Hugh Carnegy reports from Paris that the French government is to stimulate business growth by setting up a state-owned investment bank offering €42bn in financial backing for small and medium-sized enterprises which – as in Britain – are large employers overall.
It will incorporate the work of three existing state agencies and will aim to provide finance and long-term support for business which is currently lacking for smaller companies. This has been seen as one of the causes for France’s recent loss of industrial competitiveness.
Arnaud Montebourg, the industry minister, said that the bank would be more patient and less greedy in its approach to risk than mainstream banks, but would not take risks that put taxpayers’ money in peril.
It will have strong regional representation and will be owned 50-50 by the state and the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, sometimes described as the “armed wing” of the finance ministry.
How will it compare with the service offered by Britain`s Green Investment Bank?
This has just been approved by the European Commission – was France`s new venture? The GIB will begin operations in the next few weeks, with £3 billion of Government money and `mobilised` additional private capital.
Read more of the latest GIB news here: