French banks are going to hike their charges once again

French banks are going to hike their charges once again
Photo: AFP
From January 1st 2017 anyone with a bank account in France can expect to pay a fair bit more for the pleasure of using it.

A new survey has revealed most banks will seriously hike their service charges, just as they did in 2016.

The study, carried out by bank comparator “Meilleurebank”, revealed most banks in France will raise their charges for “maintenance” of accounts.

These charges are set to rise by an average of 13 percent on January 1st.

Other charges such as when using debit cards in the cash machines of other banks will also go up by an average of 4.5 percent.

And the charges just for having the debit card itself will also rise by around 3 percent.

The hikes are put down to the fact that low interest rates on loans and mortgages means French banks need to find an alternative way to boost their profit margins.

Americans and British who move to France are often shocked that French banks impose charges for “account maintenance” and for having a debit card, because they often don’t exist back home.

This is taken from an article written for The Local called: Five tips for opening a bank account in France.

“While many banks in the US and UK have free checking, that concept does not really exist in France, especially since you're required to interact so often with your personal banker and can't complete all of your transactions online. You may pay a small fee for 'tenue de compte', or keeping the account open, as well as a monthly fee for your debit card.

“The debit card fee will depend on the options you choose: the weekly and monthly limits for cash withdrawal and debit transactions, the amount of insurance protection on the card, overdraft protection, and your choice between 'débit immédiat' – when your account is debited immediately for purchases, and 'débit différé', when your card is debited at the end of your month. You can choose between the basic cards with low limits, or gold and platinum visas that often offer perks like travel insurance.”




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