Minister seeks €200 annual cap on French bank charges

The French minister of economy and finance Bruno Lemaire is seeking to introduce a cap of €200 per year on banking charges for people of the most limited means.

3 September 2018
Minister Bruno Le Maire wants to introduce a banking charge cap for the poorest in society
By Connexion journalist

The government is set to present the issue to French banks, during a meeting with governor of the Banque de France, François Villeroy de Galhau.

Also present will be the president of the Fédération Bancaire Française (FBF) Laurent Mignon; and members of the executive committee of the FBF.

In a statement this week, Mr Lemaire said: “I would like to introduce a cap of €200 per year maximum for banking charges for the most fragile people.

“Today, the poorest people are most vulnerable to bank charges. Some on low incomes might pay up to €400, €500 or €600 per year in bank charges. It is unacceptable.”

The minister also stated that he wished for more people to be given access to the so-called “offre spécifique” - a banking offer that must be made available by all French banks to anyone in financial difficulty.

Introduced in 2014, the offer is currently available to 375,000 people, but the minister has condemned this as “insufficient”, and called for 30% more people to be given access.

Mr Lemaire added: “We are betting on the cooperation of the banks. I hope they play the game. If we see that in six months’ time, our ideas are not working, we will take other measures.”

Stay informed:
Sign up to our free weekly e-newsletter
Subscribe to access all our online articles and receive our printed monthly newspaper The Connexion at your home. News analysis, features and practical help for English-speakers in France

Get news, views and information from France