The CEO of France’s largest retail bank launched a scathing attack on the abilities of Orange and digital-first entrants to compete in the European banking sector.
In an interview with Financial Times, Credit Agricole chief Philippe Brassac said Orange would struggle to export its knowledge of financial services used in Africa to the “complicated and sophisticated” European market with its Orange Bank service.
The executive was dismissive of both Orange – which he referred to as a “mono-player on mobiles” which “does nothing more than we offer” – and digital companies which have recently entered the sector.
Orange, however, is bullish on the service’s prospects. It launched Orange Bank in France during November and plans to expand the service across its European footprint. By 2027, the company aims to have 2 million customers on the platform.
In 2018 the operator expects to achieve a combined revenue of €400 million from its MEA-focused Orange Cash services and Orange Bank.
Discussing the threat from digital companies, Brassac said Google, Facebook and Apple would struggle to replicate the trust traditional banks commanded and believed no fintech challengers were making money.
While Credit Agricole is dismissive of new entrants, traditional finance providers in other countries are actively trying to enter the space and combining with new players to expand their offering.