Banks commit to capping fees by 2023

Following a meeting with leaders of the French banking sector, Bruno Le Maire, the French Minister of the Economy and Finance, has affirmed that the increase in fees charged to retail customers will be capped and limited to 2% in 2023. Here we take a closer look at the banks' commitments.

A shield on bank charges

Described as " a shield on bank charges " by the Minister of the Economy, the capping of rates planned for 2023 echoes the shield put in place by the government to contain rising gas and electricity prices.

Following a meeting with the heads of the BPCE, Société Générale, Crédit Mutuel, Crédit Agricole, BNP Paribas and La Banque Postale groups, Bruno Le Maire announced that, from January 1, " certain French banks will freeze their bank rates for the whole year (...) this also means that all banks have committed to not increasing their bank rates by more than 2% over 2023 ".


For its part, in a press release published on September 14, the French Banking Federation (FBF) points out that it isup to each bank to make its own decisions, in compliance with competition law.


A measure already applied by some banks

Several banks have announced their intention to freeze their rates in 2023.

Crédit Coopératif has announced that all its retail banking rates, and not just "very common charges", will not be increased next year. The same applies to BNP Paribas.


As for LCL, the bank is committed to freezing all bank charges for retail customers until September 2023.

Lower costs for the most vulnerable

The banks' other commitment concerns maximum bank charges for vulnerable customers, which will be reduced from 3 euros to 1 euro per month. This measure is designed to cope with high inflation, which stood at 5.8% year-on-year in August, according to the latest provisional estimate from Insee.

To limit the rise in the cost of living for households, the government had encouraged companies to make a gesture in favor of French purchasing power.

With record profits set for 2021, the banks quickly found themselves in Bercy's sights. Société Générale, BNP Paribas, Crédit Agricole, BPCE and Crédit Mutuel alone have posted net profits of over 30 billion euros.

The current year is following the same trend. It has to be said that rising rates (the European Central Bank raised its rate on bank deposits from 0% to 0.75% on September 8) are working in their favor. It remains to be seen whether the banks will be able to meet these commitments throughout 2023.