Superfund eludes French banks

22 November 2007

A group of French banks have failed in their attempt to set up a 'superfund' due to a lack of support, according to Les Echos.

The fund was conceived by top banks in order to help special investment units, which have had funding hampered by the global liquidity crisis.

BNP Paribas and Societe Generale spearheaded the plan for the superfund, but Credit Agricole refused to take part along with several other mutual banks.

Despite the fact that the plan failed to get enough banks behind it, financial experts predict that it could still be a reality in future as the credit crunch continues.

The Financial Times compares the concept with the $75 billion US superfund promoted by Citigroup, JP Morgan and Bank of America and backed by the treasury.

Some of the top French banks are more affected by the credit crisis than their writedowns would suggest, due to their sponsorship of securitisation channels, which are not reported on the balance sheets, the newspaper said.

Both BNP Paribas and Societe Generale sponsor six such conduits, worth billions of dollars.

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