Crdit Agricole, the most generous bank ahead of Caisse d’Epargne, Banque Populaire and Crdit Mutuel

The Crdit Agricole group monopolizes almost 35% of the mortgage market, according to data published by the banking police. And the green bank continues to progress in this highly strategic market. Bringing together the Crdit Agricole, BPCE and Crdit Mutuel groups, the mutuals weigh 8 mortgages out of 10.

The photo is definitely from the summer of 2021… But the balance of power between the big banks is so on the mortgage market that they are definitely very close in this summer of 2022. And this despite the current strong tensions, with rates that have gone up and usury thresholds (the maximum at which banks can lend to individuals) that change much less quickly.

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French banks concentrate almost all housing loans distributed in France and the three mutualist groups [Crdit Agricole, Banque Populaire-Caisse d’Epargne et Crdit Mutuel, NDLR] they represent more than three quarters of the market. This observation, drawn up by the Prudential Control and Resolution Authority (ACPR) in 2020, has not changed one iota! ACPR has published the 2021 edition of its annual study on mortgage lending (1) in the heart of summer, and the balance of power remains almost unchanged.

The three mutualist groups therefore leave alone BNP Paribas and Società Generale crumbs: less than 10% of the home loan market. And, among the mutualist groups, it is Crédit Agricole that without ambiguity pulls its pin from the game, with 34.9% of loans in repayment. A precision all the same: the ACPR gives the market shares of the banking groups, and not of the signs. The Crdit Agricole group therefore includes the regional banks of the green bank, but also LCL or BforBank. The Crdit Mutuel group and its 15.9% market share include the two cousin groups Alliance Fdrale and Arka, as well as CIC. And BPCE brings together not only Caisse d’Epargne and Banque Populaire, but also Crdit Coopratif.

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The only banks to gain market share

The basis of Credit Agricole is not yet ready to be challenged. According to the ACPR, in 2021, the Crédit Agricole group has once again gained market share: + 0.2 additional percentage points. The BPCE and Crdit Mutuel groups grew at the same rate in a year. And La Banque Postale nibbles 0.1 point.

How to explain this basis of Credit Agricole? The banking regulator gives no explanation, although it probably reflects an aggressive commercial policy, everywhere in France, on mortgage rates. Housing credit is a strategic loss leader for banks, because it helps keep customers for many years, and encourages them to subscribe to other ancillary products (passbooks, insurance, accounts for children, etc.).

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Market shares of banking groups in real estate loans

  1. Crédit Agricole: 34.9% of the outstanding amount
  2. Banque Populaire Caisse d’Epargne (BPCE): 27.6%
  3. Credit Mutual: 15.9%
  4. BNP Paribas: 8.9%
  5. General society: 8.2%
  6. The Postal Bank: 1.9%
  7. All foreign banks: 2.2%
  8. Other French banks: 0.3%

Source: ACPR, market shares calculated on the basis of outstanding mortgages at 30 June 2021.

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