The Crédit Municipal de Paris, better known under the nickname "My aunt", organizes from January to March 2019 an operation which consists in giving free to their owners objects that they had deposited as pledge. An old tradition for this multi-secular institution.
"My aunt", famous for its pawnbroking to Parisians, was created in 1637. But it is exactly one hundred years since she took the name of Crédit Municipal de Paris (CMP).
To commemorate this centenary, the CMP is putting in place, from January 2 to March 31, 2019, a free clearance operation, which consists in giving free to their owners objects that they had deposited as pledge (hence the term " release "). This is a very old tradition for this multi-secular institution, practiced some 30 times since 1789.
Historically, fight against usury
The last free release dates back to 2012: the operation was intended to celebrate the 375 years of the establishment, created by Théophraste Renaudot under the name of Mont-de-Piété. Born in Italy in the fifteenth century, monts-of-piety (monte di pietà in Italian, which should have been translated as "charity credit") are pawnshops. Their objective is to fight against usury, that is to say the abusive interest rates. The oldest bank in the world, Monte dei Paschi di Siena, was founded in 1472 as a pawnshop. The pawnshops were recognized by Pope Leo X at the 5the Lateran Council, in 1515.
In October 1918, the pawnbrokers in France were transformed into Municipal Credits by a decree authorizing them to open deposit accounts. Today, municipal credits are both communal public institutions and banking institutions. There are 48 of them.
A short history of Crédit Municipal de Paris
The origin of the nickname "my aunt" is uncertain. The most often quoted is a historical anecdote: Ferdinand Philippe d'Orléans, son of King Louis-Philippe, had to put his watch as a pledge to deal with his gambling debts. To explain the disappearance of his watch, he pretended to have forgotten it at my aunt's ".
The operation of the pawnshop
To obtain credit from "my aunt", you must deposit one or more objects. We then receive a sum representing between 50% and 60% of the estimated value of the deposited object. The annual interest rate depends on the amount borrowed. It is growing, from 4% for amounts less than or equal to € 300, to 8.45% for loans between € 1,000 and € 6,000. For higher amounts, the rate is lower at 5.80% in order to stay competitive against the competition "Says Xavier Giorgi, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the institution.
If the borrower has not paid back one year after the start of the loan, then two options are possible: in 90% of the cases, the contract is renewed by one year. Otherwise, the deposited object is auctioned. If its selling price exceeds the amount due, the difference (the bonus) is paid to the borrower. In 2017, borrowers received 3.7 million euros in bonuses.
An institution with a "social vocation"
The transaction for the first quarter of 2019 concerns only borrowers whose outstanding loans (excluding interest) were less than or equal to € 100 on October 31, 2018. They may take back their (their) object (s) free of charge. This operation corresponds to " the affirmed social vocation Of the CMP, emphasizes Xavier Giorgi.
Every day, nearly 600 people go to the CMP for a pawnshop. The typical client of "my aunt" is a Francilienne: 83% of customers are women and 93% live in Île-de-France. The gold jewels represent 95% of the objects deposited in pledge. In addition, nine out of ten people recover their object.
In total, 1,700 people are potentially affected by the clearance operation, for a total outstanding of € 120,000. About 10% of these people have benefited from this release for the moment. The objects involved in the release are various: " small objects of art like statues, bicycles, jewels, silverware, etc. "Says Xavier Giorgi.
The Paris Partage booklet
The pawnbroking activities are partly financed by the Paris Partage book, launched at the end of November. It allows to place up to 50 000 €, with a gross interest rate (before payment of the compulsory levies) of 1% per year. Investors decide to allocate at least 25% of the interest to one or more associations.
The three partner structures of the CMP are Emmaus Coup de Main (professional integration and accommodation), the Agency of the gift in kind (collection of unsold products for non-food benefit) and the Siel Bleu Foundation (support for the frail people through the activity physical).
For the Paris Partage booklet, the CMP obtained a Finansol label, in respect of the investment of savings in the pawnbroking activity and the donation of part of the interest, each of these two criteria being sufficient to the attribution of the label. At the end of December 2018, the total amount placed on this booklet was nearly € 300,000. Half of the savers already had a savings account with the CMP.