A bank with a social conscience

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Christian TYTGAT

Director, Caisse solidaire du Nord-Pas-de-Calais

Seminar Social life | Thursday May 16, 2002

The Caisse Solidaire was created in 1997 against the backdrop of the serious economic crisis experienced in the Nord-Pas-de-Calais region of France. It is a co-operative credit establishment governed by banking law. The way in which it works has a number of unusual features. For example, savers accept interest rates between 0 % and 2 % ; most of the borrowers have been refused credit, even if they are very small companies in the process of development or associations. Other companies, in a spirit of solidarity, have been approved by the Caisse's ethical committee and accept credit rates which are higher than the market rate. Today, the Caisse Solidaire is at a crossroads : will it be able to break even without reneging on its original objectives? Should it not expand its ambitions even further in order to constitute one of the linchpins of the caring economy ?

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This session was published in issue n°40 of the Journal de l'École de Paris du management, entitled Le réveil des profanes .

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