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Helping fight Covid-19 in France

Helping fight Covid-19 in France


​​​​​WSBI-ESBG member Caisse d'Epargne mobilises, responds to support public hospitals.

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>> See how WSBI-ESBG members help during Covid-19

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​BRUSSELS, 4 June 2020 ​ The leading private financier in the public hospital sector in France, savings banks, refered to as Caisses d'Epargne, ​mobilise to respond to new challenges linked to the health crisis brought on by Coviid-19.

To do this, they are implementing a large-scale financial support plan for the public hospital sector. This €1 billion support plan includes: ​​Cash loans available within 48 hours; A medium- and long-term financing offer; and a credit solution for very long-term investment needs over periods of up to 40 years.

The health crisis faced by France during Covid-19 highlights the essential role of public health establishments and their staff. The unprecedented mobilization of public hospitals is profoundly changing their activities and, consequently, their revenue system. Faced with such a situation, short-term financing needs have been raised to support the exceptional expenses generated brought on by the pandemic, and, subsequently, the heavier investments that will be necessary for hospital infrastructure.

Supporting public authorities and the public hospital sector for many years, essential players in the life of the regions. More than 27,000 local authorities and 750 public hospitals are therefore supported by Caisse d'Epargne experts on a daily basis. True to this commitment, they put in place a vast support plan structured around three axes:

1. Mobilise cash advances in 48 hours

The system helps public hospitals that have suffered due to the health crisis from strong short-term financial impacts. Those impacts link in particular to a drop in revenue brought on by dropping planned activity and redeployment of hospital teams as well as swelling staff costs and additional costs caused by the opening of additional intensive care beds and the acquisition of specific equipment such as ventilators, masks and disinfectant gel.

2. Medium-term credit envelope to renovate hospital infrastructure 

French savings banks offer medium to long-term financing solutions to support the transformations and modernization of the healthcare system.

3. Finanicng solution up to 40 yeares for long-term investment needs

To enable public hospitals to meet the modernization challenges that await them, the Caisses d'Epargne undertake to provide them with a dedicated financing and engineering offer over periods of up to 40 years.

In addition to these measures, the Caisses d'Epargne mobilize all of their experts to support hospitals to optimise their debt management.

Fabrice Gourgeonnet, Director of Development, Caisse d´Epargne, said: "As the leading private partner banker in the sector, it was obvious for the Caisses d'Epargne to mobilise to support the transformation of public hospitals in France. In the months and years to come, we will continue our commitment to public hospitals and the health sector as a whole throughout regions."

​Savings and retail banks: standing on the side of people, communities, regions

Savings and retail banks in Europe reported to ESBG that loan deferrals and moratoria help both private and corporate clients. Member banks have issued a flood of new loans despite the economic downturn and set up online payment solutions and digital platforms for small- and medium-sized firms. On payments, savings and retail banks upgrade debit cards to execute contactless payments. People's income streams are smoothed out thanks banks paying unemployment benefits and pensions in advance. Commissions for the use of ATMs have been eliminated. ​Specific examples from ESBG members include:

GERMANY: German savings banks in March issued €17 billion new loans to companies, self-employed and private individuals, a 22.3 per cent spike compare to March 2019. They granted by end of April some 309,000 deferrals for customers regarding interest and principal payments. To help keep local high-street shops afloat, savings banks offered customers a chance to buy gift cards to redeem at participating shops at a later date.

ITALY: Italian savings banks foundations set aside – in grants – some €50 million to sustain non-profit organisations and to strengthen the much-stained national health system to tackle the Covid-19 crisis.

LUXEMBOURG: Until mid-May, banks granted moratoria on loan repayments to more than 14,000 companies, amounting to €3.4 billion, thereof 20% on the account of ESBG local member Luxembourgish savings banks – BCEE - Banque et Caisse d'Épargne de l'État.

SPAIN: Funds totalling more than €47 billion were mobilised through mid-May via new loans and other forms of financing.​

Why savings products matter in France 

"What are my savings for? This simple question asked by many customers of French savings banks reveals the growing expectations of consumers. They increasingly want to put their savings at the service of a societal challenge. To meet this need, the Caisses d'Epargne have been distributing for more than a decade a financial savings product labeled SRI and Finansol, designed by Mirova, a subsidiary of Natixis, in partnership with France Active. Mirova Emploi France allows people to invest in companies that create jobs in France. To amplify this type of savings, MIROVA launched the "Recovery" platform with the aim of discussing and imagining the "next" world, a world more resilient to crises like the one that occurred from the Covid-19 pandemic.​


Communication - institutional & commercial; Responsible Business; Regional economy