ABN Amro and specialist consumer credit group Finaref have formed a joint venture company to deliver savings and investment products to French retail customers of PPR Group (Pinault-Printemps-Redoute).
Financial products will be distributed through branches in PPR stores, a call centre and the Internet. The partnership, first agreed earlier this year, was sealed by the Dutch bank's purchase of a 49%-stake in Banque Générale de Commerce (BGC), which was acquired by Finaref in November 1999.
Subject to the approval of the supervisory authorities, the jointly-owned Banque Finaref-ABN Amro will offer, starting in the second quarter of 2002, savings, mutual fund and life insurance products to Finaref's eight million store card holders.
The participants say the new company will benefit from know-how in customised marketing and synergies in terms of logistics (call centres) and IT infrastructures, such as customer relationship management.
The two partners plan to offer their product range across all existing sales channels, using the power of the brands and network of Pinault-Printemps-Redoute’s consumer banners (Conforama, Fnac, Printemps and Redcats), direct marketing and direct sales generated by existing traffic in the Finaref call centres.
With eight million store card holders and 14 million accounts, Finaref is the French no. 3 in consumer credit via the Printemps, Fnac, Conforama cards and the Kangourou card for La Redoute.