This shouldn’t be the first time that they’ve raised their voices on this topic and they don’t need to let go. Several shopper protection associations, UFC-Que Choisir, AFOC, CLCV, UNAF and Familles Rurales, denounce the opacity of bank rates. In an announcement launched Wednesday, they castigate the “unacceptable decline in the readability of certain price brochures“.
The associations denounce “the betrayal by the banks of their commitment“and urge the public authorities” d” regulate the presentation of bank rates by law“with the intention to”create the conditions for healthy competition, generating price moderation“. For associations, this opacity of bank rates prevents customers from taking part in competitors between institutions with the intention to save on charges paid.”Up to 180 euros in annual savings“says the press launch.
According to associations, bank mobility is at a most of 2.5% per 12 months since “banks are doing everything to reduce the comparability of their offers, in order to preserve the considerable sums they take from consumers“. 25 billion euros in 2018, provides the press launch.
The associations clarify that “banks’ price brochures have an average of 390 different prices spread over 27 pages“. The UFC-Que Choisir and its counterparts take for instance the value brochure of Société Générale, described as”55 page millefeuille“or that of the Grand Est Europe financial savings bank, which shows at least 612 totally different rates.
However, the press launch recollects that the banks had undertaken in 2010 to make clear the studying of their tariffs. They needed to “publish on the first page of their brochure a standard extract of the rates, grouping the prices of the most common services“. Consumer protection associations deplore that”this advance is endangered“, singled out by the report of the Financial Sector Advisory Committee on 2021 bank tariffs.
Government duty identified
For the associations that signed this press launch, the authorities’s “complacency” in the direction of the banks is “incomprehensible”, recalling that in the spring of 2020, several parliamentary amendments “aimed at restoring the readability of price brochures“had been rejected.
The associations are calling on the public authorities to legislate to make sure the readability of brochures, whereas sustaining the obligation to show a abstract of costs on the first web page with costs expressed on an annual foundation. As effectively as bringing readability to “pricing information documents by requiring that only one package be included that is comparable between banks“.