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France: Staff Report for the 2015 Article IV Consultation—Informational Annex

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund. European Dept.
Published Date:
July 2015
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Fund Relations

(As of May 31, 2015)

Membership Status: Joined December 27, 1945; Article VIII.

General Resources Account:

SDR MillionPercent of Quota
Quota10,738.50100.00
Fund Holding of Currency (Exchange Rate)9,287.3786.49
Reserve Tranche Position1,451.2213.51
Lending to the Fund
New Arrangements to Borrow1,890.09

SDR Department:

SDR MillionPercent of Allocation
Net Cumulative Allocation10,134.20100.00
Holdings9,329.1692.06

Outstanding Purchases and Loans: None

Latest Financial Arrangements:

Date ofExpirationAmount ApprovedAmount Drawn
TypeArrangementDate(SDR Million)(SDR Million)
Stand-BySep 19, 1969Sep 18, 1970985.00985.00
Stand-ByJan 31, 1958Jan 30, 1959131.25131.25
Stand-ByOct 17, 1956Oct 16, 1957262.50262.5
Projected Payments to Fund(SDR million; based on existing use of resources and present holdings of SDRs):
Forthcoming
20152016201720182019
Principal
Charges/Interest0.200.580.580.580.58
Total0.200.580.580.580.58

Implementation of HIPC Initiative: Not applicable

Implementation of Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative (MDRI): Not applicable

Implementation of Post-Catastrophe Debt Relief (PCDR): Not applicable

Exchange Rate Arrangements:

  • France’s currency is the euro, which floats freely and independently against other currencies.

  • France maintains an exchange system free of restrictions on the making of payments and transfers for current international transactions, except for exchange restrictions imposed solely for the preservation of international security. These restrictions involving certain individuals and entities and which target specified countries have been notified to the Fund pursuant to Executive Board Decision No. 144-(52/51). In accordance with the relevant EU regulations and UNSC resolutions, certain restrictions are maintained on the making of payments and transfers for certain transactions with respect to Belarus, the Democratic Republic of Congo, the former Government of Côte d’Ivoire, the Islamic Republic of Iran, the former government of Iraq, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Guinea (republic of), Guinea Bissao, the former Government of Liberia, the former Government of Libya, Myanmar, the former Government of Tunisia, Transnistria, Eritrea, the former Government of Egypt, Somalia, Sudan and South Sudan, Syria, certain individuals associated with the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri, and, Central African Republic, Ukraine, Russia, Yemen, Zimbabwe.

  • Measures have been taken to freeze accounts of listed persons and entities linked to terrorists pursuant to the relevant EU regulations (n°881/2002, n°2580/2001 and n°753/2011) and UN Security Council resolutions (resolutions 1267 and 1373 and subsequent resolutions).

Article IV Consultation:

The last Article IV consultation was concluded on July 1, 2014. The associated Executive Board assessment is available at http://www.imf.org/external/np/sec/pr/2014/pr14326.htm and the staff report at http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/scr/2014/cr14182.pdf. France is on the standard 12-month consultation cycle.

FSAP Participation and ROSC:

France–Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes ROSC): Module I-Fiscal TransparencyOctober 17, 2000
Fiscal Transparency—UpdateIMF Country Report

No. 01/196, 11/05/01
Fiscal Transparency—UpdateIMF Country Report

No. 04/345, 11/03/04

Summary: The report found that France has achieved a high level of fiscal transparency and has introduced a number of improvements in coverage and presentation of fiscal information. Notable areas of progress include the development in the final accounts publication to include more complete information on government assets and liabilities as well as disclosure of contingent liabilities. Accounting standards have been changed to reflect accruals principles in a number of areas, and these standards are clearly explained. The staff suggested that further steps could be taken to identify and report quasi-fiscal activities in the budget presentation, provide a more consolidated picture of fiscal activity outside the appropriation process, and improve the reconciliation of stated policies with outcomes at the general government level.

These issues have been addressed in the Loi organique aux lois de finance (LOLF), which has become fully effective on January 1, 2006. In addition to the annual appropriations, the first multi-annual fiscal framework law was adopted in January 2009, and contains fiscal objectives for the period 2009–12. The budget is organized along missions and provides details on the level of appropriations for each mission and performance indicators by which the expected results of the mission will be assessed ex post. The State Audit Office has been given the new assignment of certifying the public accounts, and implementation of accruals basis accounting has been confirmed. Parliamentary oversight powers have been strengthened.

