The image that each French person has of his or her bank remains stable, with 78% of favourable opinions.
Factors which contribute to the positive image of French banks include: proximity (which is based on both the expertise of the bank advisor and the performance of digital services available to customers), trust (security is a recognized strength for banks), financing the economy (where the key role of banks is widely confirmed).
1. Proximity: the role of bank advisors confirmed and a strong increase in the use of digital banking services
With a high level of 70% of favourable opinions, advisors continue to be greatly appreciated by banks’ customers. More than one in two customers would like a dedicated advisor who personally deals with their accounts. Bank advisors are considered to be competent (78%) and answer questions well (75%). Six in every ten people questioned believe that banks advise their customers to choose products that are suited to their needs (+6 points compared with 2015).
The downward trend in physical visits to branches continued (20% of those questioned visit their bank several times per month, versus 52% in 2010) and is due to the growth in and attractiveness of digital services offered by the banks: for more than one in every two French people surveyed (54%; +8% compared with 2015), digital services offered by banks enable them to visit their branch less often.
In response to customer demand, banks have been offering a wide range of digital services in recent years.
Banks’ digital usage is growing strongly across all daily banking services from consulting bank accounts (79% of those surveyed, +5 points), making online payments (67%; +2 points) and bank transfers (63%, +5 points) to subscribing to new products (49%, +6 points).
2. Security: a strength for the banks
Those surveyed believed that banks have a strong advantage in terms of security. Conversely, only 21% of French people are willing to provide their banking IDs to a payment institution that is not a bank.
Less than one in every two French people trust internet service providers or social networks when making payments and to ensure the security of their personal data.
Only 10% of those questioned (19% of 18-35 year olds) would be prepared to open an account through a social network.
3. Financing the economy: a recognised priority for banks
The central role played by banks in financing the economy and businesses is recognised by 73% of those surveyed who believe that they are key players.
Finally, 58% of French people consider that banks provide businesses with the means to grow (+3 points vs 2015), and more than one out of two French people believe that they assist entrepreneurs.
According to Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani, Chief Executive Officer of the FBF, “the positive image of banks has continued to improve, reaching its highest level in ten years. Banks are continuing to increase the number of secure digital services on offer which is strengthening the relationship of trust and closeness with their customers.“
(1) The image survey of banks was carried out by the BVA opinion and market research institute. The survey was carried out in person with 1,058 over 15 year old French people, using the quota method, between 12 and 27 May 2016.
FBF Press release – The image of French banks at its best level in ten years