The Banque Populaire
is undeniably the historic bank for Non-Resident Moroccans. It all began in the
1960s, with the population of Moroccan emigrants in Europe soaring, mainly in
France, Holland, Belgium and Germany.
Responding to the
government’s call to facilitate the repatriation of savings on wages for those
now called Non-Resident Moroccan workers, at the end of 1968 Crédit Populaire
launched a pilot access to banking programme for transfers of the savings of
these first migrants.
Building on this successful experience, which initially only involved Moroccans residing in the Lille metropolitan area, the Group in 1969 established its first point of contact in the form of a delegation located in the Consulate General of the Kingdom in Paris. This was the prelude to making access to the banking programme general throughout France, then extending it to Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands.
This spreading took place at the same time as Morocco's consular representations were being deployed around the world. As a result, until the 2000s it was characterized by delegations mainly set up within embassy and consular services, which together had nearly 70% of the contact points.
It is worth recalling the creation of the Chaabi Bank of Morocco (BCDM) in 1972, making the Banque Populaire Group the only Moroccan bank to have opened a banking subsidiary in France.
Opening this entity under French law led to the opening four years later (in 1976) of a branch in Belgium. At the same time, the Banque Populaire pursued its strategy of setting up contact points in Morocco's chancelleries in Europe.
But from the 2000s, this modus operandi began to reach its limits, in the face of growing demand from Non-Resident Moroccans for financial services. This led the Banque Populaire Group to implement a proximity policy centred on development of the BCDM, a development that resulted in 2007 in obtaining the “European Passport" for this subsidiary.
Obtaining this “sesame" paved the way for a vast project of opening branches and agencies in France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Great Britain, Spain, Italy, etc.
The “European Passport" makes it possible for the Chaabi Bank of Morocco to carry out its activity as a “Free Establishment" in the main countries of residence of Moroccan nationals, with a supporting mission that can be summed up as follows:
- informing Moroccans Resident Abroad (MRA) of the Moroccan banking offer specially dedicated to them;
- positioning itself as the intermediary between these MRAs and the Banque Populaire Group in Morocco, in order to assist them in carrying out the current formalities relating to transactions performed on their accounts held in Morocco.
In 2019, the Banque Populaire Group is established in ten European countries, namely France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Great Britain (including Gibraltar), Spain, Denmark and Switzerland, either through full-fledged banks with a European passport or through Representative Offices.