MEPs reject bank fee cap bill

Posted 7 Feb. 2022 at 02:46 PMUpdated Feb 7. 2022 at 15:20

There were no surprises this time around. In the aftermath of Parliament’s unexpected reversal of the law allowing the termination of borrower’s insurance at any time and the abolition of the health questionnaire for a large number of loans, the National Assembly on Friday rejected the bill on the capping of bank charges and the fight against financial exclusion.

Defended by the centrist deputies Bertrand Pancher and Charles de Courson (Liberties and Territories group), in front of a very sparse hemicycle, it proposed the establishment of a “banking shield” in order to divide by two, or even by four for customers the the poorest, the costs of banking incidents – such as the rejection of transactions in the event of an overdraft.

The government and the majority did not support the text. The three articles had already been rejected by the Economic Affairs Committee two weeks ago. “Progress has already been achieved with ceilings put in place for the most vulnerable, recalled MP Philippe Chassaing (LREM). We need to make existing systems better known. »

“The regulations exist”

At the end of 2018, in the midst of the “yellow vests” crisis, the State had put pressure on the banks to put in place new ceilings for fragile customers (25 euros per month) and for those, among them, benefiting from the specific offer reserved for the most deprived (20 euros per month, 200 euros per year). New criteria were still introduced in 2020.

“The regulations exist and they already make it possible to protect those who need it most”, declared Cédric O. The Secretary of State in charge of the Digital Transition and Electronic Communications does not see the point at this stage of imposing “a global framework of tariffs for all types of customers”.

Deputy Bertrand Pancher, author of the text, expressed his regret at seeing this proposal rejected. “Some still believe in the invisible hand of the market. Others in the field can see that this is not working, especially in banking. Public power must be at the center of these debates, ”he said, applauded by the deputies of the PS and LFI, who had brought their votes.

In addition to the capping of bank charges, the bill also aimed to improve the procedure for the right to an account. This allows anyone residing in France, regardless of their financial situation, to hold an account in an institution designated by the Banque de France.

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