Agricole Owners Pledge 5 Billion Euros for Environment

Credit Agricole SA’s French regional banks, which own the company, pledged 5 billion euros ($6.5 billion) of loans through 2015 for renewable-energy and environment-protection projects.

The lending shows Credit Agricole and its shareholders are “capable of providing innovative answers to big social expectations,” Paris-based Federation Nationale du Credit Agricole, which represents the 39 regional banks, said in an e-mailed statement today.

Executives from the federation will meet tomorrow in Brussels for an event held every two years to discuss the future of cooperative lending. The regional banks own 56 percent of Credit Agricole and control 2,500 small, local lenders closely held by their 7 million customers.

Credit Agricole fits “in the scope of what Liikanen calls a universal bank,” Philippe Brassac, secretary general of the federation, said on a call with journalists, referring to European Central Bank Governing Council Member Erkki Liikanen’s proposals on banking reform.

Credit Agricole has no plans to withdraw its listed entity from the stock market, Dominique Lefebvre, chairman of the federation, said on the same call.

Credit Agricole, France’s third-largest bank by market value, last week agreed to sell Athens-based Emporiki Bank to Alpha Bank SA on terms it said will cut third-quarter net income by about 2 billion euros. The lender is ending a six-year investment in Greece as concerns linger about the country’s future in the euro area.

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