PARIS, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Two out of three regional banks making up Credit Mutuel Arkea, part of France’s fifth-biggest lender, on Friday voted in favour of management studying ways to break away from its parent group of cooperative banks.
The vote of the boards of directors of the regional banks is the latest twist in a long-standing standoff that has become a headache for regulators.
The parent group Groupe Credit Mutuel has undertaken a reform of its organization to keep it in line with regulatory rules.
Credit Mutuel Arkea, which comprises regional banks in Western and Central France, as well as online bank Fortuneo, has opposed the reform, which would make the governance and strategy-setting more centralized.
Credit Mutuel Arkea had 120.4 billion euros in assets as of end 2016, while the parent group’s balance sheet overall stood at 793.5 billion. Groupe Credit Mutuel is France’s fifth-largest bank by assets and had a 17.1 percent market share in deposits in 2016. (Reporting by Maya Nikolaeva; Editing by Leigh Thomas)