The time is no longer for invectives but for sweet words. During the presentation on Thursday of the 2020 results of the National Confederation of Crédit Mutuel (CNCM), its president Nicolas Théry chose to calm things down against Crédit mutuel Arkéa. In January, a draft “general decision”, presented to the Confederation’s board of directors, which brings together five regional groups, had set fire to the powder.
The text planned to prohibit Crédit mutuel Arkéa, which brings together the federations of Brittany and the West of the mutual banking group, from using the name “Arkéa” in its communication. He had come to revive a conflict that has been going on since 2014, around Arkéa’s “independence project” vis-à-vis the Confederation, which the coronavirus health crisis had put to sleep.
“A debate that has been well conducted”
“There were criticisms that were expressed at the beginning, recognized Nicolas Théry. But almost all of the proposals made by employee representatives on the group committee and Crédit mutuel Arkéa managers were included in the final decision. For me, it is a debate that has been well conducted to find the point of balance. It is now closed ”.
“Relations are now pacified with the Crédit Mutuel Arkéa teams,” said Chief Executive Officer Pierre-Édouard Batard. We work with them on a daily basis on all technical subjects. We quickly reach consensus. What unites us is stronger than what sometimes separates us ”.
Especially since, like all banking institutions, the Confederation has seen its results impacted by the coronavirus epidemic. In 2020, its net banking income showed a “slight decline” of 2.9% over one year, to 17.5 billion euros. It was mainly affected by the 8.4% drop in insurance activity to 3.28 billion euros. The disaffection of the French with regard to life insurance investments in the economic crisis to favor current accounts or savings accounts also weighed.
With the crisis, the mutualist group saw its cost of risk multiply by 2.2 to reach 2.6 billion euros. Crédit Mutuel’s net profit logically fell by 18.7% in 2020, while remaining above 3 billion euros. “Six months ago, we didn’t expect to be resisting so well,” said Nicolas Théry. This result was obtained thanks to the mobilization of all our employees and to an acceleration of activity in the second half of the year ”. Despite the crisis, support for the economy increased with an 8.3% increase over the year in loans distributed (530 billion euros) and 4% excluding loans guaranteed by the State.
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