open this conference – "The Central Bank and Territories" – here at the University of Bordeaux. 

We are gathered for a very special occasion, as we are celebrating the 175th anniversary of the Banque de France's branch in Bordeaux. It was indeed on 27 April 1848, during the "Spring of Nations" described so eloquently by Franco-Hungarian historian François Fejtő, that the principle of setting up a base for the Bank in Bordeaux was agreed upon. Five days later, on 2 May, the branch opened its doors to the public, in the building that formerly housed the Banque de Bordeaux on rue Esprit des Lois. It stands there still, a testament to the longevity of its mandates and the continued presence of its employees in the service of France's regions and inhabitants. Branches were opened at the same moment in eight other French cities, so expanding the 15-branch network already in operation. 

With this, the Banque de France became the cornerstone of the monetary and financial system spanning the entire French economy. Since the Bank was first established in 1800 through to the present day, our core mandate has been to guarantee monetary stability and, through our supervisory, refinancing and lender-of-last-resort policies, to preserve financial stability. By establishing a branch network, we strengthened and enhanced our ability to serve the regional economies. Moreover, in each era, the Bank has tailored the approach taken to execute its statutory mandate, catering to the economic and financial environment and the institutions of the time in order to provide France's regions with the best possible support.