François Villeroy de Galhau was born in Strasbourg on 24 February 1959 into a family with roots in Lorraine and Saarland. A former ENA student and Inspector of Finance, he joined the French Treasury in 1988 (Africa desk, then Europe desk) and subsequently became European advisor to the Minister of Finance and then Prime Minister (Pierre Bérégovoy) from 1990 to 1993. He went on to hold various positions at the French Treasury, before becoming financial advisor at the Permanent Representation of France in Brussels.
From 1997 to 2000, he was chief of staff of the Minister of the Economy, Finance and Industry (Dominique Strauss-Kahn, then Christian Sautter). He was head of the French General Tax Directorate from 2000 to 2003.
In 2003, he became the Chief Executive Officer of Cetelem, then headed BNP Paribas’ retail banking activities in France (2008). François Villeroy de Galhau served as Chief Operating Officer of BNP Paribas group, in charge of domestic markets and corporate social responsibility from 1 December 2011 until 1 May 2015, when the French government entrusted him with an assignment on business investment financing.
In September 2015, the then President of the French Republic, François Hollande, nominated him for the position of Governor of the Banque de France. After receiving the approval of the Parliament, he was appointed Governor of the Banque de France in the Council of Ministers on 30 September 2015 and took office on 1 November 2015 for a 6-year term.
In October 2021, the President of the Republic Emmanuel Macron proposed that he be reappointed for a second term, a decision approved by the members of Parliament and then ratified by the Council of Ministers on 27 October 2021. François Villeroy de Galhau is a member of the Governing Council of the European Central Bank (ECB), and Chairman of the Autorité de contrôle prudentiel et de résolution (ACPR).
In 2022, he was also appointed Chair of the Board of Directors of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS). He has notably published L’espérance d’un Européen (Odile Jacob, 2014) and Retrouver confiance en l’économie (Odile Jacob, 2021).