42% of French people say they have a “bad opinion of banks”. They have a few reasons: what do the banks do with our money? Why do not they finance our local economy and French SMEs more? Why do I have to go under their forked caudines to get the smallest break? Why a majority of French people dread receiving the call of their banker? Can we still trust the inventors of subprime and revolving credit?
Yet less than one in ten French people say they have considered withdrawing some or all of their savings from their bank. Are we really responsible for our money when we confide it blindly to banks that we openly criticize? It is true that they knew how to make themselves indispensable.
Become responsible for your money
What is your bank for ? First and foremost to provide you with the technical means to use and manage your money (online management, checks, credit cards, transfers and direct debits, cash dispenser, etc.). The list of banking services is long and we would be very sorry today to do without. These useful and indispensable services come at a cost. So they have a price. Let’s pay it … as long as it’s right. Let’s put our banks in competition, support the fight of user associations, in short we are responsible consumers.
This logic prevails beyond basic banking services. Whether it’s saving or borrowing, we have to look twice . In a remarkable book, Jeanne Lazarus recalls that the first “figure” of the banker is that of the merchant, a figure that assumes on the part of the client a minimum of skills to understand the products, and in particular the investments or credits that are proposed to him .
Credit terms can vary significantly from one institution to another
In terms of borrowing, credit terms can vary significantly from one institution to another. This is especially true for consumer credit. After years of opacity, the Lagarde law has come to put some order in one of the most lucrative and unacceptable banking activities. The madness of revolving credit has indeed allowed unscrupulous intermediaries to pocket foolish interest rates and has pushed consumers fooled into over-indebtedness. Even today, and despite this new regulatory framework, it is easy to contract the worst credit online at rates close to wear.
Monopoly of banking operations
If credit institutions have a monopoly of banking operations they do not all operate in the same way. Beyond the traditional banks, new and innovative forms of credit mutualism are developing, like credit platforms between individuals. But beware, as a responsible consumer, you will check before using their services that they have obtained the necessary approval of the French banking and financial authorities. For savers, these platforms offer attractive remuneration and transparency on funded projects. Borrowers will find competitive rates.
Who is responsible for your money, the one you save and the one you borrow? You and only you. It is therefore up to you to consider all the alternatives to protect it, to make it fruitful and to borrow it in the best conditions for you and for the economy.