Crédit Mutuel creates a “societal dividend”

Five hundred million euros per year is roughly what Crédit Mutuel will devote each year to investments for the benefit of energy transition and inclusion. The mutual bank, which has the status of a company with a mission, creates a “societal dividend”, a calculation that consists of dedicating 15% of its annual result to finance the change in production model. Based on the results for 2021, i.e. 3.5 billion euros, it is indeed the sum of 500 million euros that will be released if the results for 2022 are equivalent. This measure will be implemented from 2023.

Without directly calling on all French companies to do the same, the president of Crédit Mutuel, Nicolas Théry, admits to launching a movement: “We offer a dynamic that everyone can join”, he said. Referring to a calculation by the economist Jean Pisani-Ferry who estimates that it would take 100 billion euros per year to finance the energy transition in France, he indicates: “If 199 other companies of comparable size to ours do like us, this envelope is met. And it is doable. »

Positive Impact Investments

Very concretely, this societal dividend from Crédit Mutuel will go each year, and in a manner controlled by the mission committee of the bank, to three types of actions. Half will be dedicated to a “environmental and solidarity revolution fund”. About ten people will work for this fund, which will take stakes in companies that do not necessarily have an objective of immediate profitability, but a positive impact on the environment and inclusion. Nicolas Théry cites, for example, investments in the energy renovation of condominiums or the creation of bicycle garages in cities.

Then, 35% of the amount released will be dedicated to financing inclusive banking and insurance services, such as zero-rate eco-renovation loans for vulnerable populations. Finally, 15% of the societal dividend will go to strengthening the bank’s patronage, through the actions of the Crédit Mutuel Foundation. “Today, the foundation’s budget is 6 million per year and it will rise to 75 million, it’s a change of scale”, explains Daniel Baal, Managing Director of Crédit Mutuel.

Employees and members agree

The measure was unanimously approved by the bank’s members and employees. “And this consensus that we have forged internally can also be forged outside our company”, suggests Nicolas Théry.

In fact, the same day as this announcement made by Crédit Mutuel, another mutual company made a similar initiative public. The insurer Maif intends to create a “ecological dividend” which will consist of donating 10% of its profits each year to climate solidarity and biodiversity protection projects. Taking into account the results of Maif, this represents 10 million euros in 2022.

It now remains to be seen which will be the third French company to embark on the same path.


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