The delicate rebirth of Crédit Commercial de France

The former Crédit Commercial de France (CCF) may have a certain aura of prestige, but its imminent rebirth remains a risky gamble. The CCF's resurrection is the brainchild of My Money Group, which has bought HSBC France's retail banking business and is ready to take up the challenge.

A prestigious bank acquired by HSBC France in 2000

Born on January 15, 1917 from the merger of Banque Suisse et Française, Maison Aynard et Fils and Caisse de Crédit de Nice, Crédit Commercial de France has long enjoyed a prestigious image, even if it was not the most important French bank in terms of size or market share.

Its offices were located on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées, in a building constructed at the end of the 19th century and originally housing the Élysée Palace, a luxury hotel. It was also in this mythical building that the spy Mata Hari was arrested in 1917. In 1922, the CCF set up its headquarters here, before HSBC France took over from the famous French bank. Today, the building belongs to the LVMH group, which has set up its Dior house here.

In 2000, HSBC bought the CCF brand for 11 billion euros. At the time, CCF was France's 6th largest bank, and the British group saw it as an opportunity to accelerate its development in the euro zone. However, HSBC never really succeeded in establishing itself in the highly competitive French retail banking market.

One restructuring plan followed another, and HSBC France posted a loss of 1.16 billion euros in 2020. The Group is now looking to refocus its strategy on Asia, and plans to cut 35,000 jobs worldwide.

My Money Group, new owner of Crédit Commercial de France

It was against this backdrop that My Money Group, a credit consolidation specialist and subsidiary of US fund Cerberus, decided in June to buy HSBC France's retail banking business, with the ambition of reviving the CCF brand. The change of ownership will take effect in just over a year's time, in the first half of 2023.


" We've done a lot of market research in France, and it's incredible to see how this brand, which has been neglected for so many years, is still so present in people's minds," Eric Shehadeh, CEO of My Money Group, told La Tribune newspaper in June.

Although the Crédit Commercial de France brand disappeared in 2005, 5 years after its takeover by HSBC France, it has retained its prestige and its image of rigor and professionalism.

According to Eric Shehadeh, "in the 45+ age bracket, CCF is spontaneously cited as one of the seven best-known brands in France ".

For My Money Group, reviving the CCF is an opportunity to no longer appear as an international brand, but to be associated with the image of a French brand established on the French market.

However, the task ahead is a perilous one, as the rebirth of Crédit Commercial de France cannot be based solely on its brand image. CCF must be modernized without losing its identity, at the risk of disappointing customers. My Money Group plans to invest 200 million euros over the next 2 years in a new IT system, in partnership with Arkéa.

The new owners also want the CCF to regain its local dimension and human scale, to reconnect with what was its strength: customer knowledge.