France–Report on the Observance of Standards and CodesOctober 2000, corrected:
(ROSC): Module II-Transparency in Monetary and Financial Policies2/15/01
Transparency in Monetary and Financial Policies—UpdateIMF Country Report

No. 01/197, 11/05/01
Transparency in Monetary and Financial Policies—UpdateIMF Country Report

No. 02/248, 11/13/02

Summary: The 2000 ROSC noted that transparency of financial policies is accorded a high priority by all financial agencies assessed, and they are in observance of the good practices of the Code of Good Practices on Transparency in Monetary and Financial Policies. The major agencies disclose their objectives, their legal and institutional frameworks, and have open processes of policymaking and regulation. The principles of transparency are observed by dissemination of relevant information to the public and in the agencies’ arrangements for internal conduct, integrity, and accountability. However, the staff noted that the framework for supervision and regulation applicable to mutual insurance firms is not as well defined and suggested to improve its transparency. The transparency of monetary policy was not assessed by the Fund team as the Banque de France is a member of the European System of Central Banks and no longer conducts independent monetary policy. Subsequently, the framework for supervision and regulation applicable to a specific group of mutual insurance firms was modified in a number of steps. In August 2003, legislation created a single supervisory body, the Commission de Contrôle des Assurances, Mutuelles et Institutions de Prévoyance (CCAMIP) by merging the regular insurance supervisor (CCA) and mutualities’ supervisor (CCMIP). Coordination with the banking sector supervisors was strengthened and the powers of the supervisory authorities extended. In 2010, supervision of the banking and insurance sectors was unified under the Autorité de contrôle prudentiel (ACP), which subsequently also was granted resolution powers and was renamed the Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de résolution (ACPR).

France–Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC): Data ModuleIMF Country Report

No. 03/339, 10/2903
Data Module—UpdateIMF Country Report

No. 04/345, 11/03/04
Data Module—UpdateIMF Country Report

No. 05/398, 11/07/05

Summary: The report found that France is in observance of the Fund’s Special Data Dissemination Standard (SDDS). In particular, the mandate of INSEE and the Banque de France for the production of the six macroeconomic datasets is clearly defined, with the reporting burden and the confidentiality provisions given special consideration notably through the CNIS. Professionalism is central to the statistical operations of the two institutions, internationally and/or European accepted methodologies are generally followed, the degree of accuracy and reliability of the six datasets is remarkable, statistics are relevant and provided on a timely basis, and they are accessible to the public.

The report made a number of suggestions for further improvements: the responsibility of INSEE as the producer of government finance statistics should be clarified; data sharing between the Banque de France and the rest of the French statistical system improved; classification and valuation methods in balance-of-payments statistics reviewed; consistency between the current account of the balance of payments and the goods and services account in the national accounts improved; the timing of revisions in the quarterly and annual national accounts aligned; and identification of data production units of INSEE facilitated.

France continues to implement several of the 2003 ROSC Data Module recommendations, including by promoting a broader understanding of statistical data revisions, making greater use of firm-level data to improve the measurement of changes in stocks, and intensifying work on portfolio investment income with the objective of starting to record those transactions on an accrual basis.

France-Financial System Stability Assessment (FSSA)IMF Country Report

No. 04/344, 11/03/04
FSAP Assessment and Reports on ROSCsIMF Country Report

No. 04/345, 11/03/04
FSAP AssessmentIMF Country Report

No. 05/185, 06/08/05
Publication of FSAP—Detailed Assessment of Observance of Standards and CodesIMF Country Report

No. 05/186, 06/08/05
France-Financial System Stability Assessment (FSSA)IMF Country Report

No. 12/341, 12/07/12
France: Financial Sector Assessment Program—Detailed Assessment of Observance of Standards and Codes Basel Core Principles for Effective Banking SupervisionIMF Country Report

No. 13/180, June 2013
Insurance Core PrinciplesIMF Country Report

No. 13/181, June 2013
IOSCO Objectives and Principles of Securities RegulationIMF Country Report

No. 13/182, June 2013
Securities Settlement Systems and for Central CounterpartiesIMF Country Report

No. 13/183, June 2013
Financial Sector Assessment Program—Technical Notes Housing Prices and Financial StabilityIMF Country Report

No. 13/184, June 2013
Stress Testing the Banking SectorIMF Country Report

No. 13/185, June 2013

Summary: The 2004 report concluded that France’s financial sector is strong and well supervised. No weaknesses that could cause systemic risks were identified. The strength of the system is supported by the financial soundness indicators and the strong conformity to the supervisory and regulatory standards approved by the Basel Committee, IAIS, IOSCO, FATF, and CPSS. The degree of observance of the transparency code is high in all relevant areas. The French banking sector has been modernized and restructured over the past two decades and is well capitalized. Systemic vulnerabilities in the important insurance sector are well contained. Securities markets are large and sophisticated.

The FSAP Update undertaken in January and June 2012 confirmed the resilience of France’s financial system to severe market pressures but also identified challenges faced by the system. While its structure has contributed to solid profit generation, the crisis exposed the risks posed by the banks’ size, complexity, and dependence on wholesale funding. The larger banks have been actively restructuring their balance sheets—moving to more stable sources of funding; reducing their cross-border presence; and building up capital. They remain, however, vulnerable to sustained disruptions in funding markets and reduced profitability, which would cause delays in meeting capital-raising plans.

