French banking group Groupe BPCE have joined the Paris 2024 national partnership programme ©Paris 2024

French banking group Groupe BPCE has become the first to join Paris 2024's national partnership programme for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, it has been announced.

The group, which includes the brands Banque Populaire and Caisse d’Epargne and serves around 31 million customers, has signed a deal with Paris 2024 which will come into effect in January 2019.

It was signed by Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet alongside Groupe BPCE chief executive Laurent Mignon.

As part of the deal, which will last for six years, it is claimed the group is planning “numerous initiatives” including “financing the sports economy and all sports infrastructure” or supporting sports associations and clubs.

The group say they will also put a particular emphasis on educational initiatives.

Speaking of the deal, Estanguet said it showed the “Paris family” is “expanding”.

“We are happy to be setting off together with Groupe BPCE on an exceptional adventure, underpinned by our shared passion for sport and our shared ambition to showcase the best of our country,” he said.

“Groupe BPCE will be there at our side to help make Paris 2024 the Games for all of France over the next six years.”

The announcement was made to coincide with the one-year anniversary since Paris was awarded the 2024 Olympics and Paralympics at the International Olympic Committee Session in Lima last year.

Banque Populaire are one of the members of the group ©Banque Populaire
Banque Populaire are one of the members of the group ©Banque Populaire

Banque Populaire and Caisse d’Epargne have been partners of French professional and amateur sport for over 30 years and the French National Olympic Sport Committee (CNOSF) since 2010.

Paris 2024 therefore described it as "natural" that Groupe BPCE would become partners.

It is said the group “wish to harness the unique opportunity presented by the Games to foster lasting change and to get people moving in response to the challenges facing French society”, including sedentary lifestyles, equal opportunities, social inclusion via sport and inspiring fresh views on disability.

“It’s a source of great pride for Groupe BPCE and all our staff to be the first partner of Paris 2024, and to be able to contribute to this historic event for our country,” said Mignon.

“It’s a fine project that chimes perfectly with our DNA and values: collective effort, surpassing oneself and solidarity.

“The Paris 2024 team can count on the engagement of our companies - Banque Populaire, Caisse d’Epargne, Banque Palatine and Natixis - and our 106,500 staff in all our territories.”

Paris 2024’s partnership programme aims to cover around one third of the budget for organising the Olympic and Paralympic Games, 97 percent of which is earmarked to come from private sources.