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Advocacy for a history of thought and organizations in Social Banking in France (SSE)


  • Pascal Glémain


Direct heir of the Italian Mount of piety, the “Credit Municipal” or French pawnshop model was born in Nantes in 1813, a metropole which are located in the west part of France. At this period of time, it was public organization of credit with a social mission: to help people who are in financial difficulty (excluded from access to banking currency). In 1955, the “Credit Municipal” became establishment of Public Welfare, with legal personality and financial autonomy under the governance of the City of Nantes. Credit Institution like “cooperative banks” but with a general purpose since 1984, the “Credit Municipal” is located today in the social and solidarity economy (SSE). With this research paper, we want to demonstrate the historical place of the French pawnshops in the microcredit devises landscape. Indeed, since “social banking” is not yet used as a category in official French banking system, we lack an authoritative definition because, we seem to be without social banking model through the French banking system history. But, we try to show that it’s not the case. Indeed, French pawnshops, from Middle-Age to nowadays, have always experimented “social banking devises” in order to straight against usury practices and banking exclusion. Since the beginning of the 19th Century, the pawnshops have been an important element of the French model of social microcredit both through their traditional “pawn loans” system and through their “stability loan” devise.

Suggested Citation

  • Pascal Glémain, 2017. "Advocacy for a history of thought and organizations in Social Banking in France (SSE)," Working Papers CEB 17-032, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  • Handle: RePEc:sol:wpaper:2013/261717

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    More about this item


    France; Pawnshop; social banking; social microcredit; pawn loans; stability loan devise; beneficiary; social movements; capitalism; solidarism; social enterprise; banking exclusion;

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages

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