Financing, but also advice.
Faced with permanently high energy prices, French banks want to support companies in the energy transition.
And this evolution is not as simple to implement as it seems.
“Our entire credit decision software needs to be reviewed since investing in the energy transition is not an investment to increase turnover and margins: it aims to generate cost savings.
This drastically changes the computing perspective.
It's not something intuitive and requires special training for advisors
,” explains Cyril Brun, Managing Director of Banque Populaire du Sud.
The challenge and the changes don't stop there.
A few months ago, this regional establishment launched a brand and concept called BTE, for Energy Transition Bank, which the Banque Populaire network is gradually rolling out throughout France.
Its objective: to provide, beyond credit, advice to companies engaged in greening projects.
And this with the help of partner companies selected by the bank.
Still nascent, these connections constitute additional expertise - and income - for lending establishments.
“These are new extra-banking services that aim to provide specific expertise to our customers.
For example, our customers wishing to carry out a carbon assessment of their activity are directed to the company Greenly, with whom we operate as a business provider,”
explains Raphaele Leroy, Director of Corporate Engagement at Commercial Banking. in France from BNP Paribas.
A carbon footprint that Crédit Mutuel has decided to offer to its farmer customers.
“As part of the France Relance plan, financial aid of up to 90% is granted by the State to farmers.
We are committed to financing the remaining charge for customers eligible for this aid
, ”explains the bank.
The establishment also offers these customers subsidized loans, the rate of which can vary by a few hundredths depending on the degree of ecological transformation that they involve.
Co-shareholder bank for solar installations
This formula, also called impact loan in other establishments, is notably in force at La Banque Postale, which extends access to this banking product to all companies, regardless of their activity.
“Things are changing very quickly.
Beyond the loans we provide, there is strong investor appetite for the refinancing of green bonds issued by the bank.
They are even oversubscribed
,” says Célia Doublet, Marketing Director of Corporate and Investment Banking at La Banque Postale.
Another offer is that which is preparing to deploy Crédit Agricole, the largest branch network in France, through its brand Crédit Agricole Transition et Energies.
“Over the past few years, we have developed numerous financing and investment activities in renewable energies in the region.
On the strength of this experience, we now wish to offer green electricity contracts.
We also offer our customers wishing to install photovoltaic panels on their building, financing solutions where the bank can be a co-shareholder of the production installation”,
underlines Éric Campos, Managing Director of Crédit Agricole Transitions and Energies.
While it is currently difficult for all banks to quantify the exact amount of "green" loans granted to companies, the deployment of the BTE concept more than a year ago allows the Banque Populaire Auvergne Rhône-Alpes to affirm that it lent this year 266 million euros in this direction, for an average amount of 200,000 euros.