Acting in favor of the local economy

Economie locale

Ensure that actions taken to finance the economy contribute to the fight against exclusion

Economic solidarity is expressed at a local level

To ensure the efficiency of efforts made to promote greater social solidarity, actions taken in this area must be closely tailored to the needs of the individuals concerned. The fight against exclusion finds practical expression in actions supported by the Group’s banking networks and their cooperative shareholders in the area of financial inclusion and the creation of suitable jobs.

The Caisses d’Epargne and Banque Populaire banks owe their very existence to the aspiration to meet needs that were inadequately satisfied by the dominant financial system. This is how, over the years, they have used their cooperative business model to enhance their dynamism and reinforce their legitimacy. Promoting economic and social development at a local level is consequently one of the founding principles underlying the creation of the banks comprising Groupe BPCE.

A major player in SRI

Natixis Asset Management commands a front-ranking position in France in the area of socially responsible investment (SRI) with assets under management worth a total of €9.3 billion (at the end of 2011).  In SRI, investment decisions take systematic account of environmental, industrial relations and corporate governance criteria in addition to more traditional financial considerations. Working through Mirova, a division based on multi-disciplinary experts entirely devoted to responsible investment, Natixis Asset Management offers concrete solutions that create value over the long term for institutional or private investors looking for value creation while simultaneously wanting to invest in a responsible manner. Palatine Asset Management, for its part, manages nine SRI funds.

No.1 for socially responsible savings

Groupe BPCE is the No.1 collector of solidarity-based savings through Crédit Coopératif, the Banque Populaire banks, the Caisses d’Epargne and Natixis Interépargne.

It is also No.1 for solidarity-based investment and shared savings (all or part of the interest is donated to an organization devoted to social solidarity) with 55% of aggregate outstandings, equal to €1.95bn. The Group also collects more than 56% of solidarity-based investments for employee savings schemes in France. Natixis Asset Management is the leading manager of solidarity-based employee shareholding funds.

Groupe BPCE is also the principal partner of Adie, an association for the right to economic initiative and a key player in France for providing financing and support to jobseekers and people on minimum welfare payments wanting to set up their own companies.

No.1 for microcredit solutions

The Group is also France’s leading provider of microcredit, lending a total of €125 million through more than 11 million microloans in 2011.

Borrowers can benefit from the support measures provided by the Parcours Confiance program that includes an assessment of the customer’s situation, a specially adapted range of banking services, and training on budget management provided by Finances & Pédagogie, an association specializing in the prevention of overindebtedness.

The leading private bank in the social housing sector

The Caisse d’Epargne is the leading private banking institution in the social housing sector. It is itself a social housing operator, via its Habitat en Région network, and is a partner actively involved in the governance of one out of every three social housing bodies in France: public housing offices (OPH), social housing enterprises (ESH), cooperatives, associations, etc.