French international banking: A historical survey

Kazuhiko Yago*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


This chapter aims to present a historical overview of French international banking, focusing mainly on its activities in Asia. French international banking was the incarnation of the performances of the Paris market and the French economy. Paris as a financial center was strong enough to attract capital from European centers, although Paris market could not develop essential functions, such as acceptances, to become a truly global market. The governance and decision-making structure was the core of the strategies of French international banks; their profit depended on branch networking and operation selection; and the latter indexes often urged change in governance at French banks. The French international banks could not maintain their branch networks, especially in Asia, and they had to rely on British banks and the London market. French banking overseas was inferior to British banking by size and access to the credit. On the other hand, the banking in the French colonial empire was in a certain degree successful, which accumulated a huge reserve out of its colonial business. Finally, the chapter would propose three subjects expected in the future on the historical study of the French international banking: the function of acceptance and discount market; a biographical study on the lower management of the banks, notably branch managers; and the local financial practices in Asia.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStudies in Economic History
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameStudies in Economic History
ISSN (Print)2364-1797
ISSN (Electronic)2364-1800


  • Acceptances
  • Branch networking
  • French international banking
  • Paris Financial Center
  • Profit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Economics,Econometrics and Finance
  • History


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