French parliament approves bank reform law
French Finance Minister Pierre Moscovici has said the reform was inspired by reforms currently being pushed through by the EU and was above all meant to "protect the deposits of savers."
But critics contend the measures either put too big a strain on banks already saddled with new regulations, or failed to free the heavily indebted French state from the fate of the country's lending giants.
One of the key measures will force France's major banks to move so-called proprietary trading -- investment activity involving the banks' own assets including deposits -- into separately funded entities.
The raft of measures, which were carefully prepared over the past months, also beefs up the powers of France's official banking watchdog, the ACP, which depends on the Banque de France central bank.
The measure passed with 315 votes in favour and 161 against. It now goes to the French Senate, the country's upper chamber.
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