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Banque Postale French Aid for Banking Accessibility Backed by EU

Jan. 23 (Bloomberg) -- La Banque Postale, the banking arm of France’s postal service, is receiving lawful aid from France to help people receive better access to banking, the European Union said.

The European Commission, which checks whether state aid is in line with EU competition rules, said French public financing to La Banque Postale from 2009 to 2014 is legal. The system gives “a significant number of economically disadvantaged people” access to basic banking payment services through La Banque Postale’s so-called Livret A savings accounts, the EU said in a statement today.

“The Livret A distributed by La Banque Postale improves banking accessibility for the economically disadvantaged part of the population,” EU Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in an e-mailed statement today. “The compensation that the French State grants to La Banque Postale to fulfil this mission is in line with our rules since it is limited to the cost for discharging the public service obligations.”

To contact the reporter on this story: Stephanie Bodoni in Luxembourg at sbodoni@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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