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France -Banking Industry: French banks refuse to loan far-right party

French banks are refusing to lend the far-right National Front party money for political reasons, according to a senior party official. This means leader Marine Le Pen may lack the resources needed to fund a presidential campaign in 2017.

As reported online by France 24, National Front party Secretary General Nicolas Bay said he had asked for a loan of about €27m for the April-May presidential and legislative campaigns next year “from among banking establishments in France, Europe and around the world”.

In an interview with Europe 1 radio, Bay said French banks were refusing to lend the party money, he said, adding that the party was facing “discrimination based on political opinions”.

Société Générale, Crédit Agricole, BPCE and Crédit Mutuel did not immediately respond to a request for comment by the Agence France-Presse (AFP), while BNP Paribas and the French banking federation declined to offer a statement.

In a separate report, the Reuters news agency noted that Le Pen has the support of around a quarter of French voters according to opinion polls, but campaign funding has long been an issue.

In 2014, it emerged that the party had received a €9m loan from a Russian lender.

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