Crédit Agricole Leasing has
big plans for growth in renewables and vendor


In order to strengthen its position at
home and abroad, Crédit Agricole Group (CA Group) recently put all
of its leasing and factoring activities under one roof. Although
effectively still separate businesses, they now share the same
functions (HR, IT, accounting, communication, finance and so

Philippe Zamaron, deputy CEO and head of the
international division at Crédit Agricole Leasing & Factoring
(CAL&F), told Leasing Life: “With this operation we
will share the same culture and quality of service, work with the
same distribution networks and clients’ profiles, and enhance the
potential of cross-selling operations – which will increase the
value of the two business lines.”

The company has big ambitions for growth in the
renewable energy sector. Last year it signed deals in this sector
worth a total of €400m, and it now funds 40% of solar power plants
and one in four wind farms in France. It has grown so much, in
fact, it now claims to be the top player in the sector – a claim
substantiated by the €400m deal to fund photovoltaic plants in the
administrative region of Poitou-Charentes it recently signed.

Its renewable energy business is also booming
in Spain and Italy – in both solar and wind.

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Vendor business is continuing to develop well –
with the likes of Canon in France and John Deere internationally –
and innovative business, such as cross-border leasing (with 31
contracts signed in 2009 for a volume of €65m) and “reverse

The company is having a successful 2010, with
outstandings at the end of March totalling €21.3bn (compared with
€20bn at the end of 2009) and an increase in all business lines
(23% up in leasing and factoring in France, a new business volume
increase of 35% abroad, and 60% up factoring turnover assigned

This is on the back of a “good activity last
year despite the difficult environment”, Zamaron said, with a 2009
leasing volume of €6.2bn and a net profit of €81m.

In France, the company has a market share of
20.6% in leasing (with €4.8bn of new business last year, 6% up
compared to 2008, while the market was declining 18% overall) and
of 22.8% in factoring, which Zamaron said makes it the country’s
largest player in both business lines.

CAL&F’s biggest potential, however, seems
to be in the diversification of its international business. Its EFL
subsidiary is the largest lessor in Poland and still has a large
growth potential and its factoring business has a dominant position
in Germany.

In Italy, it increased its leasing position
from 22nd to 10th in new business last year, and it has a quite
successful business in Spain, too.

In Greece, the presence of CA’s Emporiki Bank
has allowed the development of Emporiki Leasing which is proving a
resilient business despite the country’s economic crisis.

It is also the largest lessor in the
largely-undeveloped leasing market of Armenia, through ACBA Leasing
(owned by mutual bank ACBA Bank, part of the CA Group). In Morocco,
it has a presence through Crédit du Maroc Leasing – a leasing joint
venture between the lessor and the retail bank Crédit du Maroc,
itself a CA subsidiary.

CAL&F’s strategy, according to Zamaron, is
the same everywhere: “To support the development of the bank and to
transfer our expertise – following it wherever it has a

The target is to maintain its leadership
position in its principal two business lines in France, and
consolidate its position abroad.