Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Credit Foncier

Credit Foncier, an institution, the primary object of which is to lend money on mortgage on the security of real property (French, proprieti fonciere). In Germany the first society of the kind was founded in 1770 in Silesia, to relieve the local landowners of their debts. It was a mutual society, the members being collectively responsible for the loans on mortgage made to each individually. In France a law regulating the formation of land mortgage companies was passed in 1852; but one society founded in that year, called the Banque Fonciere de Paris, practically monopolised the field at once, and shortly changed its name to the Credit Foncier de France. For a time under the Empire its chief officers were nominated by the Emperor. An offshoot, the Credit Agricole, was founded in 1861, and a financial company, also called the Credit Foncier of England, was founded in England in 1864, chiefly to finance public companies. The Credit Mobilier of France lends on personal property. The Credit Foncier of France has also undertaken other business, such as the promotion of companies, the raising of loans for Governments and municipalities, etc. For many years it supplied Baron Haussman with the wherewithal to beautify Paris. The humbler functions of such companies, as originally projected, are performed in England to a great extent by building societies.