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Should my French bank be offering an éco-prêt green loan?

All France's major retail banks have signed up for the éco-prêt scheme

Reader question: We had considered installing a heat pump and hoped to obtain an éco-prêt loan at 0% interest to help with the costs. However, neither of our two banks (LCL and la Banque Postale) is offering this loan.

Unofficially, it seems that the administrative work is too time-consuming and therefore costly. Is it possible to apply for an éco- prêt to another bank even if we are not existing customers? If so, which one?

Short of trotting out the usual and unverifiable “lazy staff ” or “summer work experience” clichés, we cannot explain why you were unable to apply for an éco-prêt in person at your branch.

Neither can the banks themselves understand the refusal.

All France’s major retail banks have signed up for the scheme.

The head offices of both LCL and la Banque Postale insist that they are taking part in éco-prêt schemes.

They say that, if you had filled out the forms available online, your application should have been dealt with. Both banks have the scheme on their websites.

LCL suggested that if you took the matter to the branch manager, you would probably have got the loan.

La Banque Postale said it was puzzled that the loan was refused but cannot investigate further without more details. If you go to other banks, there is a chance you will have a better response.

Ademe, the government agency running environment schemes, was asked for a definitive list of banks taking part, and provided this:

Banque BCP
Banque Chalus
Banque Populaire
BNP Paribas
Caisse d’Epargne
Crédit Agricole
Crédit du Nord
Crédit Mutuel
La Banque Postale
Société Générale
Société Marseillaise de Crédit

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