A bank is a financial institution that accepts deposits from the public and creates credit. Lending activities can be performed either indirectly through capital markets. Due to their importance in the financial stability of a country, banks are regulated in most countries. Most nations have institutionalized a system known as fractional reserve banking under which banks hold liquid assets equal to only a portion of their current liabilities. In addition to other regulations intended to ensure liquidity, banks are subject to minimum capital requirements based on an international set of capital standards, known as the Basel Accords. Banking in its modern sense evolved in the 14th century in the prosperous cities of Renaissance Italy but in many ways was a continuation of ideas and concepts of credit and lending that had their roots in the ancient world. In the history of banking, a number of banking dynasties – notably, the Medicis, the Fuggers, the Welsers, the Berenbergs, the Rothschilds – have played a central role over many centuries.
The oldest existing retail bank is Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena, while the oldest existing merchant bank is Berenberg Bank. The concept of banking may have begun in ancient Assyria and Babylonia, with merchants offering loans of grain as collateral within a barter system. Lenders in ancient Greece and during the Roman Empire added two important innovations: they accepted deposits and changed money. Archaeology from this period in ancient China and India shows evidence of money lending. More modern banking can be traced to medieval and early Renaissance Italy, to the rich cities in the centre and north like Florence, Siena and Genoa; the Bardi and Peruzzi families dominated banking in 14th-century Florence, establishing branches in many other parts of Europe. One of the most famous Italian banks was the Medici Bank, set up by Giovanni di Bicci de' Medici in 1397; the earliest known state deposit bank, Banco di San Giorgio, was founded in 1407 at Italy. Modern banking practices, including fractional reserve banking and the issue of banknotes, emerged in the 17th and 18th centuries.
Merchants started to store their gold with the goldsmiths of London, who possessed private vaults, charged a fee for that service. In exchange for each deposit of precious metal, the goldsmiths issued receipts certifying the quantity and purity of the metal they held as a bailee; the goldsmiths began to lend the money out on behalf of the depositor, which led to the development of modern banking practices. The goldsmith paid interest on these deposits. Since the promissory notes were payable on demand, the advances to the goldsmith's customers were repayable over a longer time period, this was an early form of fractional reserve banking; the promissory notes developed into an assignable instrument which could circulate as a safe and convenient form of money backed by the goldsmith's promise to pay, allowing goldsmiths to advance loans with little risk of default. Thus, the goldsmiths of London became the forerunners of banking by creating new money based on credit; the Bank of England was the first to begin the permanent issue of banknotes, in 1695.
The Royal Bank of Scotland established the first overdraft facility in 1728. By the beginning of the 19th century a bankers' clearing house was established in London to allow multiple banks to clear transactions; the Rothschilds pioneered international finance on a large scale, financing the purchase of the Suez canal for the British government. The word bank was taken Middle English from Middle French banque, from Old Italian banco, meaning "table", from Old High German banc, bank "bench, counter". Benches were used as makeshift desks or exchange counters during the Renaissance by Jewish Florentine bankers, who used to make their transactions atop desks covered by green tablecloths; the definition of a bank varies from country to country. See the relevant country pages under for more information. Under English common law, a banker is defined as a person who carries on the business of banking by conducting current accounts for his customers, paying cheques drawn on him/her and collecting cheques for his/her customers.
In most common law jurisdictions there is a Bills of Exchange Act that codifies the law in relation to negotiable instruments, including cheques, this Act contains a statutory definition of the term banker: banker includes a body of persons, whether incorporated or not, who carry on the business of banking'. Although this definition seems circular, it is functional, because it ensures that the legal basis for bank transactions such as cheques does not depend on how the bank is structured or regulated; the business of banking is in many English common law countries not defined by statute but by common law, the definition above. In other English common law jurisdictions there are statutory definitions of the business of banking or banking business; when looking at these definitions it is important to keep in mind that they are defining the business of banking for the purposes of the legislation, not in general. In particular, most of the definitions are from legislation that has the purpose of regulating and supervising banks rather than regulating the actual business of banking.
