A label, what for ?

Social impact finance being rather specific and novel, the French saver or investor is entitled to knowing what his money is being put towards to. For this reason, the founders of FAIR were easily convinced of the necessity of having a way of recognizing social investments their members promoted.

Logo label Finansol - Finance solidaire

The Finansol label was introduced in 1997 to enhance the various ways of approaching social finance through vehicles open to the general public. It is not granted to the associations, cooperatives, companies or asset managers who promote or manage these vehicles.

 


 

A trustworthy label

The label is granted by an independent committee. The members are chosen based on their knowledge of personal finance in general and of social finance in particular. The FAIR association has no control over their decisions.

The label is granted based on a double standard of transparency and solidarity.

Thanks to the label, the individual saver knows that all of his savings or a certain proportion of it – depending on the fund –serves directly or indirectly to finance outfits that are focused on issues such as access to employment or housing, clean energy and organic food production, fair trade or small businesses in developing countries. The saver is also guaranteed a regular flow of information from his financial intermediary.

 

Stringent criteria

The label’s regulations apply to any given social financial vehicles. The two main criteria are:

 

  • Solidarity

If the investment is made through a mutual fund or a life insurance policy, 5 to 10% of the fund’s assets must be invested in social businesses. The remaining 90 to 95% must respect ESG criteria. In the case of social savings accounts or term accounts, at least 25% of the interest payments must be granted on an annual basis to an NGO.

 

  • Transparency and information

An intermediary is made available by the investment managers to give the investors all the necessary information they might need. He is in touch with the FAIR team on a regular basis.

 

Other secondary criteria such as management fees, volume objectives or promoter support are also accounted for. Financial return on investment is not a criterion.

 

The number of solidarity-based vehicles has increased regularly over the years. It currently is more than 180. The label Committee constantly reinforces its regulations.