The Crédit Municipal de Paris (CMP) does not know the crisis. Six in ten are foreigners, and, accustomed to pawn, they find their bearings, to skillfully play with the price of gold. African or Maghreb pick an extra freedom via their dowry. life rough for just exceed it a bad course. Historian Pauline Peretz, who co-directs with Rosanvallon collection “Telling Life,” published the pawn, description of a bank like no other where immigrant women star.
Who attends the municipal credit?
The majority of customers are not in extreme poverty; rather they are in a logic of doing to solve a problem of the end of the month or to finance a project. Their financial problems are not necessarily recurring; these are just moments difficult to pass. At CMP, the peak periods often coincide with the payment of taxes, the end of the month, funding for travel to the country in summer. I went with the head all the literature of the nineteenth century, Gervaise – including Zola said she “rage nail” – to Miserables Hugo. Today it’s no longer sell his last tea or spoons. The average loan made by the hired object is still 1 100 euros.
It’s also a place where a mix of groups that have no other opportunity to be in such close proximity – the great bourgeois of the sixteenth arrondissement, and the Sri Lankan cashier for example. They have in common to have gold jewelry, and the needs they want to respond quickly, even if they are different. The pawn then has the advantage of meeting their needs without going through the bank, the husband, or the community. But we also meet people tested by “accidents of life” of events – death, divorce, job loss, illness …
Certainly, there was a correlation between the onset of the crisis and the increase in attendance of the pawn. But it begins to decline – all objects that could be pledged have perhaps already. The CMP is not only counter the crisis.
The institution is also a reflection of globalization …
This quintessentially Parisian and very old house (XV century) was completely globalized today. Six in ten are foreign-born. And one in ten in Sri Lanka, while the Sri Lankans are relatively few in France. Come from people who have already in their country of origin a habit of using the pawn and consider gold as savings.
As global markets, gold is a core value …
At dawn, the value of gold jewelry does not appreciate his way to his originality; all that counts its weight in gold and titration. The jewels are not just ornaments to wear on special occasions or marker of social status, they are also a “portable bank.” This is the case for women in the Maghreb sub-Saharan Africa or Sri Lanka who receive dowry or buy them by way of savings. They can take them with them when they change their country and turn them into money according to their needs. Some customers – even if they are often newcomers in France – have developed real expertise. When the price of gold increases, they sometimes generate jewelry to re-engage immediately for a larger sum. Employees sometimes worry because there is an addictive side more is applied to objects, the more we can have loans; but there comes a point where it becomes difficult to repay loans and pay interest. In nine cases out of ten, however, customers get there. Those who can not pay or renew the contract by paying interest to see their subject from the auction house. In this house, we learn, despite itself, to pull away from objects that we take.
Women represent the majority of customers, why?
In fact, nine in ten are women. Traditionally, it is to them that it is to find the money for the family when missing. The history of the Monts de piety in medieval Europe shows that they have always been the best customers.
The women of immigrant origin may also use the community support systems such as tontine. But the anonymity of the CMP, its rules, its formalism possible, conversely, to emancipate the group, either for studies or a driving license, without having to answer to no one – not with friends or family or the husband.
At the same time, this modern and emancipatory side also based on old traditions such as dowry.
It is interesting how an ancestral staffing system can become a spring of emancipation for women of immigrant origin. In most groups attending the CMP, jewelry received as dowry belongs to the woman. But in practice, husbands may decide to pledge to meet needs that are theirs – open a business, to come to France a family member. At CMP, the jailer is trying to be the guarantor of gender equality and integrity of the woman’s heritage. A man has no right to pawn the jewels of his wife if she was not authorized to do so in writing. And during the interaction at the counter, staff shall ensure that the husband did not answer instead of his wife. It’s kind of intrusion into the lives of these immigrants couples. As explained by one of the employees of North African origin, the Republic must uphold equality in couples.
You describe the municipal credit bank as an ideal …
In a traditional lending institution asks you to justify your income, needs to have an impeccable credit history. At the municipal credit, you can get a loan even if you are excluded banking. You just need to produce proof of identity (card or residence permit) and proof of address (a hotel address may do the trick, we even saw the Emmaus home receipts). Another advantage: you can have the money you need quickly, without backfilling of record and without insurance to pay.
The CMP is also the most generous banks because not only the interest is low there, between 4% and 9%, but they also increase with the amount requested – the more you ask the more money rate, while c is the reverse in conventional banks. And, last largess of the CMP, when the sale of goods, which could not be removed, showed a profit after expenses deducted guard, a surplus – the surplus – is donated to clients. Similarly, when this institution, nonprofit, makes profits, it can either make free releases: Customers can reclaim their property without having to pay anything (only for small loans), or it pays bonuses to the works the City of Paris.
The counterpart of this is to agree to this approach in a place that is more like a social service than a bank. Equal treatment, speed, and anonymity are paid by the lack of privacy and comfort. You must ask for the money you need and put on the counter your valuables in full view of everyone.