“From one year to the next, the message may seem repetitive”, almost apologizes, with a smile, Jon Sallé, head of the Social Impact Finance Observatory at FAIR. It is however a fact, which delights this expert: for its 20th edition, the annual barometer of solidarity finance published by the association FAIR and The cross reveals, once again, “unprecedented growth in solidarity finance compared to the previous year”.
Solidarity savings outstandings reached a new record, at €24.5 billion at the end of 2021, i.e. annual growth of 27% (+€5.1 billion). “This is the largest increase in collection in absolute value, 18% higher than the previous record”, says the barometer. This includes almost all solidarity savings in France, savings invested directly in companies with a social purpose or in financial products used to finance projects with strong social and environmental utility.
To explain such a success, Jon Sallé first evokes “the growing diversification of the ranges of solidarity products offered, for all subscriber profiles”. Furthermore, “French people are increasingly attracted to the idea of channeling their savings towards projects that have a particularly strong social impact”.
Solidarity savings are collected through three separate channels. In 2021, it was the bank savings sector which was particularly dynamic, with “the strongest absolute and relative growth” of +€2.4 billion (+38%), representing total outstandings of €9.1 billion. This growth is due in particular to the booklets of La Nef and Crédit coopératif (nearly 300 million euros collected between them), but also, this year, to the General Interest Service of Société Générale.
The barometer highlights this year the “dynamism of financial institutions in the promotion of solidarity products”, with 1,262,000 new subscriptions, compared to 837,000 in 2020 (+51%). Savers were also won over by the good performance of solidarity products. “The Autorité des marchés financiers published a study in 2021 according to which the profitability of solidarity ranges is not lower than that of traditional products, with a lower level of costs for the former, but above all with transparency and the impact more positive »reports Jon Sallé.
As for solidarity mutual funds, “2021 has been an exceptional year”, driven by a global market on the rise, continues the barometer. In terms of new products, life insurance proved to be the most dynamic. “The Pacte law has made it mandatory to present a solidarity unit of account in unit-linked contracts, which has mechanically increased the offer available to savers”decrypts Jon Sallé.
The second channel of solidarity finance, employee savings also posted good momentum (at 14.1 billion euros in outstandings, or +21%). The regulations have gone through this again, notes the barometer: “According to the Association Française de Gestion, the number of companies equipped with an employee savings or retirement savings scheme continues to grow (360,000 companies, +6%), thanks in part to measures taken by the Pacte law (…), as well as the mobilization of financial players and public authorities”, thus contributing “to the distribution of solidarity products to more French people”.
Finally, on the side of the third channel – the direct collection of capital by companies and solidarity funders –, “The momentum is still strong” : + 15% in 2021, i.e. outstandings of 0.9 billion euros.
Social, environment and territories
What is the money collected used for? In 2021, 52% of solidarity flows (3.64 billion euros) were used for a social objective (housing, integration through activity, etc.), 17% (1.2 billion euros) for environment (organic sector, renewable energies, etc.) and 13% (1.1 billion euros) for projects linked to territorial cohesion and the local economy.
When he analyzes the twenty years that have passed since the first barometer, Jon Sallé identifies two structuring elements for solidarity finance. “First, there are the effects of legislation, from the law on the modernization of the economy (2008), which imposed the presentation of funds investing in solidarity enterprises in all employee savings plans, to the law Pact of 2019 which abolished the social package for VSEs and SMEs, and which created a new retirement savings plan. »
“These reinforced obligations in terms of presentation of solidarity savings products have led organizations, particularly financial ones, to set up teams of experts to respond to them, which has led to a real transformation”he says.
There is in fact today in France “a whole responsible economy ecosystem. We have proven that the notion of positive impact (of investments, investments, etc.) is compatible with an innovative but solid economic model”, insists Jon Sallé. A vision initially confined to associations and cooperatives, “which aroused ridicule in the past, and which today many companies seize upon with the notions of mission, purpose…”he rejoices.
Second structuring element, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), proposed in 2015 by the UN for 2030 (eradicate poverty, hunger, reduce inequalities, etc.). “Each SDG has been translated into concrete and measurable “macro” indicators. This requires, in order to measure their evolution, to produce the data that is necessary and serves to guide private and public investments to achieve them. »
Against the background of the social, environmental and international crisis, “virtuous actors are changing scalepress Jon Sallé. And we are helping to ensure that extra-financial performance becomes at least as important as the financial aspect. This is, for FAIR, the horizon of tomorrow”.
The FAIR Barometer The cross is one of the important annual Solidarity Finance meetings. It makes it possible to take stock of savings inflows recorded the previous year and to analyze the major developments. Posted in The cross, it is also the subject of an off-print notebook, distributed to raise awareness among potential audiences. It is also relayed on the Internet and on social networks.
From November 7 to 14, the FAIR association will organize the 15th Solidarity Finance Week. This awareness-raising operation is an opportunity to show everyone that their savings are a means of action, serving a fairer and more sustainable economy. This year, the theme will be: “Proud of what our money does for society”.
FAIR gives you an appointment on November 8, in Lille, for the award ceremony for the solidarity finance awards, organized with The world. Chosen by a jury and the public, the prizes introduce four projects with a strong social and environmental impact that were born or developed thanks to the support of solidarity finance. The nominated projects will be revealed at the end of September, and the winners at the beginning of November.
FAIR offers many resources on its website and social networks, to find out more about solidarity finance, the Finansol label, find out about the social impact projects financed, and above all, take action.
Some key figures
– 60 structures (microfinance, agricultural cooperatives, social enterprises, etc.) have been supported by solidarity finance in developing countries. They provide essential services to 4.6 million poor people, including 3.2 million in Africa.
– €1.1 billion of the 2021 collection were devoted to territorial cohesion actions and the local economy.
– 1,619 new people were rehoused during the year thanks to solidarity finance.