A 375-Year-Old French Bank Just Pardoned The Debts Of Thousands Of Its Customers

Credit Municiple de paris

[credit provider=”Wikimedia” url=”http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cr%C3%A9dit_municipal_de_Paris,_55_rue_des_Francs-Bourgeois,_Paris_4.jpg”]

France’s oldest bank Crédit Municipal de Paris, which banks with some of Paris’ poorest, pardoned its customers’ debts to commemorate its 375th anniversary, Good Business reported.From Good Business:

The 3,500 clients who benefitted from the bank’s largesse had debts of 150 euros or less (about $190) with the Crédit Municipal de Paris, also known as the “Mont-de-piété,” the bank of the poor, which has for centuries allowed the needy to get loans against their valuables—a kind of ethical pawnshop, or the original microlender. The small kindness was welcome for many.

The bank was established in 1637 by Théophraste Renaudot, a doctor, journalist and philanthropist who wanted to give the poor access to banking, the report said.