François Villeroy de Galhau: Fintechs - at the forefront of "new frontiers"

Speech by Mr François Villeroy de Galhau, Governor of the Bank of France, at the ACPR-AMF Fintech Forum, Paris, 16 October 2023. 

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

Central bank speech  | 
17 October 2023

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am very pleased to welcome you to the Banque de France for this third edition of the Fintech Forum, organised jointly by the ACPR and the AMF. I would like to extend a friendly greeting to Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani, President of the AMF.

Today, all banks and insurers are working in partnership with one or more innovative players, and therefore operating with a more open architecture. Once again, this is something to be celebrated: if existing players and Fintechs were not capable of innovating, and innovating together, then the Bigtechs would ultimately "sweep the board". I am well aware that the French Fintech Week, of which our Forum is a part, is taking place this year in an environment that is probably less favourable than in previous years; the Banque de France and ACPR are therefore working even harder to support the innovative financial ecosystem (I), notably to help them better master the "new frontiers" of crypto-assets and climate risk (II).

I. The Banque de France and ACPR continue to stand firmly alongside the innovative ecosystem

1. A less favourable economic environment for the financing and creation of Fintechs

As I was saying, the environment this year is less favourable for Fintechs, with one very telling figure: the amount of capital raised by Fintechs was about 60% lower in the first half of 2023 than in the same period in 2022,i when it admittedly reached a record high in a context of record low interest rates. The drop was also slightly larger than the fall of about 50% in the total amount of venture capital raised in France.ii Although Fintechs no longer top the ranks in terms of major capital raising operations, they are still as numerous, if not more so, in attracting investment. This trend, which is similar to that observed in Germany and the United Kingdom, is being interpreted by professional associations as a possible sign of maturity.