According to data from the Banque de France, 3.4 million people encountered financial difficulties in 2019. And in such a situation, payment incidents – unauthorized overdrafts and rejection of direct debits or checks – are inevitable. and may incur costs.
A 2017 survey of 60 million consumers estimated the bill at nearly 300 euros per year for individuals in persistent difficulty.
Who is concerned ?
The legislation allows you to benefit from specific measures if you are one of bank customers in a financially fragile situation. However, this notion changed on November 1, 2020, by virtue of a decree published on July 22. You are first of all concerned if you accumulate 5 irregularities or payment incidents during the same month (and no longer during 3 consecutive months).
On the other hand, the examination of an over-indebtedness file (and no longer just its acceptance) makes it possible to claim this status, as does registration for 3 consecutive months in the Central Check File, which occurs in the event of unpaid check or when your bank withdraws your credit card.
A specific package
As soon as you find yourself in one of these scenarios, your banking establishment must offer you to benefit from the specific offer dedicated to fragile customers. If the names differ, each bank must indeed market this package since 2014. It includes the usual account maintenance services, transfers, withdrawals and withdrawals, as well as a payment card with systematic authorization, all for a flat rate of 3 euros maximum per month (excluding incident costs). On the other hand, you will have to do without a checkbook.
This still does not prevent rejection of direct debits or transfers. This is why, since July 1, 2019, the costs for banking incidents are globally capped at 20 euros per month and 200 euros per year.
A second type of cap
Of the 3.4 million people considered to be in financial difficulty in 2019, only 490,000 took advantage of this specific offer. Rather than waiting for your bank to contact you, don’t hesitate to assert your rights as soon as you find yourself in the red.
In addition, be aware that even if you have not subscribed to the offer dedicated to fragile customers, you can still benefit from an overall cap set, since 2019, at 25 euros per month for your banking incident costs, as soon as you are in one of the fragile situations listed. And while the banks previously applied this ceiling for a variable period, it must be mandatory for 3 months since November 1, 2020.
Ceilings for everyone
Apart from the measures reserved for customers in a financially fragile situation, the law has long regulated the costs of banking incidents. As a reminder, the bank can charge you a maximum of 30 euros for the rejection of a check for less than 50 euros, against 50 euros if the check is for a higher amount. The limit is set at 20 euros for an incident due to another means of payment (direct debit or transfer). In the event that the authorized overdraft is exceeded, the intervention fees are capped at 8 euros per transaction and 80 euros per month.
If some online banks offer more advantageous rates, the majority of traditional establishments limit themselves to the legal amounts.