On 27 September, one year after their first study on bank incident charges, UNAF France and the organisation “60 Millions de Consommateurs” published a new study on the abusive practices of some banks. This study reveals the recent implementation of a billing system for customers experiencing financial difficulties in at least two major French banking networks, and the unwillingness of banks to promote the “fragile customers” offer to the people concerned.
Although banks are committed to protect “fragile customers” the study reveals that the opposite is the case. In November 2017, the Caisses d’épargne and Banques populaires introduced a new billing system which actually penalizes customers in difficulty. If the account ends the day below the authorized overdraft, all transaction managed during this day will be subject to a fee, including those that took place when the account was still in credit. These charges generate 6,5 billion per year for the banks. However, charging incident fees on operations that do not cause an incident at the time they occur is illegitimate and a priori illegal.
The findings of the study are accompanied by some proposals to protect all consumers.