La France insoumise refuses the nomination to Alexis Corbière, Raquel Garrido and Danielle Simonnet

La France insoumise refuses the nomination to Alexis Corbière, Raquel Garrido and Danielle Simonnet
La France insoumise refuses the nomination to Alexis Corbière, Raquel Garrido and Danielle Simonnet

The banking aspect of the New Popular Front program

The increase in bank reserves “to face climate risks”, promise of the common program of the New Popular Front, requires clarification in its intentions and modalities. Especially since it would require discussions with the European Central Bank, the independent authority responsible for supervising the banking sector on the continent.

Without this dialogue necessarily being confrontational: financial authorities, at European and national level, regularly push banks and insurance companies to accelerate the consideration of climate change, emphasizing that it appears in their balance sheets of hundreds of billions of euros of assets linked to fossil fuels, among others. The banks, on the other hand, are pleading against new requirements in terms of financial reserves, highlighting the obstacle that these constraints represent for the development of their activities and the gap which is widening, according to them, to their disadvantage compared to to their rivals, particularly American ones.

THE “zero bank financing for fossil fuels” put forward by the joint program also needs to be clarified in its implementation. According to the latest report from the NGO Banking on Climate Chaos, published in May, French banks financed fossil fuels to the tune of $68.2 billion during the 2021-2023 period. But even NGOs recognize that they are making progress. BNP Paribas and Crédit Agricole, for example, announced in May the end of their participation in bond issues intended to finance new projects linked to fossil fuels. The proposal from the left parties would therefore aim to accelerate a transition movement which is already underway, even if many observers still consider it too slow.

As for the taxation of financial transactions, it is a European sea serpent: a proposal from the European Commission for taxation at 0.1% which would bring in 57 billion euros per year, according to some estimates, has been awaiting implementation since 2011, and the European Parliament has already adopted three reports on the subject, some with votes from the center and the right. In France, a “mini-tax” has existed since 2012 but only concerns share sales, or 1% of transactions, and brings in around 1.5 billion euros per year. In recent years, Emmanuel Macron’s successive governments have been regularly accused of blocking any progress on this issue at the European level.

THE “public banking center based on the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations and the Public Investment Bank” announced in the program already exists in practice, if we add La Banque Postale and CNP Assurances to these two institutions. This center is notably one of the main sources of financing for social housing in France, through the Livret A.

Marc Angrand

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