Axa Banque, the French banking unit of Europe’s second-largest insurer, plans to get funding through covered bonds in 2013 and continue growing its mortgage book, said Pierre Janin, the division’s chief executive officer.
“We are in an environment where we need to find the least- expensive liquidity resources,” Janin said in an interview in Paris today. Axa Banque, which funds itself through its clients’ savings, may issue covered bonds through a French legal funding entity already used by Axa’s Belgian banking unit, he said. He declined to give more details on next year’s issuance plans.
Axa Banque plans to lend 1 billion euros ($1.29 billion) to 1.5 billion euros in mortgages next year, up from about 700 million euros in 2012, Janin said. The company’s loans won’t exceed the bank’s customer deposits, which are currently at about 3.5 billion euros, the CEO said.
Covered bonds are debt securities guaranteed by a pool of loans.
To contact the reporter on this story: Fabio Benedetti-Valentini in Paris at firstname.lastname@example.org