The head of the Crédit Municipal de Paris denies any personal enrichment

The Commission Bancaire considers that mistakes were made during Luc Matray’s term as head of the social bank. He should be dismissed at a general meeting on January 20th.

Luc Matray probably lives his last hours as number two of the Crédit Municipal de Paris (CMP). This bicentennial pawnbroker, owned by the Paris City Hall, is subject to a disciplinary procedure by the Commission Bancaire – the bank gendarme – for failing to regulate, particularly in the fight against money laundering. ‘money.

Tuesday, January 3, the supervisory board of CMP Bank – the banking subsidiary of the Municipal Credit, headed by Mr. Matray – decided to convene a general meeting on January 20. It could vote the revocation of the latter, in accordance with the wish of the Mayor of Paris, Bertrand Delanoe (PS).

Anticipating a political exploitation by the right, the mayor of Paris had made public, December 19, his intention to separate from the leader he had placed himself at the head of the Municipal Credit, in 2001, to straighten it. The establishment was in a state of bankruptcy.

Making Mr. Matray guilty of the breaches identified by the Banking Commission immediately, Mr. Delanoe’s decision is considered hasty by the banker’s entourage. The latter sees “a violation of the presumption of innocence and the rights of the defense”, while neither the Banking Commission nor the Paris prosecutor – who, for its part, opened a preliminary investigation, December 16, 2005 – have not made their findings.

A member of the supervisory board pointed out that disciplinary procedures are common: “Such a procedure is currently aimed at savings banks (for risk monitoring problems) without the departure of their boss, Charles Milhaud, being claimed.” “The ability of Mr. Matray to run a bank is not questioned,” he pleads.

The Ministry of Finance and the Banking Commission deplore for their part that the case was put on the public square. To ensure proper functioning of banks, disciplinary procedures are supposed to remain secret. “It gives the public the impression that a bank scandal is discovered, with whitening at the key, which is not the case, ” said a senior official.

Nevertheless, according to the Banking Commission, mistakes were made during Mr. Matray’s term of office. In its inspection report, issued at the end of 2004, the authority pointed out “shortcomings in internal control”. Three credits are criticized – one of 30,000 euros, the other two of 160,000 euros each – for having been granted to clients without the approval of the credit committee. A fourth was granted to Mr. Matray himself, at the end of 2004, at a rate of 8.96%: it is a four-month bridge loan, which reached 40,000 euros at the highest, and he allowed to acquire a second home in the province.

Money Laundering

The Commission Bancaire also notes flaws in the anti-money laundering system: seven suspicious cases, four of which concern pawnbrokers, should have been reported to Tracfin, the anti-money laundering body. The amount of these loans would not exceed EUR 4 million.

Mr. Matray presented to the Supervisory Board of CMP Banque, on Tuesday, a document drawing up his balance sheet at the head of the Municipal Credit: “In 2001, it is a disorganized company, which works with obsolete methods, most often without nets, he writes. (…) Between 2002 and 2005, it is recovering, making progress (…) in terms of governance, internal control, and prevention of money laundering, etc. ”

According to his relatives, the leader admits that he was able to commit certain mistakes, “through negligence and extra work”: “Never, he insists, was there any personal enrichment.”