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France Banking European Union

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France eyes role as Europe’s banking watchdog

The Canary Wharf financial district in east London, Britain February 15, 2016. REUTERS/Hannah McKay

France said Wednesday it had joined the race to host the European Union's banking regulator when it has to leave Britain following its exit from the bloc.

The government's spokesman said "there's already a letter from the prime minister" on France's candidacy for European Banking Authority (EBA) host.

France is in addition vying to host the European Medicines Agency (EMA), also based in London, spokesman Stephane Le Foll said.

Several EU member states are interested in hosting the EMA,
established in 1995 and responsible for authorising the marketing of new medicines in the EU, including Italy and Sweden.

In France, the cities of Lyon, Lille and Strasbourg are interested.

On Tuesday the Irish department of finance announced Ireland would bid to host the EBA, responsible for harmonising and integrating banking supervision across the EU member states.

Austria and Germany are also in the race.

The EBA will have to relocate to another state within the EU once Britain leaves the EU following the Brexit referendum vote on June 23.