At Crédit Mutuel, the North joins the Federal Alliance

Posted on Jan 3, 2022 at 9:00 am

It is a major reinforcement for Crédit Mutuel Alliance Fédérale (CMAF). The mutualist group formalized on Monday the integration of Crédit Mutuel Nord Europe and its some 4,000 employees, bringing the number of federations that have joined the CMAF to 14, out of a total of 19. The merger has been effective since 1er January 2022.

With this integration, the principle of which was approved last year, the Strasbourg-based Alliance Fédérale continues to grow: it now has more than 29 million members and customers. In recent years, it had already welcomed two new members: the Massif Central and Antilles Guyane.

Five federations, which operate under the Crédit Mutuel brand, remain outside the Alliance. Among them are those of Maine Anjou – Lower Normandy and Ocean, which nevertheless share the same information system as the Federal Alliance (Euro Information).

The dissident Arkéa

The Arkéa group, which brings together the federations of Brittany and the South-West, is the largest still independent entity within Crédit Mutuel. It has its own IT infrastructure. It is not expected that its 4.9 million customers will join the Alliance, while Arkea has been seeking for several years to leave the fold of Crédit Mutuel.

The arrival of the northern federation, which recalls the merger underway at Societe Generale with Crédit du Nord, represents an important movement for the mutualist group. With nearly 300 points of sale in France, Crédit Mutuel Nord Europe (CMNE) is present in seven departments (Oise, Marne, Aisne, Nord, Pas-de-Calais, Somme, Ardennes) and serves nearly a million customers .

It has also developed in Belgium, via the Beobank brand, which has 218 branches and 745,000 customers. It also has an asset management company called La Française. In 2020, CMNE generated net banking income of 765 million euros, for net accounting income of 163 million euros.

Strengthen synergies

Many synergies already existed between Lille and Strasbourg. In addition to the IT system they share, the two partners decided in 2017 to merge their insurance activities, a strong sign in a group that claims to be a pioneer in bancassurance.

“New development prospects are now opening up to strengthen our expertise in bancassurance and asset management,” said the directors of Crédit Mutuel Nord Europe. The Federal Alliance will, for its part, be able to benefit from the growth dynamic in Belgium and Luxembourg. From an operational point of view, the leverage effect will be significant with greater pooling of purchases and investments.

Finally, this merger will represent, from a political point of view, a weighty argument for the leaders of CMAF in their rampant conflict with Arkéa.

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