The two networks share the same commitment at the service of regional and local development

A natural convergence

Their paths have frequently crossed over the past hundred years or so. The question of their merger has been raised on a regular basis since 1996. In 2006, the Banques Populaires and the Caisses d’Epargne began the process with the creation of their joint subsidiary, Natixis. On July 31, 2009, the two groups will be merging their central institutions, giving birth to the second largest French banking group.

The Caisses d’Epargne: encouraging and managing popular savings

The first Caisse d’Epargne was founded in Paris in 1818 to promote, collect and manage popular savings. Recognized as “private institutions of public utility,” the Caisses d’Epargne have pursued missions of general public interest since 1895. In 1950, they were authorized to grant loans to local authorities. In 1999, they became cooperative banks. Through successive business creations and acquisitions, Groupe Caisse d’Epargne has extended its activities towards corporate customers, investment banking with the acquisition of Ixis, insurance, private asset management and, with Nexity, the Group became a full-fledged operator in the real estate sector.

The Banques Populaires: financing and developing commerce and businesses

In 1878, the first Banque Populaire was created in Angers by entrepreneurs, for entrepreneurs with a view to pooling funds to allow entrepreneurs to finance their projects themselves. Their cooperative status was established in 1917. At the service of craftsmen, tradespeople and SMEs, the Banques Populaires rapidly became major players in their regional economies, and opened out their services to individual customers in 1962. In 1998, the acquisition of Natexis provided Group Banque Populaire with a publicly listed vehicle. Pursuing its development, the Group affiliated several regional or specialized banks.

Major complementary strengths

The Banques Populaires command top-ranking positions among SMEs, self-employed professionals, and high net worth clients. The same is true of the Caisses d’Epargne among individual customers, local authorities, and the social housing sector. In their capacity as complementary cooperative banking institutions, boasting deep roots in their respective regions, the two networks share the same commitment at the service of regional and local development.