Former COO of BNP nominated as Banque de France governor

François Villeroy de Galhau picked by French president to succeed Christian Noyer as central bank head; past experience includes BNP Paribas and French treasury
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Banque de France

French president François Hollande intends to nominate François Villeroy de Galhau as the next Banque de France governor, he announced today (September 8).

Galhau must win the approval of both houses of the French parliament – the Senate and the National Assembly – before he is confirmed as Christian Noyer's successor.

Until April, he was one of two chief operating officers at BNP Paribas, when he left the company to compile a report on investment in France and Europe for the French government.

Noyer's second term as governor ends on October 31. He was first handed the job in November 2003, and was reappointed in 2009. He is a key figure on the European Central Bank (ECB) governing council.

Prior to joining the Banque de France, Noyer served as vice-president of the ECB between 1998 and 2002. Another senior ECB official, Benoît Cœuré, was mentioned by some observers as a potential successor.

Before joining the BNP Paribas Group, Galhau held a variety of positions within the treasury department and the ministry of economy, finance and industry of the French government.

It is common for governors at the Banque de France to have gained experience at the treasury before joining the central bank. Both Noyer and his predecessor, Jean Claude-Trichet, led the treasury before they were appointed governor.

Yesterday it was revealed Deutsche Bundesbank president Jens Weidmann would succeed Noyer as chair of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) board.

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