the bad habits of French banks

These costs apply in particular in the event of rejection of a direct debit or in the event of an overdraft. According to the estimate of economists from the National Consumer Institute (INC), the business would bring in 6.5 billion euros per year to the banks.

Bank incident costs are much higher in France than in neighboring countries, denounced on Tuesday the consumer defense association UFC-Que Choisir, which calls on the government to reduce them. These costs, which apply in particular in the event of rejection of a direct debit or in the event of an overdraft, are the source of a scandalous bank puncture of 1.8 billion euros on the consumer budget, according to the association which notes in a press release the ineffectiveness of competition to curb them. The proof is that the ceiling of 20 euros in the event of direct debit rejection is systematically applied by all banks, according to UFC-Que Choisir, of which 8 euros for an intervention commission.

In 2021, the Court of Auditors was interested in the costs of incidents caused during an overdraft and already denounced their opacity. According to the estimate of economists from the National Consumer Institute (INC), the business would bring in 6.5 billion euros per year to the banks. Indeed, in the event of an unauthorized overdraft, for example, the bank will, in principle, send its client an information letter so that he can regularize his situation. His cost can increase up to 45 euros according to the MoneyVox comparison.

The banks of the Banques Populaires-Caisse d’pargne (BPCE) group are particularly familiar with this.

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Margins of 86% for banks

The UFC has calculated that the average duration of these interventions was less than 1 minute 30, and assessed the margins of French banks on these incident costs at 86%. Chargeback charges are 17 times higher in France than in Germany, 8 times higher than in Italy and 3 times higher than in Belgiumspecifies the UFC-Que Choisir.

The UFC-Que Choisir urges the government to bring the excesses of banks in terms of incident fees to heel on the occasion of the bill for the defense of purchasing power that the government wants to introduce after the legislative elections. When competition does not work, the public authorities are, in our opinion, legitimate to intervene to regulate the market and would be well advised to revise the amounts that banks can levy for payment incidents downwards, Matthieu Robin told AFP, Bank/Insurance project manager at UFC-Que Choisir.

The association estimates that consumers could save more than a billion euros if rejection fees were limited to 8 euros. It also asks for more transparency from the banks, only two of which – the Postal Bank and Bred – systematically reverse the double invoicing of rejections that occur when the customer’s account has not been funded before the second attempt to collect an invoice. .

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