French telecom giant to acquire Groupama Banque

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French telecom company Orange has signed an agreement with Groupama Banque to develop a full mobile banking service that will be launched in France at the beginning of 2017.

The deal, subject to regulatory approval, will also lead to the acquisition by Orange of a 65% stake in Groupama Banque. Groupama will retain the remaining 35%.

Following the completion of the transaction, expected during Q3 2016, Groupama Banque should become Orange Bank.

This service will be marketed under the Orange brand within Orange’s own distribution network and under the Groupama brand within Groupama’s distribution networks.

Services provided will cover current accounts, savings, loans and insurance services, as well as payment.

Orange and Groupama seek to attract two million customers in France.

Stéphane Richard, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Orange, said: “This agreement is a major step forward in our ambition to diversify into mobile financial services as we outlined in our Essentials2020 strategy. Groupama Banque will bring an existing banking structure as well as considerable experience in managing customer relations remotely within a banking context.

“This will enable us to move forward rapidly in order to provide our customers with an innovative, 100% mobile banking service, first in France and then in Spain and Belgium. By leveraging the power of its brand, its distribution network and its extensive experience in digital services, Orange aims to bring mobile banking into a new dimension.”

Thierry Martel, CEO of Groupama, said: “This partnership represents an important step for Groupama. It will enable us to leverage Orange’s technical know-how and its expertise in digital services to accelerate our existing online banking activity.

“Through this partnership, we are effectively combining two powerful and complimentary brands in order to offer our customers a disruptive banking service. We are aiming to put the highstreet bank into our customers’ pockets, turning tomorrow’s bank into today’s reality.”