La Fédération Bancaire Française (FBF or French Banking Federation) represents the 340 French and foreign banks operating in France. The data appearing this section were collected by the FBF from the following major French banks (in alphabetical order): BNP Paribas, BPCE-Natixis, Crédit Agricole, Crédit Mutuel, HSBC-France(*), La Banque Postale and Société Générale and cover the total consolidated scope of these banks (i.e. not only their activity in France).
It should be noted in view of the diversified model exhibited by the major French banks, only data relating to their banking activity is reported here, exclusive of their asset management business (collected via the AFG), their insurance activity (collected via the FFA) and their consumer credit activity (collected via the ASF) for the French subsidiaries of these institutions.
(*) HSBC-France is a French bank whose scope of consolidation includes a number of countries in continental Europe, notably Belgium, Spain, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, the Czech Republic and Sweden.
The concept of responsible management is used primarily in asset management.
However, the major French banks have been pioneers in incorporating environmental and social criteria into their banking activities and continue to be at the vanguard on these topics, as evidenced by their solid ratings from leading extra-financial rating agencies, shown in the following table:
French banks are amongst the sector's best-rated institutions:
- 4 French banks are among the top 6 in their category (Vigeo Eiris)
- 4 are "Leaders" or "Outperformers" in their sector per Sustainalytics
In addition, French banks are leading the charge when it comes to taking climate risk into account.
- They are working with regulatory and public authorities on the subject. They have adopted a comprehensive and proactive approach alongside the ACPR, the EBA and the ECB, in the form of commissions, working groups, climate pilot exercises and responses to consultations.
- French banks contribute to the CDP, a benchmark initiative that promotes and manages the reporting of the main environmental risks, and all of them support the Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) and are committed to implementing its recommendations. In 2020, two banks have updated or published dedicated reports compiling the information to be disclosed in compliance with TCFD recommendations.
- Like the FBF, they are signatories of the Principles for Responsible Banking, sponsored by the United Nations Environment Programme's Financial Initiative, in which they commit to aligning their strategies to comply with the Paris Agreement.
- They are actively working to identify the best levers for achieving this. The methodology section of the Observatory's website bears witness to the strong momentum of French banks, with concrete examples of implementation and will be enriched over time.
The major French banks have implemented coal phase-out policies that are currently the most advanced in the world. Having been,as early as 2011, among the first to take a position, by 2020 they will no longer finance new coal-fired power plants or thermal coal mining projects. They support their power-producing customers in completing energy transition and are among the only financial institutions to actually ask them for coal phase-out plans with deadlines. They have put in place demanding policies regarding the evolution of customers' "energy mix," refusing to enter into relationships with any whose share of coal-fired electricity exceeds a set threshold and/or who seek to develop new coal capacity.
Transition to a low-carbon economy
Developing the key sectors for environmental transition and providing transitional investments is the priority of French banks. At end 2019, the financing commitments of French banks in the renewables sector alone stood at more than €41 billion, an increase of 57% in the space of 3 years, and a growth rate higher than that of the sector over the same period (26%).
Supplying responsible products
French banks continue to enhance their range of responsible products to meet the growing needs of their customers.