Société Générale has just announced the launch of its impact loan. “We are responding to the request of the local authorities who have co-built this new offer with us,” says Robert Le Bourgeois, Director of the Public Economy Market of Société Générale.
For bankers engaged in this segment of offers, this financing solution has a great future in the next three to five years. Arkéa Banque Entreprises et Institutionnels, launched three years ago, has already exceeded its targets for 2021 with 79 new PACT loan clients for a commitment of almost 500 million euros.
Caisse d’Epargne, which opened its offer to local authorities last December, has set itself an ambitious goal: one billion euros per year for loans contracted with authorities from 2024. common ambition for different financial products.
An ambition for an ESG approach
Arkéa’s PACT loan is based on compliance with thirty commitments regarding the ESG (Environment Social Governance) policy, the monitoring indicators are defined by the extra-financial analysis and consulting agency Ethifinance. “From the first report, the client can get 100% of the bonus as long as he is placed above a reference benchmark (score grid of comparable clients). From the second report, the client is evaluated based on this position, but also on his own progress. If he responds favorably to one of these two criteria, his bonus is 50%. If he does not respond to any of them, he can return to the level of the contractual rate at the beginning “, specifies the deputy director of development of Arkéa Banque Entreprises et Institutionnels.
Société Générale, which also relies on the expertise of Ethifinance, has made a comparable selection: “before looking for a bonus, the client chooses with the impact credit to enter into a CSR approach”, explains Robert Lebourgeois.
A single performance indicator
The criteria are therefore divided into three themes: environment, social and governance. For Virginie Bonneton, CSR Project Manager on the Public Economy market, “unlike some colleagues, we have defined differentiated and tailored benchmarks according to three customer segments: communities, social employers and EPL (local public companies)” .
Caisse d’Epargne has made a simpler choice by offering customers two categories of loans (environmental loan and social loan), each accompanied by a unique criterion to be met. “The criterion chosen always goes beyond the regulations in force and there is not necessarily a correlation between the investment and the performance indicator because it is not possible to allocate the allocation of funds in a budget. “An loan to an operation,” explains Jérémy. Estrader, Caisse d’Epargne Public Sector market director.
External validation or internal commitment
For Société Générale and Arkéa customers, an inventory is carried out by Ethifinance when the loan is signed. Customers commit to areas of improvement in exchange for a bonus on their starting rate. “Clients know that the benchmark can evolve according to new ESG issues, but our goal is to do so gradually, taking into account the ability of clients, especially in environmental matters, to invest in monitoring tools,” he specifies Carine Bourras. , Deputy Director. of Development at Arkéa Banque Entreprises et Institutionnels.
Each year, a report assesses the progress of clients. For Société Générale, only three evaluation reports are expected (N, N+2 and N+4). For Caisse d’Epargne loans, customers must provide documents every year and for the entire duration of the loan, validating their progress. “Before launching the loans, we put in place indicators and a follow-up methodology validated by the international social and environmental rating agency Vigeo,” says Jérémy Estrader.
For Caisse d’Epargne, the minimum loan amount is one million. For Arkéa, it came to 2 million euros. The terms of the loan are quite close, from 5 to 25 years. “Finally, the bonus can allow the customer to earn up to ten basis points on the starting rate,” adds Jérémy Estrader.
Objective shared by Société Générale: the three agency evaluations paid by Société Générale, the bonus can reach a maximum of 10 basis points. For Arkéa, it can reach a maximum of 20%, from which 0.50% of the support costs must be deducted. The next step and banks are preparing for this, providing, in the continuity of the impact loan offer, the expertise that allows customers to measure their results.