Customers asked for competition

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In view of the very great heterogeneity of bank prices in 2021, consumers will have to compare and play the competition between businesses more than ever, 'as the differences can be considerable,' the CLCV pleaded this Thursday.

'From single to more than double'

For a basket of identical services, 'the bill will vary greatly from company to company,' says the CLCV. The prices for the same customer profile can range between 'single and more than double' at national level.

This observation is based on a study of the tariffs that will apply on February 1, 2021 in 127 banks in mainland France and overseas for three consumer profiles - small, medium or large - depending on the number of services used.

The average cost is EUR 66.43 per year for a small consumer, EUR 145.39 for an average consumer and EUR 209.94 for a large consumer.

'After the consumer has listed their needs, they have every interest in comparing the interest rates of the different banks as the differences can be important,' advises CLCV, which also encourages comparing the offers proposed in the same facility.

We can often choose between banking services that are paid 'à la carte' on a one-off basis and those that are combined in a 'package', a bundled offer at a fixed price. According to the study, the 'package' is 'only of interest in ten companies' for small consumers and 'only financially advantageous' in around half of the banks for medium and large consumers.

'In general, customers are not sufficiently informed about all possible options and often only receive packaged offers,' complained Jean-Yves Mano, President of CLCV.

2021: Small consumers hardest hit

The study also finds that some customers will pay more for their banking services in 2021 than in 2020.

Small consumers are expected to be hardest hit with an 'average cost increase of 1.06{7d3485657e94c2a51293ca186d4450b2f27c317aa7ee3509dac6c8bbf5461118}'. For the other customer profiles, the average costs recorded by CLCV should remain almost stable (-0.2{7d3485657e94c2a51293ca186d4450b2f27c317aa7ee3509dac6c8bbf5461118}).

The price increases are mainly due to increases in instant debit cards, account management fees, or even ATM withdrawals.

According to the CLCV, they also concern less common operations 'which are expensive', such as PEL transfer fees (up to 155 euros) or inheritance (which can be up to several hundred euros).

In its January issue, 60 Millions de consommateurs also denies the commissions banks receive for inheritance costs, denouncing 'staggering increases in 2012-2020' in certain facilities and 'opaque' conditions. Given that banks are 'taking too much,' the magazine urges authorities to regulate these fees.

Detailed in the price guides

For its part, the French Bankers Association affirms that 'the processing costs incurred during a succession are clearly presented and detailed in the price guides'. 'These costs not only cover the processing of the deceaseds assets, but also the necessary interventions, depending on the degree of complexity of the succession, and do not correspond to a simple account closure,' continues the association, emphasizing that the hardening of the assets The regulation in recent years has required 'major investigations' from banking institutions.