MIL-OSI Europe: France: Crédit Agricole and the EIB Group strengthen their partnership to finance the energy transition and innovation in French and European businesses

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Source: European Investment Bank

  • Crédit Agricole and the European Investment Bank Group confirm their joint commitment to supporting from 2024 the ecological transition of French and European SMEs and midcaps companies as well as the public sector.
  • In 2023, the EIB Group has already signed with Crédit Agricole four loan deals and two guarantee deals via the EIF under the InvestEU european guarantee for over €1.6 billion.

As long-standing partners in supporting the growth of French businesses, the Crédit Agricole and EIB groups have stepped up their joint initiatives to help SMEs and midcaps finance their green transition in 2023.

Six agreements were signed last year for over €1.6 billion, providing a range of financing solutions to meet the needs of french and european businesses as they make the transition to a low-carbon economy.

Four EIB financing operations in France to boost support for green mobility, climate energy transition, innovation and digitisation (€735m):

  • CA Mobility (Agilauto) customers, SMEs and midcaps, projects involving the financing of low-emission vehicles (€100m).
  • Loans to Lixxbail and EFL’s SME and midcaps customers in the EU, mainly in France and Poland, with a climate action component of at least 30% of the amount financed (€400m).
  • Loans to SMEs and midcaps in France through Crédit Agricole’s network of Regional Banks to support their investment in innovation and digitisation – at least 50% of the total amount of financing (€150m).
  • Investment projects by LCL’s SME and midcaps customers, helping to combat climate change in renewable energies, energy efficiency and low-carbon vehicles – at least 60% of the amount of financing (€85m).

Two European Investment Fund guarantee operations under the European Commission’s InvestEU programme to provide financing in the fields of innovation and sustainable development in France:

  • €85m for investments in innovation and digitisation by SMEs and midcaps companies. This financing is 70% guaranteed for an estimated envelope of 650 transactions with an average value of €130,000.
  • €210m to support the sustainable development of SMEs in the agricultural sector. This 70% guaranteed financing will benefit 1,150 SMEs for an average amount of €130,000.

Crédit Agricole Group is one of the most important partners for the EIB Group, the largest in France in terms of financing volumes. This is a significant contribution to achieving climate action and environmental sustainability objectives in France and Europe, particularly in Poland (through pan-European lines and portfolio securitisations totalling €200 million) and Italy (€400 million in covered bonds, 25% of which is earmarked for the ecological transition).

The two entities are committed to strengthening their collaboration from 2024 onwards on joint investment projects and strategic areas. This dynamic cooperation between Crédit Agricole and the EIB Group has made it possible to identify several avenues of collaboration – in line with European priorities – for the implementation of new projects in the fields of energy transition, education and public health, the bioeconomy, and through new regional programmes in cooperation with the EIF.

“We are delighted to continue working with the EIB Group. This partnership is perfectly in line with the commitments made as part of the Crédit Agricole Group’s societal project, particularly with regard to supporting our business and farming customers in their energy transition,” says Olivier Gavalda, Crédit Agricole S.A.’s Deputy Chief Executive Officer in charge of Universal Banking.

EIB Vice-President Ambroise Fayolle welcomes that “European investment bank and Crédit Agricole are stepping up their joint operations to meet the investment needs of French businesses in support of climate action and innovation. This collaboration is a very concrete demonstration of the importance of the European effort to support the green transition of SMEs and the public sector, in France as in the rest of the EU”.

Marjut Falkstedt, Chief Executive of the EIF, said: “Our strong partnership with Crédit Agricole illustrates Europe’s support for the real economy in France. By working hand in hand, the EIF and Crédit Agricole will be able to help French SMEs and farmers with unprecedented amounts, based on shared priorities such as innovation and sustainable development”.

Background information

About Crédit Agricole group

Crédit Agricole Group is the leading financier of the French economy and one of the top banks in Europe. A leader in retail banking in Europe, the Group is also Europe’s leading asset manager, Europe’s leading bancassurer and Europe’s third-largest provider of project finance.
On the strength of its cooperative and mutualist foundations, its 145,000 employees and 27,000 directors of the Local and Regional Banks, the Crédit Agricole Group is a responsible and useful bank, serving 53 million customers, 11.5 million members and 800,000 individual shareholders.
Thanks to its local universal banking model – the close association between its local banks and the related business lines – the Crédit Agricole group supports its customers in their projects in France and around the world: day-to-day banking, mortgages and consumer credit, savings, insurance, asset management, real estate, leasing, factoring, corporate and investment banking.
At the service of the economy, Crédit Agricole also stands out for its dynamic and innovative corporate social responsibility policy. It is based on a pragmatic approach that permeates the entire Group and puts every employee into action.

About European investment bank

The European Investment Bank (EIB), whose shareholders are the Member States of the European Union (EU), is the EU’s long-term financing institution. It finances high-quality investment furthering the EU’s key objectives, in particular the just transition and global climate neutrality. In 2023, the EIB Group carried out 15 intermediated financing operations for SMEs and midcaps for a total volume of EUR 2.9 billion to support investment in the energy transition (almost two thirds of the operations) by SMEs and midcaps.

About European investment fund

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank Group. Its primary mission is to support European micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by helping them to access finance. The EIF designs and deploys venture capital, growth capital, guarantee and microfinance instruments specifically for this market segment. As such, the EIF contributes to the achievement of the EU’s main strategic objectives, such as competitiveness and growth, innovation and digital transition, social impact, skills and human capital, climate action and environmental sustainability, and others.

About InvestEU

The InvestEU programme provides the European Union with crucial long-term funding by leveraging substantial private and public funds in support of a sustainable recovery. It also helps mobilise private investment for EU policy priorities, such as the European Green Deal and the digital transition. InvestEU brings together under one roof the multitude of EU financial instruments previously available to support investment in the European Union, making funding for investment projects in Europe simpler, more efficient and more flexible. The programme consists of three components: the InvestEU Fund, the InvestEU Advisory Hub and the InvestEU Portal. The InvestEU Fund is deployed through implementing partners who will invest in projects using the EU budget guarantee of €26.2 billion. The entire budget guarantee will back the investment projects of the implementing partners, increase their risk-bearing capacity and thus mobilise at least €372 billion in additional investment.

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