The digital Euro: a thorny issue
With a conciliatory approach, François Villeroy de Galhau, the Governor of the Bank of France, attempted on Tuesday to reassure banks about the digital Euro. This topic, driven by the European Central Bank (ECB), is causing concern among banking institutions fearing for their market shares.
A necessary public-private partnership
Speaking at a forum in Paris organized by the economic interest grouping (GIE) Cartes Bancaires (CB), François Villeroy de Galhau stressed that the digital Euro should be seen as a public-private partnership. “Banks are the first partners at the table,” he stated.
Banks’ concerns and European sovereignty
Banks are worried about competition to their bank account offerings, considering the maximum amount these digital Euro wallets could contain too high. “One less Euro in deposits is one less Euro in financing the economy,” warned the French Banking Federation (FBF). However, Mr. Villeroy de Galhau denied any “massive transfer of deposits” to come.
The Governor also emphasized the issue of European sovereignty in the face of competition from American payment networks Visa and Mastercard. “Having a European payment strategy against powerful, innovative non-European actors seems to me to be a common priority,” he highlighted.
The shift towards the digital Euro is a historic turning point for the European economy. While the banks’ fears are understandable, it is essential to remember that this change aims to improve the efficiency and security of transactions. The challenge is significant, but Europe has a unique opportunity to strengthen its economic and digital sovereignty. Therefore, it is imperative to find common ground between banks and public institutions so that everyone can benefit from this advancement.