Bank fee rises cancelled in French ‘collective effort’

All rises in bank fees for 2019 have been cancelled as part of President Macron's Gilets Jaunes "collective effort"

All planned increases in bank fees for 2019 in France have been cancelled, as part of the banks’ commitment to President Macron’s “collective effort” to help improve the public’s buying power.

The move was agreed by all banks in France during a meeting with Mr Macron on Tuesday December 11, as part of the President’s plans to respond to the grievances of the Gilets Jaunes protest movement.

The banks have also agreed to limit any bank fees to €25 per month for the 3.6 million customers judged to be in financial difficulty by la Banque de France.

The Élysée Palace said that the changes represent the “redistribution of €500 million to €600 million in buying power to benefit the French”.

Mr Macron also asked banks to confirm that they would support “artisans, shopkeepers and small businesses that have been worst affected by the current crisis, by blockades, and protest damage”.

Today, the President is set to meet representatives of large businesses, to agree further measures on how they could also contribute to the “collective effort”.

The measures come days after Mr Macron’s “Address to the Nation” in response to the Gilets Jaunes protests.

During the 13-minute televised speech, he said: “We want a France where we can live in dignity from our work, from the beginning of the year...I do not forget that there is anger, and grievances, shared by many French people.”

Reactions to the President’s response have been mixed, with 54% believing that the Gilet Jaunes protests should now stop, but just 49% saying that they had been totally “convinced” by the President's words.

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