However, in many cases the statutory definition mirrors the common law one. Examples of statutory definitions: "banking business" means the business of receiving money on current or deposit account and collecting cheques drawn by or paid in by customers, the making
Tour de France
The Tour de France is an annual men's multiple stage bicycle race held in France, while occasionally passing through nearby countries. Like the other Grand Tours, it consists of 21 day-long stages over the course of 23 days; the race was first organized in 1903 to increase sales for the newspaper L'Auto and is run by the Amaury Sport Organisation. The race has been held annually since its first edition in 1903 except when it was stopped for the two World Wars; as the Tour gained prominence and popularity, the race was lengthened and its reach began to extend around the globe. Participation expanded from a French field, as riders from all over the world began to participate in the race each year; the Tour is a UCI World Tour event, which means that the teams that compete in the race are UCI WorldTeams, with the exception of the teams that the organizers invite. Traditionally, the race is held in the month of July. While the route changes each year, the format of the race stays the same with the appearance of time trials, the passage through the mountain chains of the Pyrenees and the Alps, the finish on the Champs-Élysées in Paris.
The modern editions of the Tour de France consist of 21 day-long segments over a 23-day period and cover around 3,500 kilometres. The race alternates between counterclockwise circuits of France. There are between 20 and 22 teams, with eight riders in each. All of the stages are timed to the finish; the rider with the lowest cumulative finishing times is the leader of the race and wears the yellow jersey. While the general classification garners the most attention, there are other contests held within the Tour: the points classification for the sprinters, the mountains classification for the climbers, young rider classification for riders under the age of 26, the team classification for the fastest teams. Achieving a stage win provides prestige accomplished by a team's cycling sprinter specialist; the Tour de France was created in 1903. The roots of the Tour de France trace back to the emergence of two rival sports newspapers in the country. On one hand was Le Vélo, the first and the largest daily sports newspaper in France which sold 80,000 copies a day.
On the other was L'Auto, set-up by journalists and business-people including Comte Jules-Albert de Dion, Adolphe Clément, Édouard Michelin in 1899. The rival paper emerged following disagreements over the Dreyfus Affair, a cause célèbre that divided France at the end of the 19th century over the innocence of Alfred Dreyfus, a French army officer convicted—though exonerated—of selling military secrets to the Germans; the new newspaper appointed Henri Desgrange as the editor. He was a prominent owner with Victor Goddet of the velodrome at the Parc des Princes. De Dion knew him through his cycling reputation, through the books and cycling articles that he had written, through press articles he had written for the Clément tyre company. L'Auto was not the success. Stagnating sales lower than the rival it was intended to surpass led to a crisis meeting on 20 November 1902 on the middle floor of L'Auto's office at 10 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre, Paris; the last to speak was the most junior there, the chief cycling journalist, a 26-year-old named Géo Lefèvre.
Desgrange had poached him from Giffard's paper. Lefèvre suggested a six-day race of the sort popular on the track but all around France. Long-distance cycle races were a popular means to sell more newspapers, but nothing of the length that Lefèvre suggested had been attempted. If it succeeded, it would help L'Auto match its rival and put it out of business, it could, as Desgrange said, "nail Giffard's beak shut." Desgrange and Lefèvre discussed it after lunch. Desgrange was doubtful but the paper's financial director, Victor Goddet, was enthusiastic, he handed Desgrange the keys to the company safe and said: "Take whatever you need." L'Auto announced the race on 19 January 1903. The first Tour de France was staged in 1903; the plan was a five-stage race from 31 May to 5 July, starting in Paris and stopping in Lyon, Marseille and Nantes before returning to Paris. Toulouse was added to break the long haul across southern France from the Mediterranean to the Atlantic. Stages would go through the night and finish next afternoon, with rest days before riders set off again.
But this proved too daunting and the costs too great for most and only 15 competitors had entered. Desgrange had never been wholly convinced and he came close to dropping the idea. Instead, he cut the length to 19 days, changed the dates to 1 to 19 July, offered a daily allowance to those who averaged at least 20 kilometres per hour on all the stages, equivalent to what a rider would have expected to earn each day had he worked in a factory, he cut the entry fee from 20 to 10 francs and set the first prize at 12,000 francs and the prize for each day's winner at 3,000 francs. The winner would thereby win six times; that attracted between 60 and 80 entrants – the higher number may have included serious inquiries and some who dropped out – among them not just professionals but amateurs, some unemployed, some adventurous. Desgrange seems not to have forgotten the Dreyfus Affair that launched his race and raised the passions of his backers, he announced his new race on 1 July 1903 by citing the writer Émile Zola, whose open letter J'Accuse…! led to Dreyfus's acquittal, establishing the florid style he used henceforth.
