ANNOUNCEMENT 28 Oct 2008In October 2008, the government of France announced a change in private-sector financial support.
NUMBER OF INTERVENTIONS
the letter from the EC to France - Brussels, 30.10.2008 C(2008) 6617. Available from : < http://ec.europa.eu/competition/elojade/isef/case_details.cfm?proc_code=3_N548_2008 >
the letter from the EC to France - Brussels, 12 May 2009, C(2009) 3809final. Available from : < http://ec.europa.eu/competition/elojade/isef/case_details.cfm?proc_code=3_N251_2009 >
On 28 October 2008 the French authorities notified an aid scheme for refinancing financial institutions in France. Some EUR265 billion have been made available for the scheme.
Any credit institution, including the subsidiaries of foreign groups, was able to benefit from refinancing scheme.
In the notification, the French authorities undertook to carry out study on the implementation of the scheme after six months in order to assess whether it was necessary to maintain the scheme as it stands or adapt it to developments on the financial markets and changes in banks' circumstances. The French authorities promised to report to the Commission on the findings of the study and, if necessary, to notify an extension to the scheme.
The Commission gave the following assessment:
"the position of the undertakings concerned will be strengthened in intra-Community trade and they are active in the supply of loans that are subject to intense competition on domestic and international markets. Since the notified scheme is intended to apply to all credit institutions offering loans, it is likely that the beneficiary banks will account for a substantial share of the banking market in France. The measures are therefore likely to distort competition and affect trade between Member States." (par. 60 of the letter from the EC to France - Brussels, 30.10.2008 C(2008) 6617)
Extension of the refinancing scheme for financial institutions -State Aid N251/2009
On 22 April 2009, in accordance with their undertakings, the French authorities sent the Commission a report on the application of the scheme after six months of existence. In that letter, the French authorities also submitted a request for authorisation to extend the application of the scheme for a further six-month period.
The Commission decided not to raise objections.
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.