Posted by: kathandroger | March 12, 2011

Night out with the bank

Roger has many strengths and multiple interests, but banking and financial management do not feature on either list. So when our biking chum Bernard, in his capacity of President of the local Credit Agricole association, invited us to the bank’s AGM, he was not wildly enthusiastic about attending. As it happens it is our bank, and there was some food on offer at the end, so we decided to give it a go. It was due to kick off at 18.00 in the Salle de Fete at Dange St Romain and Bernard suggested we turn up around 18.30, so we reckoned on sitting through about half an hour of meeting, followed by a bit of supper and then home by about 20.30. Wrong…

When we arrived the hall was packed – probably a good 300 people if not more – and Bernard was in full flow.

Credit Agricole is an interesting organisation as it happens, as it is a mutual with its roots firmly in the rural communities, supporting the agriculture that dominated French society until relatively recently. Still firmly integrated in the community, it supports numerous sporting, cultural and community activities at a local level. Nowadays it has evolved with the times, with an insurance and estate agent arm and is the largest retail bank in Europe. Back to the meeting, and Bernard was wrapping up his community support bit, only to hand over to the manager of the Dange branch to present various tables of figures. At this point Roger started fidgiting. Next up was another chap who presented another set of numbers….and them another. At this point I could hear disgruntled noises from my left, so a sharp elbow in the ribs was despatched. By now it was about 19.45 and the meeting was opened up to questions. A chap on the front row was straight up with 5 questions, the first of which was to know why he should be expected to foot the bill for the Greek banking crisis. Clearly the end was not in sight… Eventually the gathered managers wriggled around the questions…was it time for supper? Not yet – another guest speaker – though one who must have been a bit peckish too as he rattled through his bit with welcome rapidity! Enfin – Bernard stood up to make his final address, another prod to my left to ensure he was still awake and we were off onto part 2 of the evening.

To warm us up for supper Bernard had lined up a comedienne from Toulouse who did a quite amusing one woman act for about 40 minutes Actually no warming up was required, it was nearly 22.00 and we were famished! Luckily supper didn’t disappoint. The meeting was transformed into a dining room in a matter of minutes and a rather tasty 4 course snack with wine was served. By now the husband had perked up no end!

It might not have seemed too promising at the start, but all in all we had a good night out. There is something very positive about a whole community turning out and the bank giving something back. I’ve been banking with Lloyds TSB for 30 years and never had so much as a cup of coffee! Merci for the invitation Bernard.


  1. Now I’m worried that I should be expected to foot the bill for the Greek banking crisis and the CA jolly for 300+ !! ;0) only joking!!

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