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French bankers and the euro
CCF image with map inset
The introduction of the euro as a cash currency has had a huge impact on the banking sector.
The banks have been responsible for distributing the billions of euros of notes and coins to the public and to the retail sector.
They also must convert their customers' accounts, and credit cards, from national currencies to the euro - a change that was well underway before 1 January 2002.
Banks like CCF in France have taken on thousands of temporary staff.
The Banker's tale
"The changeover to the euro went very well. By 1AM on 1 January all CCF cash dispensers across France had switched to distributing euros.
During the first and second day of opening after the New Year (2 and 3 January) there were about double the usual number of customers in this branch.
In the second week, we're now at about 30% or 40% more customers each day.
Around 80% of them want to withdraw euros.
But we've been able to avoid long queues because we'd taken on three extra staff members to deal with the arrival of the euro.
We had no reports of serious problems from our customers who run shops.
We'd given these shopkeepers a "euro check-up" last year to find out how much they'd need and we were able to distribute what they asked for.
We punch holes in the franc notes more or less as soon as we take them in.
We have a pair of workers in the basement vault making holes in the notes before they're taken off to the Banque de France.
So on the whole I can say the changeover went as we expected it would."

Full story:
French criticise bank changeover

Bruno Milano

NAME: Bruno Milano

JOB: Branch Manager, CCF, Paris (11th arrondissement) for past year and half. Twenty years with CCF.

AGE: 40

MARITAL STATUS: Married with two teenage children

BORN: Paris
We had no reports of serious problems from our customers who run shops.
We've been able to avoid long queues because we'd taken on three extra staff members to deal with the arrival of the euro.
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