French Bank Chief Targets London's Euro Trading Status


France's top central banker on Monday took aim at London's heavyweight position in euro trading, saying the bulk of the business should be done within the 17-nation eurozone.

Speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a conference in Tokyo, Banque de France Governor Christian Noyer said there was no reason for London being the busiest euro trading center since Britain in not a member of the currency club.

"There are offshore centers outside New York, but New York remains the main center for the U.S. dollar," Noyer said.

"The American authorities are not against the U.S. dollar being traded in London, but they are very keen on not having the essential business being done outside the U.S. We are the same."

Noyer added that "it is clear there is no rationale for having the biggest financial center active in our currency or providing services in our economic union being an offshore center".

Britain, which is a member of the wider 27-nation European Union has often found itself at odds with eurozone bloc members over regulatory and austerity issues, fears that eurozone members are planning to undermine London's position as Europe's financial center.

In an interview published in Monday's Financial Times, Noyer said the argument for moving the bulk of euro trade to a eurozone country was "linked to the capacity of the central bank to provide liquidity and ensure oversight of its own currency".

Noyer told the paper he was not opposed to London conducting euro business -- it currently accounts for over 40 percent of worldwide euro trade -- but that "the bulk of the business should be under our control".

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