The right to a bank account simplified from June 13

A few days ago, Bercy published a decree designed to streamline the procedure for notifying the Banque de France, as of June 13, 2022, when exercising the right to a bank account. This system was introduced in 1984 to promote banking inclusion.

Right to an account: a quarter of applications are unsuccessful

In a report published in 2020, the French Audit Office (Cour des Comptes) points out that the many steps required to exercise the right to an account discourage its use. Every year, nearly a quarter of the procedures initiated with the Banque de France do not result in the opening of an account.

There are several possible explanations for these malfunctions, starting with the lack of dematerialization of the procedure, which has the effect of lengthening processing times. Another possible reason is the lack of involvement on the part of certain credit institutions. In its report, the Cour des Comptes notes a failure to inform the public concerned, a lack of staff training, and the fact that the service is " not always free of charge".

Introduction of the notion of implicit refusal

A decree on the right to an account procedure published on March 13, 2022 in the Journal Officiel, the measures of which will come into force on June 13, introduces a system of implicit refusal to open accounts after 15 days' silence from banks.

Until now, it was necessary to wait for the bank's explicit refusal and receipt of a certificate of refusal to open an account. Applicants who have been refused access to a bank account will now be able to initiate the right to an account procedure even in the absence of this document. The main aim of this new measure is to speed up the procedure.

What other measures are included?

Three other measures have been introduced to strengthen the right to an account and speed up the process for individuals.

  1. Firstly, customers whose current account has been terminated by the bank will be able to initiate the DAC (droit au compte) procedure after receiving notice of closure, in order to guarantee " banking continuity ", according to Bercy. Until now, they had to wait for the notice period to expire, and could therefore find themselves without a current account before triggering this procedure.
  2. Next, the new bank designated by the Banque de France will have to notify the individual of the list of supporting documents to be provided within 3 days, whereas no time limit was previously stipulated by law.
  3. Finally, banks will be obliged to inform the Banque de France of the reasons for termination, so that the Ministry of the Economy and Finance can monitor the reform in detail.

Loïc Daguzan, spokesman for the Convergence nationale des services publics collective, welcomed this obligation, which will put " real pressure on the banks to reduce the number of opening designations " that are not carried out by these establishments.