16 July 2019
©Philippe Lissac/GODONG

In partnership with CA Indosuez Wealth (Asset Management) and CACEIS Bank, Luxembourg Branch, the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation launched in September 2018 the FIR (Finance Inclusive en Milieu Rural – Inclusive Finance in Rural Areas) a sub-fund of the Grameen Crédit Agricole Fund, the first microfinance fund of Credit Agricole Group.

2018, launch of the FIR and first fundraising

For over 10 years, the Grameen Crédit Agricole Foundation has been promoting financial inclusion and entrepreneurship by supporting microfinance institutions and social impact companies. In order to strengthen its action and leverage its impact, the Foundation, in partnership with CA Indosuez Wealth (Asset Management) and CACEIS Bank, Luxembourg Branch, launched the Rural Inclusive Finance (FIR) Sub-Fund which will allow Group entities to finance microfinance institutions in rural Africa, Asia and Europe.

The first two FIR fundraisong events closed in 2018 saw the participation of fifteen Regional Banks (Alsace-Vosges, Centre-est, Centre-France, Champagne-Bourgogne, Charente-Périgord, Franche-Comté, Ille-et-Vilaine, Languedoc, Loire-Haute Loire, Martinique-Guyane, Normandie-Seine, Provence Côte-d’Azur, Réunion, Savoie et Sud Rhône Alpes), as well as those of Amundi and Crédit Agricole Assurance for an amount of nearly 8 million euros.

2019, third fundraising and new perspectives

With the last fundraising event closed on June 28, 2019, five new Regional Banks (Alpes Provence, Brie Picardie, Finistère, Centre-Ouest and Touraine Poitou) subscribed to the FIR for 1.6 million euros.

With these resources, the FIR will develop its investments in the form of loans to microfinance institutions operating in sub-Saharan Africa and South and South-East Asia. As part of its mandate as an advisor to the Fund, the Foundation identifies microfinance institutions, conducts due diligence on the field and, once this is done and validated by the CA Indosuez Wealth Investment (Asset Management) Committee, is also responsible for the monitoring process.

The loans are intended to refinance loans made to people traditionally excluded from the banking sector, living in rural areas, which constitute the main clientele of targeted microfinance institutions.