Expected diversification for financing local investments

Who is afraid of the financing agency of local public investment?

Not the bankers who see it as a timely complementary solution to finance local public investments. On the occasion of a meeting-debate organized this Wednesday by seven associations of local elected officials, at the initiative of the AMF chaired by Jacques Pélissard, deputy mayor of Lons-le-Saunier, François Pérol, boss of BPCE ( Banque Populaire Caisse d’Epargne), Philippe Wahl, President of the Postal Bank as Antoine Gosset-Grainville, Acting Director General of the Caisse de Dépôts and Ariane Obolsensky, Director General of the French Banking Federation, all followed one another at the podium to say all the good they think of the project to create a funding agency. All recognize that today the banking sector can not assume alone the financing of local public investments. François Pérol was the most explicit. For him the communities live a structural change in their mode of financing, the prudential rules limit the lending capacity of the banks towards the communities. This year, BPCE will stabilize its production of new loans at just under $ 4 billion. The local development bank, which will start lending from next June, will do little more. But financing needs are estimated for 2012 alone at 17 billion euros. Shorter, more expensive, less abundant, bank loans are no longer the cornucopia in which territorial officials have tapped to finance their projects.

As the consultant, Michel Klopfer recalled in the latest issue of La Lettre du Secteur Publique, “there is no overindebtedness of local authorities today.

On the estimated 2011 administrative accounts, the averages of deleveraging capacities are at more than respectable levels of 3 to 5 years for the regions and departments and 7 to 8 years for the cities. Even though communities are increasingly selective in their investment choices, they can not stop their projects, especially since there are a large number of expenses, especially for maintenance and upgrading. infrastructures and equipment that are now out of breath. It’s not just a financial problem. Claudy Lebreton, president of the Assembly of French Departments, as Daniel Delaveau, president of the Association of Communities, give a political and social dimension to this issue. It is about access to resources to build territorial strategies, resources produced by local taxation, state grants and access to credit. The relaunch of the announced decentralization will not be able to save the debate on all these resources.

Representatives of national associations of local elected representatives have therefore appealed to the President of the Republic and the government for the rapid creation of this local public investment financing agency. They should be able to be heard. The Minister of Economy and Finance and his colleague from the interior who are still for a few days respectively president of the agglomeration of the Pays de Montbéliard and mayor of Evry had supported the project by joining the association of study for the agency. It’s urgent. The structural change mentioned by bank managers should also lead local elected officials to diversify financing tools. For funding too, the change is now. Beyond the creation of this agency, new levers must be mobilized: bond issues or appeal to local savings, non-bank financing is called for a strong development.