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FBF’s response to OFE report on VSE/SME access to banking services

Funding the economy, and especially VSEs/SMEs, is the top priority of French banks. Their commitment to their customers is reflected in their support and personalised approach, practised nationwide. The FBF welcomes the report published by the Observatoire du financement des entreprises (OFE – Corporate Finance Observatory) on VSE/SME access to banking services, which underscores the close relations maintained by French banks with professional customers.

By working so closely with these customers, French banks have multiple impacts, as pointed out by the OFE. First, it means the solutions and prices offered are appropriate to the needs of each company. The report highlights, with evidence to back it up, that these prices are moderate with respect to the proposed services. French banks are in fact doing everything in their power to provide access to a broad range of products and services addressing the various aspects of running a business, all at favourable conditions. Some banks offer packages, which can prove to be an attractive solution. Competition is very strong, as confirmed by the wide variety of pricing options, and thus meets the full range of needs.

The French banking relationship model also builds a trust-based relationship that stands the test of time, one that raises awareness and can anticipate any problems, thus preventing temporary hardships from becoming structural. In that respect, it is important to note that the results of a survey of four professional associations (Medef, CPME, U2P, CMA France), presented to the OFE in December, showed that just 27% of VSE/SME CEOs say they have run into incidents since January 2019, and that fewer than 6% met with recurring incidents. Lastly, nearly three-fourths of professional customers paid no incident fees in 2019.

French banks tap into innovation to better serve their customers, and particularly corporates, in maximum security conditions. The report indicated customers are satisfied with the banking solutions at their disposal.

All in all, the report paints a positive picture, and French banks have taken note of identified areas for improvement. They will continue expanding communication with their customers, finding ways to resolve any disputes, and helping them build up their financial skills.

French banks are ready, willing and able to support the country’s economy. With 36,000 branches nationwide, and advisors in the field whose areas of expertise are stressed in the report, they guide and support their customers – especially in challenging periods such as the crisis we have been facing since early 2020. Opinion surveys conducted on CEOs also indicate that they are satisfied with their bank, particularly in times of crisis, and feel that their bank mobilises its efforts and works closely with them as customers.  This recognition is the best motivation to keep these efforts going.

INFO PRESSE FBF – 7 mai 21 – Réaction de la FBF au rapport de l’OFE sur l’accès des TPE et PME aux services bancaires


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