Toulouse municipal credit

The Crédit Municipal de Toulouse is a communal public credit and welfare institution located in the heart of Toulouse since 1867. Formerly a pawnshop , called “my aunt” note 1 , it is one of the oldest banking institutions of France. Since its creation, the Crédit Municipal de Toulouse is located at 29 rue des Lois , near Capitol Square and its main activity is loan on object. It involves depositing a valuable object (jewelery, gold, precious objects, etc.) in exchange for an immediate loan representing 50% to 70% of its value on the public auction market. The Municipal Credit Unionsare governed by the Monetary and Financial Code 1 and are attached to the municipality of the place of their registered office.


The fight against usury

The origin of municipal credits dating back to xv th century, in 1462, when the first pawnshop was founded in Perugia , Italy, by the monk Recollect Barnabas of Terni. His idea was to organize a quest whose capital would be intended to found a charitable bank, and thus, to fight the usurers. It was possible to borrow without interest for small amounts of money in exchange for a given object pawn 2 .

The first pawnbroker in France opened its doors in 1577 in Avignon , then pontifical domain . Then it was in 1637 at the initiative of Théophraste Renaudot 3 , doctor and founder of The Gazette 4, that a Mont-de-piété was created in Paris, on the Ile de la Cité , called the “Sales Office”. thanks, barter and redemption “.

From the pawnshop to the Crédit Municipal de Toulouse

It was in 1787 that the idea of ​​the creation of a pawnshop was submitted to the Capitouls of Toulouse. However, this project will not succeed because of the revolutionary events that followed. Indeed, the 21 monts-of-piety located in Paris and in province were closed after 1789. They will reopen only under Napoleon Bonaparte who was very attached to this institution. The law of 26 pluviose year XII (February 16, 1804) will give them the monopoly of pawnshell.

In Toulouse, it is under the Restoration (March 4, 1827), that is created a public company of the free and charitable loan on the initiative of the abbot Berger . While the Toulouse Company is developing slowly because of very strict rules (loans capped at 500 francs for 6 months), at the national level, implantation is accelerating and 44 mounts-of-piety are active throughout the country. territory in 1848.

The imperial decree of December 14, 1867 authorizes the opening of a pawnshell in Toulouse. The needs of the population are growing and the Free Loan Company is no longer sufficient to meet the demand. It is Alcibiade Fossé , honorary advisor to the imperial court of Toulouse who is named director of the establishment. A room is located at 29 rue des Lois. The first board of directors of the establishment obtains it for 70,000 francs and the first employees are hired. With the evolution of the lifestyle, the establishment will retain a varied clientele, from the worker to the bourgeois in need of liquidity. These people are ready to engage in jewelry, furniture, paintings, weapons, books, mattresses, tools, military effects (which will subsequently be prohibited from filing in 1884). It is the golden age of the pawnshop. To cope with this influx, expansion work was undertaken between 1881 and 1896, and as in Paris, an oven is installed to disinfect mattresses, linen and bedding items deposited pledge.

From 1890 to 1914, the activity of the pawnshop grew still more. It is between 1914 and 1918 that the pawnshop of Toulouse meets certain difficulties. The number of objects deposited decreases, the rate and the amount of the loans are capped, the clearances for small pledges become free while the sales of pledges not recovered are prohibited. The pawnshop then knows its first losses. As early as 1918, pawnbrokers changed their name to “Municipal Credit Unions” 5 .

  • 1930: the municipal loan launches into the loan secured on cars and the establishment turns its basement into a garage. The last vehicle will disappear in 1995 during construction.
  • 1955: Decree of 20 May 6 allows them to obtain the status of public welfare institution.
  • 1984: the law of January 24, 7 , the Municipal Credit Banks are conferred the status of credit institution 8 and are integrated into the banking system.
  • 2009: Crédit Municipal de Toulouse launches into microcredit . The MCPA (personal microcredit support) is intended for people excluded from the traditional banking system and provides funding for access to housing, mobility, employment and access to care.
  • 2010: establishment on st January of staff Economic Council in partnership with the AGIRabcd association. It is an accompaniment for the people who wish it and to try to solve with them, their financial difficulties.
  • 2011: Crédit municipal de Toulouse is in partnership with the association CLAS-Violette, to develop a complementary currency, the violet soil 9 . This currency has a social, ethical and solidarity purpose. We can go to the municipal credit and are exchanging euro against soil 10 .
  • 2011: the same year, the Municipal Credit of Toulouse launches the Savings book of solidarity for the benefit of several associations. It is based on solidarity and transparency criteria. The subscriber may return part or all of his interest to a beneficiary association. The capital deposited is directly allocated to the social actions of the municipal credit, the personal microcredit and the pawnshop.


