The activity of specialized credit institutions recovered in 2021

The activity of specialized credit institutions recovered in 2021

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The activity of specialized financial institutions that are members of the French Association of Financial Companies returned to pre-Covid levels in 2021. This is the main conclusion of the ASF’s 2021 annual report published in July 2022.

2021 marks a return to a pre-Covid level for most of the businesses of specialized credit institutions that are members of the ASF. Support for economic activity, funding for the digital revolution and ecological transition are also the three major current priorities of specialized establishments.

Back to normal ”

Consumer credit grows by 12.5% ​​in 2021 to reach a total production of 46 billion euros, equivalent to that of 2019. This return to normal is largely due to the good trend in used car financing (+10%) and to the financing allocated to household capital goods (+13.2%), with “other allocated financing” (motorcycles, pleasure boats) recording the largest increase (+31% compared to 2019). On the other hand, personal loans are still struggling to return to their 2019 level (-6%), while revolving credit recovers slightly at the end of 2021 but remains down from 2019 (-4%).

Equipment financing for businesses and professionals is up +10.7% compared to 2020 and +1.2% compared to 2019 with total production of 36.3 billion euros. This production is however very concentrated on rental financing (equipment leasing and rental operations with and without option to buy) with nearly 90% of the total of this financing for businesses and professionals. After the sharp decline in 2020, equipment leasing is up +11% (15.9 billion euros) but remains below its 2019 level (-1.2%). On the other hand, related rental transactions with option to purchase passenger vehicles exceeded their pre-crisis level in 2021 (+ 6.1% compared to 2019).

Commercial real estate financing recorded a sharp increase of +16.6% (8.2 billion euros) but remains behind compared to 2019 (-8.1%). The good trend of this activity is driven by real estate leasing, up by +34.8% (4.9 billion euros), ie a higher level than before the crisis. On the other hand, the office premises sector remains struggling (- 17.7% compared to 2019, after the heavy fall in 2020 (- 43.1%).

Three priorities on the agenda of financing professionals

Supporting the economy, consumption and growth is the priority of ASF members. In a context of economic recovery, during 2021, specialized establishments supported consumption through consumer credit (+12.5%), and through the 11.7% increase in new financing for business equipment and individual. Two new products intended to facilitate cash flow for businesses and households were offered: financing of factoring orders and sale-leaseback.

Financing the energy transition is the second priority for specialized establishments. For the first time, the follow-up is traceable, since since 2021, the ASF’s “green financing” statistics for the years 2019 and 2020 have been published. In terms of energy renovation of private housing, after the drop in new loans in 2020 due to confinement, production picked up sharply in the first quarter of 2021 with + 33.5%, financing 63,000 operations. In terms of financing offers for the purchase of less polluting vehicles for individuals, establishments financed 67,500 electric vehicles (either by allocated credit or by LOA). New financing reached €1.5 billion in 2021, i.e. +197.4% compared to 2019.

Finally, the fight against fraud is one of the main concerns of ASF members who are facing a massive upsurge in fraud.. The ASF requests, within the framework of the application of the “ePrivacy” Regulation of 2017, a simplification of the rules applicable to cookies and other tracers by benefiting from exemptions from the collection of consent in a certain number of circumstances, through the use of technology such as “Fingerprinting”, in particular anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist financing (LCB-FT) systems.

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