The uprising of social movements has undeniably marked the last weeks of the economic and political spheres in France. If their demands remain partially satisfied, the government is doing its best to revalue the purchasing power of French households. As proof, the definitive withdrawal of the carbon tax is a symbol for many consumers. The executive power has also asked banking institutions to get their hands dirty. An agreement was thus concluded, there will be no increase in the pricing conditions applied by banks in 2019. So, what impact for the budget of French households?
Limiting bank charges, a necessity for the poorest
Last September, banks pledged to cap the fees charged to the most vulnerable customers. The cost of banking services will not exceed US $ 200 per year. It is a real advance in terms of social justice. In France, millions of French people are overdrawn at the end of the month because of exorbitant bank charges. These alone represent a substantial budget for the household. And of course they are added to the current expenses of households in difficulty (rent, monthly loan payments, children's school fees, etc.).
So this commitment comes at the right time for a good number of French people. However, to benefit from this cap, certain conditions are required. Only people registered with the Central Check File (FCC), over-indebted people and customers considered financially “fragile” by their banking establishment, will be able to benefit from this new resolution.
A basic banking offer dedicated to "fragile" customers
For the past two years, banks have also embarked on a program dedicated to customers considered fragile. These are people whose financial situation is particularly precarious. Over-indebted households are of course the first to be affected by such measures. This is also the case for French people registered at Bank One following a banking incident linked to checks or credit cards.
An offer with basic services is then offered to them at a lower cost. The latter does not include an overdraft authorization. In addition, the bank card included in this package is an Electron card. It is characterized by a limiting operation. Indeed, the bank is questioned for each payment made.
Conditions still onerous for households in difficulty
Despite everything, these developments seem insufficient. Indeed, the budget allocated to banking services by French households remains high in comparison with other European countries. A study carried out in 2015 by the firm Deloitte for Agefi shows that the average management fees charged by French banks are higher than that of many European countries such as Great Britain. The cost of banking services is high above all because there is a virtual monopoly in this sector. Only a few large groups are competing for the market (Société Générale, Bnp Paribas, BPCE, La Poste).
In short, this historic decision to freeze bank tariffs is necessary to guarantee French households the preservation of their purchasing power.