The illustrious history of a cooperative and regional bank
Arkéa is a fine entrepreneurial story that began more than a century ago in Brittany, then in the South-Western and continues today throughout France and Europe.
In Brittany, the group has its roots in the Central Office of Mutual Agricultural Works of Finistère. Created in 1911 on the initiative of several landowners who wanted to speed up the modernisation of the Breton countryside, the Central Office succeeded in federating all the mutualist, cooperative and social works of the department before meeting the multiple needs of farmers in the fields of credit, insurance and vocational training. The Central Office presided over the creation of several leading mutual groups, including Triskalia, Groupama and Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne. Created in 1979, the Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne (CMB) federation covers the whole of Brittany. From the 1980s onwards, Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne expanded its range of services to meet new customer expectations. Under the governance of Louis Lichou and Yves Le Baquer, subsidiaries were launched: Suravenir (life insurance and provident insurance), Suravenir Assurances and Novélia (casualty insurance), Federal Finance (asset management), Arkéa Banque Entreprises et Institutional (formerly known as Commercial Banking for the Corporate Market - corporate finance), Financo (consumer credit)....
From the Ruelle foundry to the creation of the Arkéa group
Officially set up in 1975, the Crédit Mutuel du Sud-Ouest federation, the Crédit Mutuel du Sud-Ouest, originated in a bank cooperative created in 1963 on the initiative of employees of the foundry workshops in Ruelle, Charente, who came up with the idea of grouping together to save and finance loans at a lower cost. The first branch of the local Crédit Mutuel will open just a stone's throw from the foundry. Other settlements will soon follow in Charente, then in Dordogne and Gironde. Today, Crédit Mutuel du Sud-Ouest has 84 branches and serves some 450,000 members and customers. The history of Crédit Mutuel du Sud-Ouest blends in with that of Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne from the 1970s onwards. The rapprochement between the two federations will be carried out as opportunities arise until a CMB-CMSO merger in 1995.
In 2002, thefederations of Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne (CMB), Crédit Mutuel du Sud-Ouest (CMSO) and and the twenty or so specialised subsidiaries formed a group that took the name Crédit Mutuel Arkéa. As a manufacturer and distributor, Crédit Mutuel Arkéa covers all areas of banking, insurance and finance.
New development horizons
In 2008, with Jean-Pierre Denis as Chairman of Arkéa and Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne and Ronan Le Moal as Chief Executive Officer, Arkéa introduced a business plan – Horizons 2015 – which set the course of the company's medium-term development. Horizons 2015 placed the Group on a future course of commitment, openness and daring.
Commitment that serves customers, local and regional development and the real economy;
Openness to new businesses and markets, particularly in BtoB activities through partnerships that make sense for the Group;
Daring, by putting innovation at the heart of all its businesses to develop services that enhance its customers' day-to-day lives.
The Group is accelerating its development and rounding out its array of services.
The equity investments in Leetchi (digital money pot and online payments) and Primonial (wealth management) complement and round out the Group’s other products and services.
Arkea 2020 a new business plan
In October 2015, the Group’s Board of Directors adopted a new business plan: Arkéa 2020. Like its predecessor Horizons 2015, this new strategic business plan is designed to strengthen the Group’s original purpose, namely to support and finance the real economy while taking full advantage of the Group’s openness and agility given the changes in its environment.
The group continues to strengthen its presence in the heart of the fintech ecosystem. It has thus acquired equity stakes in several fintechs.
In May 2020, the General Meeting of Crédit Mutuel Arkéa adopted the group's Raison d'être, the result of collective deliberations by directors, employees and representatives of stakeholders: members, customers, suppliers and institutional partners.
In January 2021, the Group's Board of Directors approved the new Transitions 2024 strategic plan. This plan sets out to make Crédit Mutuel Arkéa the agile financial partner for future transitions.