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On 7 January 2013, France informed the EU about an ongoing aid scheme to rescue 'Banque PSA Finance' (PSA bank).
PSA bank is a 100 per cent subsidiary of the PSA Group and is specialised in the financing of car sales from car manufacturers Peugeot and Citroen.
The PSA bank has faced difficulties to refinance itself on the market since the end of 2012 (par. 22, letter from the EC to France, Brussels 11 February 2013). On 24 October 2012, the state provided a guarantee of EUR 1.2 billion over 3 years (par. 29). Consequently, the state is bearing the risk of default but in this case is not providing liquidity (par. 48).
The EC argues that 'the measure is likely to improve the position of PSA bank with respect to other financial institutions, therefore trade between the member states is affected' (par. 62, translation from the French original text).
Furthermore, the Commission observes that 28 per cent of the car sales (by the PSA Group) are financed via the PSA bank (par. 68). Therefore, the Commission concludes that 'in absence of the state guarantee, the cars sales would directly be affected' (par 68, translation from the French original text).
The EC finally states that the PSA bank is not the only beneficiary of the measure but the whole PSA group is benefitting from the state guarantee (par. 69).
Update: SA.35611 - Restructing aid for PSA group
On 13 March 2013, the French authorities notified an amended restructuring plan for the PSA group that foresees an increase in the guarantees (bonds) from EUR 1.2 billion to 7 billion. Furthermore, the plan includes an additional EUR 85.9 million for R&D of CO2 neutral cars.
A state measure in the GTA database is assessed solely in terms of the extent to which its implementation affects the extent of discrimination against foreign commercial interests. On this metric, the state aid proposed here is discriminatory
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