A credit for people with the most need

The personal microcredit plan has been available at Saint-Martin for several weeks. What is it for? Who would benefit from it?

The personal microcredit would be granted to meet requirements defined as ‘necessary.’ This could be financing driving lessons, a training course, purchasing white goods or furniture for the home, access to care, etc. The personal microcredit therefore allows people in need to improve their quality of life. It is available for people in need who are not able to obtain a standard loan from the bank but who have the capacity to meet repayments.

Many people are in this situation in Saint-Martin. This explains why Ramona Connor, Vice President of the Collectivité, and head of the Solidarity and Families Department, is so pleased that the plan has been set up in this territory*. ‘Three hundred Euros could be enough to improve the situation,’ she stated.

The principle is straightforward - people who wish to obtain this credit must make a request via the Collectivité Social Services (located in Concordia) who will start a file which will then be presented to the Banque Postale, the financing body. Applicants will be accompanied throughout the process and will also be followed up.

This plan has been in place for several years in metropolitan areas and in some overseas territories, although it has just been initiated in Saint-Martin.  Over three years ago, Richard Curnier, regional director of the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations, CDC, made contact with the Collectivité and banking institutions. The latter have lagged behind. In Guadeloupe, all the banks have adhered to the concept, whereas here, only the Banque Postale has shown interest in the initiative. Regional director Michèle Paolini commented that ‘it is part of our mission for accessible banking.’ It must be made clear, however, that interested parties should not go directly to the Banque Postale counter themselves. ‘They will not be received,’ she stated.

To kick start the personal microcredit system, the Caisse des Dépôts has granted a subsidy of €10,000.00. The CDC will also guarantee 50% of the loan.

The amount of each loan granted will vary between €300.00 and €3,000.00.


*The Collectivité, the Caisse des Dépôts et Consignations and the Banque Postale signed an agreement on February 1st.

Estelle Gasnet
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