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FBF-IFOP Survey 2024 “The French, their banking and their expectations”: The bank as a trusted partner

FBF-IFOP Survey 2024: “The French, their banking and their expectations”: The bank as a trusted partner

The FBF (French Banking Federation) and the IFOP (French Institute of Public Opinion) reveal the findings of their fifth survey: “The French, their banking and their expectations”. This survey of more than 4,000 French respondents[1] provides a snapshot of French banking customers, identifies their main expectations in relation to banking and their use of banks, and reveals their perception of the sector.

  1. Snapshot of banking customers in France

64% of French people have one bank account, while 48% have taken out one or more loans. Branch visits are made at least once per quarter by 36% of them, compared to 41% in 2020. For 83% of them, banking is based on both a physical and a digital model using multiple contact methods: 40% by email, 35% via the bank’s website, 25% by telephone and 24% through the branch.

  • Expectations among French consumers

80% of the French prefer a bank that allows them to access services both online and in-branch, depending on their needs. Security (of accounts and data) tops the list of expectations spontaneously mentioned by 40% of those surveyed. This is followed by availability for 32% of them, with a bank being reachable by phone, in-branch or via chat.

Regarding savings, 51% of French people expect products to be low risk, first and foremost, while 19% expect them to contribute to local development and job creation, and 16% expect them to contribute to the ecological transition. Finally, for 14%, products may entail more risk for potentially higher returns.

  • Customer practices

94% of French customers consult their bank’s website or app mainly to track their accounts, monitor their budget/expenditure and manage transactions. Today, 79% have downloaded at least one banking app – a 24-point increase since 2018.

The usage of apps and websites are generally similar, primarily for account management: tracking accounts (57% via the app and 52% via the website) and monitoring budget and expenditure (48% and 46%).

  • Perception of changes

More than 8 out of 10 French people acknowledge the innovative nature of banks and believe this innovation is going in the right direction. Contactless payment by bank card is a practice that is widely known to the French (93%) and which they trust (76%). Other recent possibilities are also well known, including contactless payment via smartphone (91%), remote payment via smartphone (86%) and fingerprint authentication to access online services (77%). However, banks still need to educate customers on some of these innovations to enhance trust in these tools.

  • Full-service local banking recognised by the French as a strong support

When asked about their perception of banks, the French highlight the close link between proximity and satisfaction: 90% of them have a positive image of their branch, 89% of their bank and 88% of their advisor. The involvement of banks in daily and local life is also recognised and considered central, since for 88% of respondents – a stable proportion compared to last year – banks are part of the daily lives of the French. For 84%, they are even considered indispensable. The survey shows that French banks are widely considered essential players in local development and essential to local life.

  • Banking – a strategic sector for France

The image of the French banking industry is becoming stronger. This is reflected in the perception among 82% of French people that banks finance French companies, while 77% believe that they benefit the country’s economy and 76% that they are performing well. Furthermore, 83% declare the banking sector to be strategic, placing it third behind food and energy.

According to FBF Chairman Nicolas Namias: “The survey highlights the very strong bond between the French and their banks, a bond that reflects the trust placed in the 350,000 bankers who assist their customers every day. We are honoured by such trust, which is fostered by being useful to the French in their daily lives, for local needs in branches or remotely, useful when they are in difficulty, particularly in times of crisis, and useful for their life plans, to make those plans possible through personalised advice and financial solutions tailored to each individual’s needs.

[1] FBF-IFOP Study conducted between 17 and 27 November 2023 on a sample of 4,008 people, representative of the French population aged 18 and over.

IFOP – FBF 2024 study “The French, their banking, their expectations” (PDF)

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