According to Greek mythology, the griffin is the guardian of the treasures of the god Apollo in the Scythian desert . This mythical animal, consisting of an eagle’s head and a lion’s body, appeared on the coat of arms of the city of Perugia, Italy, where the first pawnshop was founded. That’s why the municipal credit unions have chosen to keep it and make it its emblem.


Loan on Object

The loan on object is a loan against the deposit of an object (jewel, work of art, gold …). It is an immediate loan without means test, after estimation. The loan lasts for six months and can be renewed. The property can be recovered at any time against the repayment of the loan capital and interest accrued. If after a period of seven months an object has not been recovered or renewed, the Crédit Municipal de Toulouse will present the property at one of its public sales.

The auctions

The Crédit Municipal de Toulouse organizes from October to June public auctions, which are an opportunity for collectors and amateurs of the region to acquire jewelry, silverware, objets d’art … Si the object is more expensive than what has been lent, the difference (bonus) goes to the depositor.

Sales required

It is possible to request the direct sale of his property. An immediate payment is made corresponding to an advance on the sale. After three months, the object is presented at an auction. The supplement is then paid to the depositor.

The object guard

With expansions that have been made in the xix th century, the property has a large storage area. These spaces are adapted to the various goods (in particular with the creation of a wine cellar allowing the good conservation of the bottles in the best conditions) and are secured.


Appreciators, auctioneers or gemologists work in collaboration with municipal credits to estimate the objects deposited. They check their authenticity and value in the public auction market in order to come up with a fair estimate.

Supported personal micro-credit (MCPA)

The Crédit Municipal de Toulouse offers, with social structures, a loan to facilitate social and professional integration, the MCPA. It was created to help people in precarious situations to fight against banking exclusion and to supplement existing services and assistance. It allows the financing of a well-defined project (access to training, mobility, employment, housing and health). The person benefits from personalized support throughout the duration of their loan (36 months maximum and for amounts ranging from € 300 to € 3,000).

The solidarity savings account

Unlike most “conventional” savings products, the capital deposited in the solidarity savings account is directly allocated to the local social actions of the municipal credit, personal microcredit and the pawnshop. The subscriber of the booklet may also pay part or all of his interest (in installments of 25%) to a partner association  [ archive ] of the municipal loan.

The personal economic council

It is a free budget and financial advice service that is offered in partnership with the association AGIR abcd , to people in financial difficulty. After an analysis of the situation, a diagnosis is proposed as well as the implementation of appropriate actions to avoid a debt accumulation or over-indebtedness.

Unusual objects that have stayed at the Crédit Municipal de Toulouse

  • A command stick inlaid with gold belonging to Marshal Niel , actor of the Crimean War and the Battle of Solferino (1859)
  • Fossilized dinosaur eggs
  • A camel bit
  • A bishop’s miter
  • The world champion belt of a boxer
  • A horn of triceratops

Notes and references


  1. ↑ This nickname comes from the Prince de Joinville , (1818-1900) son of King Louis Philippe. Known as an inveterate gambler, to pay off a debt he would have deposited his watch as a pledge to the pawnshop. He reportedly said that he had forgotten it at his aunt’s house to justify his absence. [ref. necessary]


  1. ↑ The monetary and financial code, articles L. 514-1  [ archive ] to L. 514-4 and D. 514-1  [ archive ] to D. 514-37.
  2. ↑ The pawnshop  [ archive ]
  3. ↑ Théophraste Renaudot, Encyclopedia Universalis  [ archive ]
  4. ↑ Parisian Journal published on 30 May 1631 to 30 September 1915.  [ archive ]
  5. ^ “Mont-de-piety at the Municipal Credit”  [ archive ] , a book whose texts were developed from the text of Alain Borderie, specialist in financial history and banking, written in 2001 under the direction of Felix Torres, “135 years in the heart of the city From the pawnshop to the Crédit Municipal de Toulouse”
  6. ↑ Decree of 20 May 1955 source legifrance  [ archive ]
  7. ↑ Law of 24 January  [ archive ] , legifrance source. Credit institution approved as a municipal credit union
  8. ↑ List of authorized credit institutions as banks  [ archive ] , footnotes, appendices
  9. ↑ The complementary currency, the violet ground  [ archive ]
  10. ↑ The documentary Sol Violette, an outbreak of a currency , Bertrand Leduc, Green Zooms  [ archive ] , in 2012, traces the mechanism of implementation of the Toulouse complementary currency.

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