regulators and investors are asking French banks about their preparations for any market

ructions – from bank runs to credit crunches – that might be caused by Marine Le Pen faring better than expected in the presidential election.

Far-right leader Le Pen has said that if she becomes president she would call a referendum on ditching the euro, finance state spending through central bank money-printing, force commercial banks to lend to small firms and halve the maximum rates that banks can charge clients.