France’s export credit agency (ECA) activities will be placed under the responsibility of the Banque Publique d’Investissement (Bpifrance) by the end of this year, now that the conditions of the transfer from Coface have been agreed on.

Under the agreement, all of Coface’s public export guarantee activities will be moved to Bpifrance Assurance Export, a new subsidiary created for that purpose. All employees working on these activities will become Bpifrance employees, and even relevant IT systems will be transferred.

The change is part of a simplification of the legal framework for public export guarantees, introduced within the “rectified financial law” of December 29, 2015, meant to increase the competitiveness of the ECA.

The agreement signed this week outlines the conditions of co-operation between Coface and Bpifrance to ensure full continuity for all exporting companies using guarantees. Bpifrance will work more specifically on improving the ECA’s offering for SMEs and midcaps, as serving this segment has been its main mandate since its creation in 2013.

Xavier Durand, managing director of the Coface Group, says: “After managing France’s public guarantees for 70 years, Coface is turning an important page in its history. Nevertheless, we will continue, within the framework of a future partnership with Bpifrance, to support French exports by offering companies the know-how we acquired as a leader in export credit insurance.”

Nicolas Dufourcq, managing director of Bpifrance, adds: “We are delighted to welcome nearly 240 staff with so much experience in their field, and to integrate them swiftly into the heart of our mission towards exporters. Beyond this transfer, our partnership with Coface seems promising in terms of broadening our range of innovative solutions to support French companies in their internationalisation.”

A preliminary agreement had been signed with the State on July 29, 2015.