The 2012 report confirmed that the regulatory and supervisory regime for banks, insurance, and securities market was of a very high standard. Areas for improvement that emerged from the FSAP Update included greater de jure independence of supervisory authorities; disclosure of the capital treatment and related financial interactions within complex banking groups; a move toward a more economic risk-focused approach to insurance regulation and supervision; and enhanced supervision of investment service providers and financial advisors.

The 2012 report also found disclosure-related shortcomings. French banks and listed companies, more generally, make extensive public financial disclosures under IFRS, and as a result of bank regulations (Pillar III of Basel II). Nonetheless, disclosure of financial sector data falls short of international best practice and enhancements would be highly desirable. Market discipline would benefit from the publication of regular and comparable data on an institution-by-institution basis, as well as detailed official analyses of financial sector developments in France.

Statistical Issues

The economic database is comprehensive and of high quality, and data provision to the Fund is adequate for surveillance. The authorities regularly publish a full range of economic and financial data, and calendar dates of main statistical releases are also provided. France subscribes to the Fund’s Special Data Dissemination Standard. Country is currently working on implementing the transmission of data in electronic format using the Statistical Data and Metadata A data ROSC mission conducted an assessment of the statistical system in March 2003, and the report was published in October 2003. A factual update to the main report was published in November 2004.

National Accounts: France adopted the European System of Accounts 2010 (ESA 2010) in May 2014. The transition from the ESA 1995 (ESA95) entailed a revision of national accounts data. New data sources have been incorporated in the new estimates. As a result of these changes, the GDP level in 2010 has been revised 3.2 percent upward. Historical data series are available from 1949.

Government Finance Statistics: Starting from September 2014, government finance statistics (GFS) data will be based on ESA 2010 methodology which is likely to include revisions of the general government deficit and debt levels from 1995 onwards. Revised data series were published in October 2014. Although the source data are collected by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, INSEE is principally responsible for the compilation and dissemination of fiscal data in a framework that is consistent with ESA.

Monetary and Financial Statistics: Monetary data reported for International Financial Statistics are based on the European Central Bank’s (ECB) framework for collecting, compiling, and reporting monetary data.. Statistics for International Financial Statistics on banking institutions and monetary aggregates are prepared on a monthly basis and are timely. Monetary data are also disseminated in the quarterly IFS Supplement on monetary and financial statistics.

External Sector: Starting in June 2014, monthly balance-of-payments statistics are published using the guidelines set out in the sixth edition of the Balance of Payments and International Investment Position Manual (BPM6). Back casting of previous periods started with the publication of the Annual report of the balance of payments and the international investment position end-June 2014. It is expected that greater international consistency will be achieved once all EU members adopt the BPM6.

France: Table of Common Indicators Required for Surveillance(As of June 2015)
Date of Latest ObservationDate ReceivedFrequency of DataFrequency of ReportingFrequency of Publication
Exchange Rates05/1505/15MonthlyMonthlyMonthly
International Reserve Assets and Reserve Liabilities of the Monetary Authorities105/1505/15MonthlyMonthlyMonthly
International Investment Position2014Q1:2015AnnualAnnualAnnual
Reserve/Base Money04/1505/15MonthlyMonthlyMonthly
Broad Money04/1505/15MonthlyMonthlyMonthly
Central Bank Balance Sheet04/1505/15MonthlyMonthlyMonthly
Consolidated Balance Sheet of the Banking System04/1505/15MonthlyMonthlyMonthly
Interest Rates204/1505/15MonthlyMonthlyMonthly
Consumer Price Index04/1505/15MonthlyMonthlyMonthly
Revenue, Expenditure, Balance and Composition of Financing3—General Government4201505/15AnnualAnnualAnnual
Revenue, Expenditure, Balance and Composition of Financing3—Central Government503/1505/15MonthlyMonthlyMonthly
Stock of Central Government Debt04/1505/15MonthlyMonthlyMonthly
External Current Account Balance03/1505/15MonthlyMonthlyMonthly
Exports and Imports of Goods and Services03/1505/15MonthlyMonthlyMonthly
GDP/GNPQ1:201505/15QuarterlyQuarterlyQuarterly
Gross External DebtQ4:201405/15QuarterlyQuarterlyQuarterly

Includes reserve assets pledged or otherwise encumbered as well as net derivative positions.

Both market-based and officially-determined, including discount rates, money market rates, rates on treasury bills, notes and bonds.

Foreign, domestic bank, and domestic nonbank financing.

The general government consists of the central government (budgetary funds, extra budgetary funds, and social security funds) and state and local governments.

This information is provided on a budget-accounting basis (not on a national accounts basis).

Includes reserve assets pledged or otherwise encumbered as well as net derivative positions.

Both market-based and officially-determined, including discount rates, money market rates, rates on treasury bills, notes and bonds.

Foreign, domestic bank, and domestic nonbank financing.

The general government consists of the central government (budgetary funds, extra budgetary funds, and social security funds) and state and local governments.

This information is provided on a budget-accounting basis (not on a national accounts basis).

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