The French government relies on dormant accounts to increase funding for associations

The government has expressed its desire to inject an additional 20 million euros into the financing of small associations, using funds from inactive bank accounts. Since 2020, 20% of the volume of these accounts has been directed towards their financing, and the government has set itself the target of increasing this to 40%.

Helping small associations

In early September, the associations called on the government to support their sector, which they consider to be in " mortal danger " in the face of " inflation and rising demand ", as stated in an article published in Libération.

A working group including the Mouvement associatif and the Haut conseil à la vie associative (HCVA) will shortly be set up to introduce " administrative simplification" measures by the end of the year.

"At times, very small associations have the impression that they spend a lot of time responding to calls for projects and drawing up their financial statements " , says Prisca Thévenot, Secretary of State for Youth, who met with 200 associations in September.

The government intends to simplify the day-to-day work of these structures by accelerating the roll-out of the " Guid'asso " network of hotlines and the " Le Compte Asso " platform. There are also plans to boost their funding by drawing more heavily on dormant bank accounts.

An additional 20 million euros

The French government intends to increase funding for small, " local, day-to-day " associations by 20 million euros, without increasing its debt, by drawing more heavily on inactive bank accounts. To be considered inactive, an account must not have recorded any transactions other than those carried out by the bank (collection of fees, interest payments, etc.) for 12 consecutive months. In addition, the account holder or his/her legal representative must not have contacted the bank during this period. This period is extended to 5 years for savings books, term accounts and securities accounts. It runs from the end of the period of unavailability, i.e. on maturity of the contract for a term deposit.

" Many inactive bank accounts, unclaimed for decades, are consigned to Caisse des Dépôts. Since 2020, 20% have been directed towards financing associations, and we're going to increase this to 40% ," Prisca Thévenot confirmed to AFP. She added that the government would be making amendments to this effect in the Finance Bill.

If this measure is introduced, the 20 million euros will be added to the 50 million euros paid each year by the State into associations' bank accounts as part of the Fonds pour le développement de la vie associative(FDVA). This fund was created to finance small and medium-sized associations, in particular sports and local associations.