Financial and social inclusion

As a major player in favour of a fairer and more inclusive society, the Group is deploying several initiatives to foster financial and social inclusion. BNP Paribas has a long history of working closely with local and regional authorities to support their economic, social and cultural development. This commitment is also reflected in support provided to its most vulnerable customers, for the social and solidarity economy or through its philanthropy programmes, thanks to its long-standing relationships with local partners.

Inclusive and innovative banking models  

 BNP Paribas’ commitment to the financial inclusion of its most vulnerable customers is reflected in many initiatives led by its Commercial, Personal Banking & Services (CPBS) division. CBPS houses the Group’s retail banking networks as well as several specialised business lines: platforms for identifying and supporting customers that are financially fragile, solutions for providing better support for customers with disabilities, new banking models such as Nickel (link in French), etc.  

Nickel is a digital banking solution that is available on line, at tobacconists or at Nickel points of sale and is accessible to all regardless of income. Since its launch, more than 2 million accounts have been opened. After entering the Spanish market in December 2020, where it aims to reach 3,000 points of sale and 700,000 customers by 2024, Nickel will export its innovative model to Portugal and to Belgium as of 2022. 

Young black woman at the grocery store picking things up for dinner

Inclusion around the world, through microfinance 

Internationally, the Group actively supports microfinance institutions (MFIs) around the world (15 countries at the end of 2020). BNP Paribas allocated €376 million in 2020, financing 28 MFIs directly and over 100 indirectly, through dedicated funds. These microcredits, dedicated to underprivileged populations that are excluded from the traditional banking system, support the development of small economic projects and in particular help  women entrepreneurs in emerging countries. 

Microfinance in figures 

€ 367M

In credits or investments in 2020 

€ 1.2Bn 

In cumulative funding since 1989


Microcredit beneficiaries supported indirectly since 1989

“Financial inclusion aims to improve access to financial products for everyone, regardless of their situation. What most people suffering from financial exclusion lack is education on the subject. Then they need access to financial services themselves: this is where microfinance comes in.” 

Claudia Belli

Head of Social Business and Microfinance at BNP Paribas   

Volunteering and philanthropy

BNP Paribas’ philanthropy policy supporting culture, solidarity and the environment is also reinforced by the actions of its employees. The Group has launched a programme with an ambitious target of one million hours of working hours dedicated by its employees worldwide - a target reached by the end of 2021 - which the Group has decided to renew.  

Volunteering at BNP Paribas
Pretty happy woman gathering litter while other volunteers helping her

Improving youth inclusion 

BNP Paribas has a long-standing commitment to youth empowerment and has stepped up its support since the beginning of the health crisis. As a bank, we have created new products that enable young people to finance their studies, while helping associations, particularly in France, to support educational continuity and equal opportunities or to fight social precarity and psychological distress.    

BNP Paribas also acts in favour of young people as an employer: in partnership with more than 400 French schools, universities and training organisations, the Group recruited 2,000 students under apprenticeship or professional training contracts in France, in 2020.  Internationally, this is reflected in “on the job” induction courses, mentoring, graduate programs to strengthen networking, and the development of certified training courses for young graduates working within BNP Paribas.    

Supporting the social and solidarity economy  

For over 25 years, BNP Paribas has been supporting social entrepreneurs: at the end of 2020, this support reached €2.2 billion in financing and investments. Through dedicated support, notably in France via the Act for Impact programme, social entrepreneurs have access to products and advisors to meet their specific needs. At the same time, the Group’s various business lines are working to offer an increasingly wide range of SRI (Socially Responsible Investment) labelled funds. 

 "The idea is to identify social and envrionmental problems - unemployment, precariousness, poor housing, global warming - and to say that solutions exist. Solidarity financing is there to accelerate their development."

Marie-Geneviève Loys Carreiras

Head of Solidarity Investments at BNP Paribas Asset Management  

The bnp paribas foundation

The BNP Paribas Foundation supports initiatives in favour of culture, research, and solidarity with young people, disadvantaged populations and refugees. 

discover the bnp paribas foundation

Accelerating the development of Social Impact Contracts 

To mobilise finance in favour of positive actions for society, BNP Paribas has been supporting the development of financial products indexed to their social or environmental impact, such as the Social Impact Contract, for several years now. This financial tool allows the funding of social or environmental innovations by private investors, who are ultimately reimbursed by the government if they achieve their targets. In France, BNP Paribas helped structure the first Social Impact Contract for ADIE in 2016, based on the model of Social Impact Bonds that already existed in other countries.  

Five years later, Social Impact Contracts (SICs) are increasingly common, and BNP Paribas has positioned itself as a leader in supporting them: at the end of 2020, the total amount financed was €30 million, with deals in the United States, Belgium and France. This innovation enables private investors to support an innovative programme, based on prevention, certified by the government and run by a player in the social and solidarity economy: help for homeless people, professional reintegration, support for young people and families in precarious situations, etc.  

Social Impact Contracts: four key dates


Launch of the first Social Impact Bond in the UK to help reduce repeat offenses


BNP Paribas sets up the first SIC in France with ADIE, to promote the economic and social integration of people in rural areas through microcredit  


The Group structures its 10th Social Impact Contract in Belgium, for professional reintegration 


Signature of an experimental project with Médecins du Monde in France, to limit re-offending  

"By supporting an initiative in a concrete way, we hope to attract other funders to impact investing and create a leverage effect. A Social Impact Contract is considered successful if it achieves specific targets, set in advance and measured by an independent authority. For every contract, the aim is to prove that prevention is better than cure! "

 Maha Keramane 

Head of Positive Impact Business Accelerator, BNP Paribas 

BNP Paribas Human Rights Statement 

In 2012, to ensure respect for human rights in its sphere of influence, the Group drafted a dedicated statement to mark its commitment in this area: 

Indian Mum with her son

Photos : © loreanto / rocketclips / Viacheslav Lakobchuk / Confidence /  industrieblick / insta_photos / gustavofrazao