François Villeroy de Galhau: The current soundness of banks and insurers, for the smooth financing of the French economy

Speech by Mr François Villeroy de Galhau, Governor of the Bank of France, at the Conference of the Autorité de Contrôle Prudentiel et de Résolution (ACPR), Paris, 17 November 2023.

Central bank speech  | 
17 November 2023

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am delighted to welcome you to the annual ACPR Conference. The theme of this year's conference was an obvious choice: "The financial sector and the new inflation environment and rising interest rates". Without wishing to kill the suspense before we even start, I can already say at the outset that this rise in interest rates is generally beneficial for both banks and insurers. More broadly, in 2023, which has been overshadowed by great uncertainty, the French financial sector has confirmed its considerable resilience (I). It should be able to draw upon this strength to contribute to the sound financing of the French economy during the current slowdown (II).

I. In a year of great uncertainty, the French financial sector has confirmed its considerable resilience

2023 was once again marked by exceptional levels of uncertainty: the concerning geopolitical situation – from Ukraine to Israel alas – which is a source of instability and economic and financial volatility; banking turmoil in the United States and Switzerland at the start of the year; and inflation that remains too high.