Example of the desire of the French people for more ethical finance: Banque Populaire du Sud launched, three years ago, dematerialized agencies that are replenishing themselves thanks to specific loans to meet the new needs of mobility, renewal of work, etc. Defense against greenwashing.
Sustainable development is a concern of the French and mobility NGOs, such as Friends of the Earth, for the defense of the environment. The banking sector, with the emergence of ethical and loan agencies, sees this as a way to be more virtuous and in tune with society. “Our sustainable approach to support and financing is paying off and we are planning to multiply it and go beyond the number of our current consultants … “
“A request for quality advice”
The director of the AESSI market (associations market, social and solidarity economy and institutions) which oversees the first three dematerialized agencies including the three digital agencies, Pop Green, in the region, Jean-Philippe Dubar remembers this“We have developed a range of“ green ”project financing for individuals. Therefore, at the end of 2021, we gathered the Pop Green members club to ask them what they would like us to put in place in the future. What comes back to us in particular is a request for quality advice: to find the right network of installers, photovoltaic panels, renovations, for example. We will multiply these clubs to co-build an offering with them. It is a model that we want to be participatory, which corresponds to the DNA of a BCC like ours “.
Four Pop-Green Loans
He adds: “What we lacked was being able to support the professionals. This is something to be done at the beginning of last April. The BPCE group has made a range of four “green” Pop loans available to the Banque Populaire and Caisse d’Épargne group. Their goal: to finance the mobility of professionals, energy renovation and all kinds of projects related to blue growth. Solidarity savings too. “Our range has been completed well. But also with an allocation of funds to finance sustainable development actions “.
Nîmes, Montpellier, Perpignan
There is an additional limit to the Banque Populaire. “We move slowly. We learn by walking in relation to the needs of our customers “, underlines Jean-Philippe Dubar who manages the three electronic branches of Banque Pop ‘du Sud (BPS) – Nîmes, in September 2019, Montpellier and Perpignan at the end of May 2021 – which already bring together about 400 customers. And goes on. “Since the beginning of 2022, we have already attracted 60 new individual clients to our e-agencies. And about twenty more pro clients. Knowing it’s just word of mouth.”
Power, depending on your project, to find the right networks and the right contacts. For example, in energy renovation; on rules and any aids “
The motivations of these new customers? “Finding a dematerialized bank, of course, but also with possible physical appointments in Montpellier, Perpignan and Nîmes with our consultants. What they care about is having expert consultants on sustainable development where regulations change very quickly. And to be able, depending on your project, to find the right networks and the right contacts. For example, in energy renovation; on the rules and any aids “.
For these new customers, “It is easier for us to obtain a mobility loan for a clean vehicle. The question is also for the customer to know whether he is going through a loan offered to him or a lease with an option to buy. Which is often chosen with the problem of batteries that wear out quite quickly and vehicles that can become obsolete in two or three years. We have a whole range of financing with us.“Included for professionals since the beginning of last April who want to change their fleet, for example. Or for energy renewal.
Low Emission Zones: Specific loans to allow professionals to modify their vehicle fleet
“For us, who are the bank of artisans and merchants, the passage from the city center of Montpellier in ZFE (low emission zones) on 1 July and Perpignan, probably in 2025, is an opportunity to be able to further support them, says Jean-Philippe Dubar. They will need clean vehicles to allow them to enter this area. ”
Jean-Philippe Dubar adds: “We are reviewing with them and working with consular chambers to be able to offer them presentations of the impacts of these EPZs on their members. They are starting to get very interested and we are increasingly approached by professional organizations. Our desire is to be able to offer them financial solutions so that they can change their fleet with specific loans. With discounted rates. I recently intervened before the federation of merchants of the Eastern Pyrenees. Obviously I told them about the upcoming ZFE, in Perpignan. “
Oxfam report on the impact of banks on the climate
However, the money you have in the bank has a carbon footprint, as explained HERE by National Geographic. According to the NGO Oxfam, “The first individual carbon footprint, unbeknownst to us, is our bank account”. Our money is not air-conditioned at all. It is a fundamental lever of the ecological transition. Money constantly serves financing and loan circuits and, without our knowledge, therefore it does not always support virtuous projects in environmental terms. Which is not a reversal rupee. Enough to have an unsuspected impact on the climate. Oxfam France was also released, a few weeks ago, a report on the impact of banks on the climate.
Times are changing. Can we credit some banks with the beginning of a paradigm shift? The BPS says it has an area for improvement in its 2022-2024 strategic plan: “The commitment was to commit at least, in 2022, an endowment of 30 million euros to individuals and professionals for the energy transition. For 2023, the budget is 50 million euros “, sums up Jean-Philippe Dubar. And more, if possible, in the years to come.
Reduce our internal carbon footprint by 15% by 2024
BPS, which has 500,000 customers (560,000 between Crédit Maritime, Dupuy de Parseval and Marze), says it doesn’t want to stand by and watch “Challenge that concerns us all”. “And since it would be inconsistent if we didn’t apply this transformation to ourselves, our goal is to internally reduce our carbon footprint by 15% by 2024, based on several pillars of improvement: a fleet of “clean” cars; lower our energy costs through a restructuring plan; reduce our digital footprint through new, more efficient and less energy-consuming equipment, in particular or through responsible purchases (zero paper, local suppliers, etc.). ” It’s not all.
In order not to increase the banking packages
The (neo) banks are specialists in “repolining” by making their products greener to meet the needs of their customers. At the Banque Populaire du Sud, a cooperative that has been involved in the SSE for a century, it is explained that the approach is sincere and “Legitimate to support its customers in the energy transition”, in tune with the bank’s DNA, as Dis-Leur explained to you HERE.
Has Banque Pop jumped on the bandwagon because solidarity finance and sustainable development are in fashion? “We were already in this logic as part of our strategic plan where we supported our desire for sustainable responsibilityreplies Jean-Philippe Dubar. The goal of the game is also not to increase our packages with our customers. Furthermore, as we are an SSE company, we reintroduce our profits, not to remunerate the shareholders, but to further help the local economy and our territories.. “