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European Commission

Press release

Brussels, 21 February 2013

State aid: Commission temporarily approves rescue aid for Crédit Immobilier de France

The European Commission has granted temporary approval to France, under the EU state aid rules, to provide Crédit Immobilier de France (CIF) with a €18 billion state guarantee. This guarantee is necessary to cover CIF's urgent liquidity needs and to give it time to draw up a restructuring or orderly resolution plan, which France undertook to submit to the Commission within six months from the date of the temporary approval decision.

The Commission acknowledges that the guarantee in favour of CIF is necessary to avoid a knock-on effect on the French banking system. The Commission’s guidance on state aid for banks during the crisis (see IP/08/1495 and IP/11/1488) states that the Commission may authorise rescue aid for six months in order to preserve financial stability.

In line with these rules, France has promised that CIF will honour a number of commitments during this period. In particular, CIF will respect an acquisition ban, and a coupon and dividend ban. Moreover, CIF will not increase its volume of business and stricter conditions will apply to granting new loans.

The Commission will take a final decision on the temporary guarantee as part of its assessment of the restructuring or orderly resolution plan.

Background

Owned by the cooperatives "SACICAP", CIF is a mortgage lender which specialises in loans to low income households in France to promote access to home ownership. CIF has a market share of about 4% and its loan book amounts to roughly €35 billion. CIF finances itself almost exclusively on the wholesale market by means of covered bonds and unsecured issuance. Due to a drastic downgrade by Moody's in 2012 and against the background of the financial crisis, CIF has faced serious refinancing problems. To avoid CIF's immediate default, France granted the above-mentioned guarantee.

The non-confidential version of the current decision will be made available under the case number SA.35389 in the State Aid Register on the Competition website once any confidentiality issues have been resolved. New publications of state aid decisions on the internet and in the Official Journal are listed in the State Aid Weekly e-News.

Contacts:

Antoine Colombani (+32 2 297 45 13)

Maria Madrid Pina (+32 2 295 45 30)


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