The French government would take shares in banks receiving taxpayer-funded bailouts if the Socialists win power in elections in the coming months, senior party figure Segolene Royal said Sunday.

Royal, a former presidential contender, is considered likely to play a government role if Socialist candidate Francois Hollande beats incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy in the April-May presidential election.

Whenever we have to bail out the banks, we will acquire part of their capital and demand the kind of behaviour that should never have been allowed to slide, Royal said on Europe 1 radio.

That means lending to businesses and consumers in the right conditions, she added.

Unlike Britain, which acquired 83 percent of Royal Bank of Scotland and 40 percent of rival Lloyds during the 2008 financial crisis, the Sarkozy government provided 360 billion euros (£298.9 billion) in recapitalisation and refinancing for French banks without taking any common shares.

Hollande, who is Royal's former partner and father of her four children, also plans to separate the banks' retail and investment divisions if elected, mirroring current British government proposals.

We must make the banks obey, where today they are giving the orders, Royal also said Sunday. We will bring a truly democratic revolution to the workings of these institutions and companies.

France holds its presidential election in two rounds on April 22 and May 6, with elections to the National Assembly to follow in June.

(Reporting by Patrick Vignal; Writing by Laurence Frost; Editing by Alison Williams)

(This story corrects the spelling of Royal's name throughout.)