Currency shortage: Crédit Agricole Val de France blames the Banque de France

Crédit Agricole Val de France has put the blame for a "cash shortage" on the Banque de France, via a poster taped to a cash dispenser. The institution, which is currently undergoing restructuring and plans to close almost half of its regional branches in the coming months, denied being the cause of the cash shortage.

An "untimely initiative" according to the Banque de France

A Crédit Agricole Val de France flyer taped to an ATM warned the bank's customers:

due to "a shortage of currency at the Banque de France, we will not be able to honor all your requests and invite you to limit your withdrawals as far as possible".

The photo of the poster, which the regional bank claims was put up in June, has been circulating on social networks, prompting Les Echos to contact Crédit Agricole Val de France and the Banque de France to find out more.

The Crédit Agricole regional bank put things into perspective, explaining that the "coin shortage" really only concerned coins, describing the problem as "very temporary and very local".

However, the Banque de France rejects this unfounded explanation, calling the poster an"untimely initiative". According to the institution, the regional bank had in fact mismanaged its coin orders.

Banque de France launches extensive restructuring plan

It has to be said that the subject is a delicate one for the Banque de France, which has embarked on a vast restructuring plan and plans to cut 14 of its 37 regional branches over the coming months. A total of 134 employees are affected by this restructuring, i.e. 1% of the institution's total workforce.

"These caisses are the ones with the lowest activity today. They are spread across the whole country," Erik Lacourrège, Banque de France's General Manager for Economic Services and the Network, explained to Le Figaro in early 2021.

"The idea is to keep between one and three caisses per region, which means eliminating one or even two caisses per region. There will be no white zones," he added.

This summer, the European Central Bank emphasized the need for cash accessibility, reminding banks that they were obliged to give all citizens of the European Union access to cash.

However, while the Banque de France told Les Echos that the elimination of almost half of its regional branches would have "no negative impact on the distribution of cash and especially coins", the institution's unions contacted by the daily are more dubious.

They fear, for example, that the Orléans regional branch will not have sufficient parts storage capacity to compensate for the closure of the Tours branch.