Financial literacy: where do the French stand?

French financial literacy is on a par with the OECD average. At least, that's what the latest international study on financial and economic concepts shows. Here's an overview of the key findings.

A financial culture similar to the OECD average

The Banque de France has just published the results of its second survey of French people's financial culture. For this edition, carried out three years after the first, over 2,000 French people aged 18 and over were interviewed by telephone or online between June 18 and July 9, 2021. The study, which aims to measure and analyze the financial literacy of a representative sample of the population, reveals that the French have a level comparable to the OECD average, with a final score of 13/21.


70% of French people do not know the Livret A rate

While 21% of those surveyed claim to have a "high" level of knowledge on financial issues, and 45% consider themselves to have an "average" level on the subject, there are real disparities according to gender, socio-professional category and age. The Banque de France study shows, for example, that men, those in higher socio-professional categories and the under-34s seem to be more at ease with financial issues. And yet, some essential notions are not yet acquired. While 55 million French people have a Livret A savings account, only 31% know its interest rate, and 69% are mistaken or say they don't know.

42% of French people are unaware of their bank charges

Another finding of the study is that 42% of French people have only anapproximate idea of the fees charged by banking establishments. However, some of these fees deserve increasing attention, particularly those requiring human intervention, and those which are set to rise from 2022 onwards.

Over 40% of French people do not know the amount of their future pension

The other financial parameter on which individuals dry up concerns the amount of their retirement pension. While 22% have a vague idea, 42% are completely unaware of whether they will have sufficient income. The proportion of French people with a vague idea of their future retirement income rises to 60% among the economically inactive, and to 49% among women.

10-20% of French people don't know how to lodge an objection

While a majority of those surveyed said they knew what to do if their means of payment were lost or stolen, this was not the case for between 10% and 21% of French people. On this point, the survey also reveals that only 72% of those questioned believe they will be reimbursed in the event of fraudulent online payment by credit card. As a reminder, in such a situation, the bank is obliged to reimburse the full amount lost, unless it can prove that the customer was negligent.