Banque de France


The Bank of France was a program established by Napoleon on January 18, 1800. The bank was built to aide the damaging effects of the recession after the revolutionary period. Initially, the bank was exclusive to Paris, issuing bank notes to Parisian residents for the first fifteen years. After those initial years, the bank was finally authorized to serve throughout France opening up discount offices in commercialized areas. The Banque de France further progressed by 1848 and was allowed to issue bank notes all throughout France.  By 1946 the bank was nationalized and its note-issuing power was established for an indefinite period. The bank was funded through some state funds but the majority of the funding came from the private capital.

The Banque de France was built in Paris giving rise to the city as an economic power. Napoleon had the bank backed up with large amounts of silver and gold giving France the economic stability it desperately needed and funding many of Napoleon’s conquests. Napoleon knew that fed people were happy people. He enforced a maximum price on basic foods like bread and flour ensuring that everyone would be able to have dinner on the table. After the mistreatment of the people’s paper money done by the bank founded by John Law during the ancien régime, the members of the Bank de France (which included many members of Napoleon’s family as well as well-known people of the time) knew they had to regain the trust of the public. To do this, they made the Banque de France an institution that was separate from the government. The members therefore set up the bank as a joint stock company.

In its first couple of years, the Banque de France experienced a couple of hardships. The government was experiencing a financial crisis having a huge fall in its gold reserves that restricted bank notes. Napoleon took action by implementing new reforms that gave the government more say in the Banque de France’s management.

Today, the Banque de France is the central bank of France and is linked to the European Central Bank; it is still headquartered in Paris.


“Banque De France: 1800 Creation of the Banque De France.” Banque De France: 1800 Creation of the Banque De France.  Web. 29 Nov. 2013.

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