Protecting popular savings

At the heart of the missions entrusted, via the law, to Caisse des Dépôts, the savings fund is the instrument which allows popular savings to be completely safely turned into very long-term loans at special rates, encouraging priorities in the public interest, defined by the French state.

The savings fund ensures the safety of popular savings

Caisse des Dépôts centralises and manages a large part of French regulated savings: livret A, livret de développement durable and livret d’épargne populaire.

Visuel Livret A
Distributed by all the banking networks, these savings products benefit from tax exemption and a guaranteed return. The main mission of Caisse des Dépôts is to ensure their safety, solvency and remuneration. At any time, withdrawal requests from holders of livrets savings accounts must be able to be honoured.

Caisse des Dépôts also ensures the remuneration of savers, as well as commission due to banking networks, which ensure the supply of these products.

The savings fund, a long-term lender serving the public interest

Illustration de l'épargne populaire pour les enfants
The funds centralised in Caisse des Dépôts make up the resource which allows it to finance, in the form of very long-term loans (from 20 to 40 or even 50 years), for public priorities, defined by the French state.

Firstly, the livrets A and LDD savings accounts allow for the financing of social housing: the loans on savings funds therefore represent 70% of the financing of social housing. Caisse des Dépôts offers long-term financing, under attractive financial conditions, identical over the entire territory and irrespective of the size of the body. It also finances urban planning and accommodation structures for vulnerable people (the elderly, disabled, those re-entering the work place, young workers, recipients of child protection services, etc.).

A long-term lender, the savings fund also supports the development of territories by providing funding to structuring projects of major sustainable infrastructure (high speed lines, trams, modernisation of hospital property portfolio, renovation of university buildings and even standardising waste water treatment plants).

In accordance with the wishes of the French president, expressed at the Congress of Mayors in November 2012, Caisse des Dépôts will continue its action in these sectors thanks to a further €20bn in loans from the savings fund favouring local authorities and public health institutions for the 2013-2017 period. A smaller investment of €5bn in “green growth” loans was made on September 2014, financing projects encouraging the ecological and energy transition.

In addition, exceptional loan funding was created to deal with the lack of credit in local authorities and public health institutions in 2008, 2011 and 2012, allowing for the mobilisation of €15bn.

Lastly, the savings centralised in Caisse des Dépôts also enable company financing to be supported (microcredit and SMEs).

In terms of its loans, the savings fund manages a significant portfolio of financial assets, which allow it to ensure the security and solvency of the savings entrusted, all the while financing the economy.

Caisse des Dépôts must therefore constantly strike a balance between two priorities:

  • the safety and remuneration of savings;
  • funding, in the most cost-effective manner, of programmes in the public interest.

Fund centralisation rules

The French law of economic modernisation specifies that the level of centralisation of the funds in Caisse des Dépôts is set above a minimum, corresponding to the funding needs of social housing and urban planning. Therefore, the centralised resources can never be less than 125% of the loan resource to social housing and urban planning. This measure therefore gives Caisse des Dépôts the certainty of always being able to ensure its central funding mission.



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