The first Tour de France started outside the Ca
Denis Robert is a French investigative journalist and filmmaker. He worked for 12 years for the newspaper Libération. In 2008, he was involved in a polemic with Philippe Val, former director of the magazine Charlie Hebdo, journalist Edwy Plenel. Robert's books and press interviews, denouncing the opaque workings of the Clearstream clearing house, got him into more than 60 lawsuits in France and Luxembourg by banks, such as Menatep and BGL, as well as the Clearstream company. On 3 February 2011, after ten years of litigation, Robert was cleared by the Court of Cassation of his conviction for both of his books Révélation$ and La Boite Noire, for his documentary film Les Dissimulateurs. Robert is a painter, whose work is displayed in Paris art galleries. Robert obtained a Master of Advanced Studies in psycholinguistics. After starting a fanzine Santiag in Lorraine in 1982, he joined the editorial staff of the monthly magazine Actuel, where he worked for a year. At the end of 1983, he joined Libération as a journalist for twelve years, first as a correspondent in eastern France he was transferred to the financial and political affairs in the “Society” department.
He resigned in 1995. By this time he had published two novels, Chair Mathilde in 1991 and Je ferai un malheur in 1994, but the general public only got acquainted with him in early 1996 with his essay Pendant les affaires, les affaires continuent. In 1996, Robert gathered seven anti-corruption magistrates to start the Appel de Genève, to create a European judicial area to fight financial crime more effectively; the Appel de Genève is the subject of a book La justice ou le chaos, published the same year. It was followed by a dozen novels and by as many essays on investigations of the multinational finance company Clearstream. In late 1997, Robert planned to denounce the consequences of what he calls “the machine” for the poorest. In Portrait de groupe avant démolition, Robert presented and illustrated a collection of street photographs of homeless persons taken by one of their own, René Taesch. In addition to his books, Robert has directed and co-directed five documentary films, one for cinema with the cineast Philippe Harel, Journal intime des affaires en cours and four others for television: Le cahier, Les Dissimulateurs, Histoire clandestine, L’affaire Clearstream racontée à un ouvrier de chez Daewoo.
He was the writer of successful novels: Happiness, an erotic book written in 2000 and translated into 14 languages. The same year, he published a novel on football Le milieu du terrain which resulted in several lawsuits, an investigative book, Clearstream, l’enquête. In late 2006, in collaboration with a painter friend, Robert published an art book, Dominations:'étrange objet de peinture et de littérature, in parallel with a contemporary art exhibition in Paris. In 2009 he published a social science fiction novel, he is the author of a successful four-volume comic strip, L’affaire des affaires. Just after the Appel de Genève, Robert investigated the multinational Clearstream, which at that time was unknown to the general public, he met one of the founding managers of this international clearing house. Robert led the investigation for two years. Régis Hempel, the firm's vice-president and a former IT manager, explained that one of his tasks was to delete any trace of sensitive transactions. Three months before the publication of his book Révélation$, Robert sent a series of registered letters in which he sought explanations from Clearstream's management and from the banks under investigation.
In February 2001, the book Révélation $ had an explosive effect. Robert held Cedel International responsible for being one of the major platforms for concealing financial transactions on a worldwide scale, he continued to condemn them by co-producing a movie Les Dissimulateurs with Pascal Lorent, as part of Canal+’s investigation show 90 minutes. Business journalists were either in disbelief or hostile to it, while some others were just unsure because Clearstream was threatening them with endless lawsuits; the movie gained success among the alter-globalization movement. The parliamentary commission on money laundering, chaired by Vincent Peillon and Arnaud Montebourg, took up the revelations and summoned witnesses, all of whom confirmed what the author had written. Under pressure, a judicial inquiry was opened in Luxembourg; the CEO of Clearstream, André Lussi, a Swiss banker, was laid off and Clearstream was purchased, for a large sum, by the Deutsche Börse Group. Deutsche Börse had been waiting a long time to acquire this clearing house, which allowed it to control the European markets from start to finish.
