A profound rethinking of the French banking sector occurred in the last two decades in the 20th century.
The law dated January 3, 1977 ushered in a new focus for State action in favour of housing and proposed a simplification of housing assistance schemes.
Housing, a national priority in the early 1980s
From the 1980s, housing became a national priority.
Seeks to establish a shared legal and institutional framework for all home loan lenders and simplified the housing assistance schemes.
The banking law of January 24, 1984 triggered a move to break down barriers in lending and deregulate the banking sector.
Lending institutions were divided into five categories: banks, cooperative banks and credit unions, the Caisses d’Épargne and the Caisses de crédit municipal, financial companies, specialised financial institutions. The latter category includes companies that have received general interest assignments from the State: Crédit Foncier de France, the Comptoir des entrepreneurs, created in the mid-19th century, alongside Crédit national, the Caisse d’aide à l’équipement des collectivités locales, the Caisse centrale de coopération économique, the Crédit d’équipement des petites et moyennes entreprises (CEPME), the Société française pour l’assurance du capital-risque des PME and the sociétés de développement régional.
The Groupement des institutions financières spécialisées (GIFS) represented this category of establishments with the Association française des établissements de crédit (AFEC), which covered the entire new banking landscape. The Governor of Crédit Foncier de France, Georges Bonin, was designated Chairman of GIFS upon its creation.
New channels for residential property lending and marketing.
Profound changes in the banking landscape and competition challenges made it indispensable for banks to adapt their structure the way in which they managed their personnel.
The 1980s saw the development of internal sales applications and customer-oriented initiatives: creation of databases, decision-making tools. Communication strategies were ramped up and marketing tools used to reach customers were diversified. For instance, Crédit Foncier launched television ad campaigns.
Considerable efforts were made in terms of professional training. Investments focused on controlling the IT system and training management teams and sales teams (customer relations, sales, advisory services).