Bpifrance, the public investment bank of France, has completed the transfer of export credit agency Coface’s activites and staff to newly established subsidiary Bpifrance Assurance Export.

The decision to merge the offering of Coface, also known as Compagnie française d’assurance pour le commerce extérieur, into Bpifrance was taken in April last year and became final at the end of December.

All 240 experts and systems previously operated by Coface have been transferred to Bpifrance Assurance Export.

Coface had been created in 1946, to provide guarantees for internationalization efforts that the private market would not take on due to large size, longer duration or elevated risk.

The integration of export credit duties into Bpifrance’s remit means the French state will now directly provide guarantees, whereas it previously supplied them indirectly.

Bpifrance, in addition to its existing remit of cross-border investment funds, international growth loans, export credits and development and implantation support, now also offers credit insurance, prospecting insurance, security and pre-financing guarantees, exchange risk insurance and investment insurance.

Christophe Viprey, director general of Bpifrance Assurance Export, said: “The teams will now dedicate themselves to developing the activity for high-potential ETIs and SMEs, which must be larger to go international.

“As for larger companies, we will support them more closely with their foreign clients in order to demonstrate the competitiveness of public export financial support.”

Nicolas Dufourcq, director general of Bpifrance, said: “The transfer of skills related to managing public guarantees complements Bpifrance’s support and export financing offer, which has become one of the major players in global banking, offering the most comprehensive and best-fitting financing solutions for every stage of a company’s life.”