Deutsche Börse still maintained the lawsuits against Robert. In light of those developments, Robert wrote a second novel, La Boite Noire, a second movie, broadcast by Canal+, l'Affaire Clearstream racontée à un ouvrier chez Daewoo. After publishing his book Révélation$; the complaints were raining in France, Belgium and Canada, all filed by Clearstream, as well as by the Russian bank Menatep of Mikhail Khodorkovsky and by the
Bankruptcy is a legal process through which people or other entities who cannot repay debts to creditors may seek relief from some or all of their debts. In most jurisdictions, bankruptcy is imposed by a court order initiated by the debtor. Bankruptcy is not the only legal status that an insolvent person may have, the term bankruptcy is therefore not a synonym for insolvency. In some countries, such as the United Kingdom, bankruptcy is limited to individuals. In the United States, bankruptcy is applied more broadly to formal insolvency proceedings. In France, the cognate French word banqueroute is used for cases of fraudulent bankruptcy, whereas the term faillite is used for bankruptcy in accordance with the law; the word bankruptcy is derived from Italian banca rotta, meaning "broken bench", which may stem from a widespread custom in the Republic of Genoa of breaking a moneychanger's bench or counter to signify their insolvency, or which may be only a figure of speech. In Ancient Greece, bankruptcy did not exist.
If a man owed and he could not pay, he and his wife, children or servants were forced into "debt slavery", until the creditor recouped losses through their physical labour. Many city-states in ancient Greece limited debt slavery to a period of five years. However, servants of the debtor could be retained beyond that deadline by the creditor and were forced to serve their new lord for a lifetime under harsher conditions. An exception to this rule was Athens; the Statute of Bankrupts of 1542 was the first statute under English law dealing with bankruptcy or insolvency. Bankruptcy is documented in East Asia. According to al-Maqrizi, the Yassa of Genghis Khan contained a provision that mandated the death penalty for anyone who became bankrupt three times. A failure of a nation to meet bond repayments has been seen on many occasions. Philip II of Spain had to declare four state bankruptcies in 1557, 1560, 1575 and 1596. According to Kenneth S. Rogoff, "Although the development of international capital markets was quite limited prior to 1800, we catalog the various defaults of France, Prussia and the early Italian city-states.
At the edge of Europe, Egypt and Turkey have histories of chronic default as well." The principal focus of modern insolvency legislation and business debt restructuring practices no longer rests on the elimination of insolvent entities, but on the remodeling of the financial and organizational structure of debtors experiencing financial distress so as to permit the rehabilitation and continuation of the business. For private households, some argue that it is insufficient to dismiss debts after a certain period, it is important to assess the underlying problems and to minimize the risk of financial distress to re-occur. It has been stressed that debt advice, a supervised rehabilitation period, financial education and social help to find sources of income and to improve the management of household expenditures must be provided during this period of rehabilitation. In most EU Member States, debt discharge is conditioned by a partial payment obligation and by a number of requirements concerning the debtor's behavior.
In the United States, discharge is conditioned to a lesser extent. The spectrum is broad in the EU, with the UK coming closest to the US system; the Other Member States do not provide the option of a debt discharge. Spain, for example, passed a bankruptcy law in 2003 which provides for debt settlement plans that can result in a reduction of the debt or an extension of the payment period of maximally five years, but it does not foresee debt discharge. In the US, it is difficult to discharge federal or federally guaranteed student loan debt by filing bankruptcy. Unlike most other debts, those student loans may be discharged only if the person seeking discharge establishes specific grounds for discharge under the Brunner test, under which the court evaluates three factors: If required to repay the loan, the borrower cannot maintain a minimal standard of living. If a debtor proves all three elements, a court may permit only a partial discharge of the student loan. Student loan borrowers may benefit from restructuring their payments through a Chapter 13 bankruptcy repayment plan, but few qualify for discharge of part or all of their student loan debt.
Bankruptcy fraud is a white-collar crime. While difficult to generalize across jurisdictions, common criminal acts under bankruptcy statutes involve concealment of assets, concealment or destruction of documents, conflicts of interest, fraudulent claims, false statements or declarations, fee fixing or redistribution arrangements. Falsifications on bankruptcy forms constitute perjury. Multiple filings are not in and of themselves criminal, but they may violate provisions of bankruptcy law. In the U. S. bankruptcy fraud statutes are focused on the mental state of particular actions. Bankruptcy fraud is a federal crime in the United States. Bankruptcy fraud should be distinguished from strategic bankruptcy, not a criminal act since it creates a real bankruptcy state. Howeve
The European Commission is an institution of the European Union, responsible for proposing legislation, implementing decisions, upholding the EU treaties and managing the day-to-day business of the EU. Commissioners swear an oath at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg City, pledging to respect the treaties and to be independent in carrying out their duties during their mandate. Unlike in the Council of the European Union, where members are directly and indirectly elected, the European Parliament, where members are directly elected, the Commissioners are proposed by the Council of the European Union, on the basis of suggestions made by the national governments, appointed by the European Council after the approval of the European Parliament; the Commission operates with 28 members of the Commission. There is one member per member state, but members are bound by their oath of office to represent the general interest of the EU as a whole rather than their home state. One of the 28 is the Commission President proposed by the European Council and elected by the European Parliament.
