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a step forward, but not a panacea – Liberation

The decree, which came into force on June 13, aims to simplify procedures with the Bank of France in order to better guarantee access to a bank account for everyone. It remains to be seen whether these new measures will actually be effective.

Has it become easier to access a deposit account when you are banned from banking? According to the decree, which came into force on June 13, turning to the Banque de France when you are being denied the basic banking services of a financial institution should no longer be a problem.

This device, which is intended for all French citizens and is called the “eligibility procedure”, was created in 1984 to promote the inclusion in banking of people in a situation of financial instability (debarred from banking, over-indebted, homeless). Its principle: the bank, when it refuses to open an account for you, must provide you with a certificate of refusal, in the form of a letter or e-mail, which you send (preferably in the form of a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt) at the Bank of France – you can also approach one from the counters of the institution in your municipality to personally hand over the document. Once the rejection letter has been received, the Banque de France must, within one business day, appoint another bank that will be forced to open its doors to you.

“Procrastination Tactics”

But in reality, this “right to account” is an obstacle course in which some banks refuse to provide evidence of their refusal. “Private banks believe that clients who are financially unstable are wasting their time in terms of administrative paperwork and do not bring them money. We are very often asked to mediate with the Bank of France in the context of the right to an account”, explains Michel Guyot, president of France Conso Banque, an association with 12,000 members that has been protecting the rights of banking consumers for ten years.

Therefore, the Ministry of Economy and Finance revised and adjusted the system to strengthen and accelerate its implementation. Among the major changes: no longer required letter of refusal, a decree introducing the concept of “implied refusal” after fifteen days of silence on the part of the bank in question (two weeks, corresponding to the maximum processing time for a registered letter). with acknowledgment of receipt) institutions are forced to inform the Banque de France of the reasons for their decision; the system now includes legal entities (SMEs or associations) as well as non-emancipated minors over 16 years of age.

If these amendments represent progress, then we are still far from a panacea, says Michel Guyot: “We would like a simple affidavit to be submitted to the Banque de France to be…

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