French bank chairman quits over 800 million dollar trading loss

PARIS, October 20, 2008 (AFP) – The chairman and director general of the French bank Caisse d’Epargne quit Sunday over an 800 million dollar derivative trading loss at the height of the global finance crisis.

Chairman Charles Milhaud said in a statement after an emergency supervisory board meeting that he was taking full responsibility for the loss and would not seek leaving payment.

The director general of the mutual bank also resigned and a bank source said its chief financial officer had tendered his resignation.

The bank said it lost 600 million euros (800 million dollars) in a derivatives trading “incident” on October 6 as world share markets were crashing over the global finance crisis. The bank was also entering merger talks with rival Banque Populaire.

There has been widespread government and public anger led by President Nicolas Sarkozy.

But Finance Minister Christine Lagarde was “satisfied” with the resignations, her staff said. But European Central Bank chief Jean-Claude Trichet said he was “shocked” by the loss which “proves that there is still immense progress to be made in managing risks” at banks.

Milhaud said in a written statement: “This loss is the result of the