The Council of the European Union nominates the other 27 members of the Commission in agreement with the nominated President, the 28 members as a single body are subject to a vote of approval by the European Parliament. The current Commission is the Juncker Commission, which took office in late 2014, following the European Parliament elections in May of the same year; the term Commission is variously used, either in the narrow sense of the 28-member College of Commissioners or to include the administrative body of about 32,000 European civil servants who are split into departments called directorates-general and services. The procedural languages of the Commission are English and German; the Members of the Commission and their "cabinets" are based in the Berlaymont building in Brussels. The European Commission derives from one of the five key institutions created in the supranational European Community system, following the proposal of Robert Schuman, French Foreign Minister, on 9 May 1950.
Originating in 1951 as the High Authority in the European Coal and Steel Community, the Commission has undergone numerous changes in power and composition under various presidents, involving three Communities. The first Commission originated in 1951 as the nine-member "High Authority" under President Jean Monnet; the High Authority was the supranational administrative executive of the new European Coal and Steel Community. It took office first on 10 August 1952 in Luxembourg City. In 1958, the Treaties of Rome had established two new communities alongside the ECSC: the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community; however their executives were called "Commissions" rather than "High Authorities". The reason for the change in name was the new relationship between the Council; some states, such as France, expressed reservations over the power of the High Authority, wished to limit it by giving more power to the Council rather than the new executives. Louis Armand led the first Commission of Euratom.
Walter Hallstein led the first Commission of the EEC, holding the first formal meeting on 16 January 1958 at the Château of Val-Duchesse. It achieved agreement on a contentious cereal price accord, as well as making a positive impression upon third countries when it made its international debut at the Kennedy Round of General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade negotiations. Hallstein notably began the consolidation of European law and started to have a notable impact on national legislation. Little heed was taken of his administration at first but, with help from the European Court of Justice, his Commission stamped its authority solidly enough to allow future Commissions to be taken more seriously. In 1965, accumulating differences between the French government of Charles de Gaulle and the other member states on various subjects triggered the "empty chair" crisis, ostensibly over proposals for the Common Agricultural Policy. Although the institutional crisis was solved the following year, it cost Etienne Hirsch his presidency of Euratom and Walter Hallstein the EEC presidency, despite his otherwise being viewed as the most'dynamic' leader until Jacques Delors.
The three bodies, collectively named the European Executives, co-existed until 1 July 1967 when, under the Merger Treaty, they were combined into a single administration under President Jean Rey. Owing to the merger, the Rey Commission saw a temporary increase to 14 members—although subsequent Commissions were reduced back to nine, following the formula of one member for small states and two for larger states; the Rey Commission completed the Community's customs union in 1968, campaigned for a more powerful, European Parliament. Despite Rey being the first President of the combined communities, Hallstein is seen as the first President of the modern Commission; the Malfatti and Mansholt Commissions followed with work on monetary co-operation and the first enlargement to the north in 1973. With that enlargement, the Commission's membership increased to thirteen under the Ortoli Commission, which dealt with the enlarged community during economic and international instability at that time; the external representation of the Community took a step forward when President Roy Jenkins, recruited to the presidency in January 1977 from his role as Home Secretary of the United Kingdom's Labour government, became the first President to att
Anglo Irish Bank
Anglo Irish Bank was an Irish bank headquartered in Dublin from 1964 to 2011. It began to wind down after nationalisation in 2009. In July 2011 Anglo Irish merged with the Irish Nationwide Building Society, forming a new company named the Irish Bank Resolution Corporation. Michael Noonan, the Minister for Finance stated that the name change was important in order to remove "the negative international references associated with the appalling failings of both institutions and their previous managements". Anglo Irish dealt in business and commercial banking, had only a limited retail presence in the major Irish cities, it had wealth management and treasury divisions. Anglo Irish had operations in Austria, the Isle of Man, the United Kingdom, the United States; the bank's heavy exposure to property lending, with most of its loan book being to builders and property developers, meant that it was badly affected by the downturn in the Irish property market in 2008. In December 2008, the Irish government announced plans to inject €1.5 billion of capital for a 75% stake in the bank nationalising it.
