The banking system in France has been slow to develop. Main high-street banks (Crédit Lyonnais, Société Générale and BNP) were nationalized in 1945, and most of the remaining ones, including investment banks, were nationalized in 1981. A slow deregulation process started in the 1960s, whose impact was only significantly felt in the 1980s, especially after the ‘Big Bang’ liberalization in 1985. A movement towards privatization started in 1986. The recent growth and liberalization of the banking system has encountered considerable difficulties, especially in regulatory terms, with large banks such as Crédit Lyonnais suffering from speculative investment strategies.