Head of French bank resigns after mammoth trading loss
The head of the French bank Caisse d'Epargne has resigned after taking responsibility for a trading loss of 600 million euros (811 million dollars), French media reported Monday.
Charles Milhaud, who had led the Caisse d'Epargne since 1999, resigned late Sunday after a special meeting of the bank's board of supervisors. Milhaud said he would ask for no severance payment, reported dpa.
In addition, his chief executive officer, Nicolas Merindol, and the board member in charge of finances and risks, Julien Carmona, also resigned their posts.
The resignations were not unexpected since President Nicolas Sarkozy, speaking in Canada, had called the loss "unacceptable" and had demanded that the bank's senior managers "assume all their responsibilities."
The loss of 600 million euros was incurred in the trading of derivatives during the week of October 6, when the Paris Bourse's CAC 40 blue-chip index lost more than 22 per cent of its value.
In January of this year, the French bank Societe Generale reported that it had suffered a loss of 4.9 billion euros, which it blamed on unauthorized trades carried out by a single trader, Jerome Kerviel.
Societe Generale head Daniel Bouton had offered to step down, but the bank's board of directors persuaded him to stay on.