The Dublin and London Stock Exchanges suspended trading in Anglo Irish's shares, with the final closing share price of €0.22 representing a fall of over 98% from its peak. On 16 January 2009 the Taoiseach Brian Cowen stated that it was "business as usual" at Anglo Irish Bank, people should be reassured that the bank is solvent. Between June and September 2009, the Minister for Finance provided €4 billion in capital. In a statement on 30 March 2010, a day before Anglo Irish Bank reported its financial results, the Minister Of Finance Brian Lenihan announced an injection of €8.3 billion into the bank, noting that a further €10 billion may be required at a stage to cover future losses and ensure an adequate capital base. Since the nationalization of Anglo Irish Bank a number of controversies have arisen over certain business practices and loans, including loans to directors and loans to people associated with Brendan Murtagh, EMPG, the QUINN group. On 31 March 2010 Anglo Irish Bank reported results for the 15 months to December 2009.
Losses for the period were €12.7 billion, with an operating profit before impairment of €2.4 billion and an impairment charges of €15.1 billion driving the overall result. It is the largest loss in Irish corporate history. Total assets declined to €85.2 billion at the end of 2009 from €101.3 billion in September 2008. The European Commission allowed the Irish government on 10 August 2010 to temporarily grant €10 billion to Anglo Irish Bank - this included an additional €1.4 billion sought by Ireland to allow the nationalised bank meet its regulatory capital requirements in light of increased costs associated with transferring loans to the National Asset Management Agency. In 2011 the accounts for UK savers were moved to the Allied Irish Bank. On 15 January 2009, the Government announced that it would take steps that would enable the Bank to be taken into State ownership; the Anglo Irish Bank Corporation Act, 2009 provided for the transfer of all the shares of the Bank to the Minister for Finance and was enacted under Irish law on 21 January 2009.
On the same date, the Bank was re-registered as a private limited company. In order to protect the capital position of the Bank the Minister for Finance provided €4 billion in capital between June and September 2009. A liability management exercise was undertaken in August 2009 and €1.8 billion of equity was realised on the buyback, at a significant discount, of subordinated debt instruments. In December 2009, the Minister committed to safeguard the Bank's regulatory capital position; as a result, the Minister issued of a promissory note for €8.3 billion on 31 March 2010, bringing the government's investment in Anglo Irish bank to €12.3 billion. Since the notes have risen in value to cover €30.6 billion of the €34.7 billion cost of Anglo Irish Bank and Irish Nationwide Bank. In his statement to the Irish Parliament on 30 March 2010, the Minister for Finance stated: "Finding a long-term solution for Anglo Irish Bank is by far the biggest challenge in resolving the banking crisis; the sheer size of the bank means there are no low cost options.
Winding-up the bank is not and was never a viable option."In September 2010, the government announced that it would separate the bank into two entities, an "asset recovery bank" to manage existing loans, a separate "funding bank" holding deposits. On 5 September 2008, a few months before being nationalized, Anglo Irish sold its Anglo Irish Bank Austria division to Valartis Bank. A Transfer Order was made by the High Court in Dublin under the Credit Institutions Act 2010 transferring the assets and liabilities of Irish Nationwide Building Society to Anglo Irish Bank Corporation Limited on 1 July 2011; this achieves the legal merger of the INBS business into Anglo consistent with directions provided to both entities by the Minister for Finance, in consultation with the European Commission. On 31 March 2010, Anglo Irish Bank reported results for the 15 months to December 2009. Loss for the period were €12.7 billion, with an operating profit before impairment of €2.4 billion and an impairment charges of €15.1 billion driving the overall result.
