Interview of Jean-Jacques Santini

BNP Paribas: BNP Paribas has just signed a cooperation agreement with the French Development Agency. This partnership will promote microfinance and sustainable development projects. To talk about this agreement, we are today with Jean-Jacques Santini, Head of Retail Banking in Emerging Markets. Jean-Jacques Santini, hello.

BNP Paribas : For a long time, BNP Paribas is strongly committed to microfinance and sustainable development. What form will this new cooperation take in the countries you are in charge of?

Jean-Jacques Santini: We are already active in these markets, in both fields. This is done mostly in four countries: Morocco, Egypt, Guinea, and Madagascar. We are covering around 1 million clients and 65% of them are women. So, it’s to show that we are already a significant actor in this field. We, of course with the help of AFD, hope that we’ll increase a lot these amounts and we’ll cover largest populations in Africa first, but also in the Middle East, in Turkey, and probably in other countries such as India or maybe Brazil. I know there are already discussions between AFD and BNP Paribas in Brazil and so probably this will lead to an agreement in both fields: microfinance and sustainable development.

BNP Paribas: Could you tell us about the agreement just signed with the French Development Agency?

Jean-Jacques Santini:Well, first, I’d like to remind you that both institutions have worked closely together during the last few years, and there are links between them. As a matter of fact, the Agence Française for Development is partner in some of our banks in Africa. They own a stake in BICIGUI, which is BNP Paribas in Guinea, and also in Mauritania, they have 20% stake in our bank there. And, on the other hand, BNP Paribas is a shareholder of PROPARCO with the private vehicle of the Agence Française for development. We have worked together in various countries, and especially in the field of microfinancing, because with AFD, we’ve done together this refinancing in, for instance, Guinea and they covered us partly for the risk in such refinancing. Also, they give us refinancing or loans directly with preferred rates for sustainable development, I mean loans for social purposes, or environment purposes. This is especially the case in Turkey. We have recently signed an agreement with them for such a loan in Turkey.

BNP Paribas: What are the regions covered by this agreement and what are the current projects?

Jean-Jacques Santini: Our project is really to promote both the refinancing of microfinance institutions and loans for social and environmental purposes. So, we intend to have really an extension in all the areas mentioned in Africa, Middle East and very big emerging countries such as Brazil or India.

BNP Paribas: Jean-Jacques Santini, thank you.

Jean-Jacques Santini : Thank you.

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