what is solidarity savings?

Contribute to social or environmental utility projects thanks to its savings, such is the mission of the solidarity finance. Applying to the financial sector the principles of the social and solidarity economy (ESS)it aims to direct some of its money to sectors such as the environment, housing and international solidarity. According to the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), investing your money in solidarity finance (or solidarity savings) “means wanting to give meaning to your investments, by supporting projects that meet the challenges of our society in societal matters. and environmental, while seeking to make your savings profitable”.

Recent figures show that the latter has the wind in its sails: according to the 19th edition of the barometer of solidarity finance published by La Croix and FAIR in September 2021, the total outstanding amount of solidarity savings reached 20.3 billion euros. euros as of December 31, 2020, i.e. +33% in one year. Still according to the AMF, solidarity savings products can take two forms: sharing investments and solidarity investment investments.

Sharing savings and solidarity investment

In the first case, the investor undertakes to pay back, in the form of donations, at least 25% of the remuneration of his investment to an association working on the social, humanitarian or environmental aspects. Shared investments can then take the form of savings books and mutual funds (FCP), but also life insurance. For the latter, the saver then donates part of his subscription fees or a fragment of the profits made by the contract in the form of an annual payment.

According to La finance pour tous, the bank card can also be a sharing product. “The principle is either to round the amount paid by the customer with his bank card to the next higher euro, or to pay back a percentage of the amount of the purchase made, or to pay back part of the card fee”.

In the case of solidarity investment investmentsall or part of the funds are invested in SSE companies. As FAIR indicates, the investor can then become a shareholder by subscribing “shares or shares of companies, approved by the public authorities, carrying out solidarity activities such as the fight against unemployment and poor housing, or contributing to ecological transition”, or invest in so-called “90/10” solidarity funds (OPCVM), which invest between 5 and 10% of their assets in organizations approved as “solidarity enterprises of social utility (ESUS).

Finansol, the solidarity finance label

The Finansol label was created in 1997 with the primary objective of “distinguishing solidarity savings products from other savings products for the general public”. Its attribution, by a committee of independent experts from civil society, is based on criteria of solidarity, transparency and information.

What projects are funded?

Since 2009, FAIR and the newspaper Le Monde have jointly organized the Grands Prix de la finance solidaire. As the association indicates on its website, the objective of this ceremony is simple: to reward and highlight the leaders of solidarity projects. Four categories respectively named “Solidarity Savings”, “France”, “International” and “Public favourite” have been created to recognize the commitment of very good students. For example, the 2021 winner of the last of these categories is Hacoopa, a cooperative that has set up a shared and inclusive housing project, on a human scale, for the elderly. The lists of labeled products and funded projects can be viewed on the FAIR website.

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