Total assets declined to €85.2 billion at the end of 2009 from €101.3 billion in September 2008. With the substantial capital investment in the Bank by the government offsetting the provisions, the Core Tier 1 and total regulatory capital were €5 billion and €8 billion at the end of 2009 versus risk weighted assets of €73 billion. Anglo Irish Bank is the largest contributor of assets to Ireland's "ba
Crédit Agricole Group, sometimes called "la banque verte" due to its historical ties to farming, is the worlds largest cooperative financial institution. It consists of a network of Crédit Agricole local banks, the 39 Crédit Agricole regional banks and a central institute Crédit Agricole S. A.. In 1990, it became an international full-service banking group, it is listed through Crédit Agricole S. A. an intermediate holding company, on Euronext Paris' first market and is part of the CAC 40 stock market index. Local banks of the group owned the regional banks, in turn the regional banks majority owned the S. A. via a holding company, in turn the S. A. owned part of the subsidiaries such as LCL, the Italian network and the CIB unit. It was the title sponsor of the Crédit Agricole professional road cycling team from 1998 to 2008. Source for most of the "History" section. In the second half of the 19th Century, French farmers struggled to obtain long-term, reasonably-priced credit. There were several attempts to set up farming banks, including Crédit Foncier de France in 1861, but none was successful.
Crédit Agricole can trace its history back to the end of the 19th Century, to the Act of 1884 establishing the freedom of professional association, which authorised, among other things, the creation of farm unions and the foundation of local mutual banks. Société de Crédit Agricole was created on 23 February 1885 at Salins-les-Bains in the district of Poligny in the Jura region, it was the first of its kind in France. Drawing on this experience and in an effort to promote lending to small family farms, the Act of 5 November 1894, which had the support of Minister for Agriculture Jules Méline, paved the way for the creation of Crédit Agricole's Local Banks; the first Local Banks were set up by local elites, including agronomists and property owners, with farmers playing a minority role. In the early years, business was made up of short-term loans provided as advances on harvests, enabling farmers to live more comfortably. Medium-term and long-term loans were added making it possible to buy equipment and livestock.
The 1894 Act did not confer any financial advantages, the Local Banks soon faced financial problems, such as a lack of capital and insufficient collateral from small farmers. It was not until 1897 that the government addressed these problems by requiring the Banque de France to provide funding to Crédit Agricole through an endowment of 40 million gold francs and an annual fee of 2 million francs. A year the Act of 1898 resolved the collateral issues. Meanwhile, the Act of 31 March 1899 instituted a commission within the Ministry for Agriculture to distribute the government advances between the Regional Banks, which were created at this time; these cooperative entities brought together the Local Banks in their catchment area and acted as their clearing organisations. More and more Local and Regional Banks were established from the turn of the century. By the eve of the First World War, every region had at least one, but the government continued to provide three-quarters of the funding, short-term lending still accounted for the lion's share of business despite the authorisation to issue long-term loans granted by the Acts of 29 December 1906 and 19 March 1910.
With some regions becoming isolated owing to the War, the need for a central bank to regulate business became more apparent as Crédit Agricole was asked to provide financing to rebuild farming operations damaged during the conflict. In the 1920s, the bank continued to build its nationwide coverage and expand its business activities, notably by introducing loans to small-scale rural craftsmen in 1920, financing rural electrification and financing local authorities in rural areas from 1923; the Act of 5 August 1920 gave greater independence to what was at that time a credit department reporting directly to the Ministry for Agriculture and established a public central clearing organisation for the Regional Banks. The Office National de Crédit Agricole was thus set up, with Louis Tardy as its Chief Executive Officer. In 1926, the institution was renamed Caisse Nationale de Crédit Agricole, Crédit Agricole's institutional structure was complete; the 1920 Act established the legal framework for Crédit Agricole's operations in France.
Local and Regional Banks did not emerge from the 1930 crisis unscathed. The Caisse Nationale took on a greater role and aided the most exposed banks. A joint deposit guarantee fund was set up in 1935; the following year, Crédit Agricole provided additional support by financing wheat stocks through discounting when the National Cereals Board was established. The payment mechanisms used helped to make cheques and bank accounts more popular in the countryside. Between 1939 and 1945, the Vichy regime imposed stricter state supervision on Crédit Agricole. Major financial developments took place at this time, including the creation of the five-year note. To finance the post-war reconstruction effort and encourage the mechanisation of farming, CNCA stepped up deposit-taking to supplement the funds provided by the government; the Regional Banks opened many offices, with the total increasing from 1,000 in 1947 to 2,259 by 1967. Fédération Nationale du Crédit Agricole was created in 1948, it was tasked with representing the Crédit Agricole Regional Banks with respect to the public authorities and CNCA.
It played a role in training staff and expanding Crédit Agricole's expertise. In 1959, Crédit Agricole was authorised by decree to finance property loans for primary residences in rural areas, irrespective of the status of the owner; the distribution of long-term bonds created in 1950 enabled Crédit