Crédit Agricole expands its activities in Spain

Like BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole is continuing to make inroads into the custody and administration of financial assets. According to Les Echos, the two groups are in competition to take over the securities services business of Spanish bank BBVA.


Crédit Agricole focuses on consumer credit

Crédit Agricole Consumer Finance (CACF), the Crédit Agricole subsidiary, has announced that it has taken a 100% stake in SoYou (now Sofinco), its subsidiary co-constructed with Bankia in Spain. Since the merger between Caixa and Bankia, the group's entity has accelerated its development, expanding its product range to include a complete range for both short and long-distance circuits with its distributor partners. Aware that Spain is the 4th largest consumer credit market in continental Europe, the bank sees an opportunity to offer consumer credit solutions to its major pan-European partners in Spain. Indeed, the market represents 92 billion euros in outstandings and is strategic for CACF.

Crédit Agricole's strategy is also to use the Sofinco brand, which emphasizes the notion of financing for the public. This brand is aimed primarily at major retailers who are already familiar with the brand in France. Even if the size of the Spanish entity is still limited, with 300 million euros in outstandings, Pierre Adam, head of Sofinco in Spain, hopes it will join the Top 7 in the sector by 2027.

Crédit Agricole and BNP Paribas in the running to acquire BBVA's activities

BNP Paribas and Crédit Agricole's specialist entities, BNP Paribas Securities Services or "BP2S" and Caceis, are candidates to take over BBVA's securities custody subsidiary. However, other big names in finance are also in the running to take over its 80 billion euros in assets. These include State Street, BNY Mellon, Royal Bank of Canada and Cecabank.

French banks have several cards to play. BNP Paribas already has a foothold in Spain with its recent acquisition of Banco Sabadell's securities custody business. This acquisition makes it the leading custodian bank for independent asset management companies. Slightly behind with 4,200 billion euros in assets under custody and 2,190 billion under administration, Crédit Agricole also has strong ambitions. As a reminder, in 2019, the bank entered into a strategic partnership with Santander, enabling it to cover not only Spain, but also Latin America, important areas for BBVA's custody business.

In any case, BBVA wishes to take its time in choosing its future partner, to ensure that it is in a position to take over its asset management business. In the meantime, CACF is pursuing its development in the Spanish market, focusing primarily on its consumer credit offering.