Why is the French banking system strong?

The protection and safety of our money is important for all bank customers. This article explains why the French banking system is fundamentally strong; with tips on what you should look for when choosing a bank.

In France the banking system is inherently strong with two French banks amongst the top 10 banks in the world, including the Crédit Agricole Group. This is particularly impressive as the French economy is only the 7th largest globally. Let us now consider some of the other factors underpinning the strength of French banking.

Protecting the banking customer: regulation

France is part of the European banking union, a large financial market including all banks and financial institutions of the European Union. 
In 1994 the EU established a deposit guarantee scheme (FGDR) to protect customers’ assets and compensate them if their institution fails. There is also a single resolution mechanism (SRM) to manage the process for an orderly, quick and efficient resolution of failing banks with minimal cost to taxpayers and to the economy.
The Crédit Agricole Group is part of the European banking union and supervised for banking, insurance and asset management activities. 

How much of your money is protected by the French government?

The EU deposit guarantee scheme protects funds held in current and savings accounts for amounts up to €100,000 per customer, per institution.
The French government issues a separate guarantee for regulated savings accounts (“Livret A”, “LDDS”, “LEP”) of up to €100,000.  
Customers receive their funds within seven days under the scheme. Please note that funds held on an “Assurance Vie” contract are covered separately. 

What happens if a French bank fails?

This scenario is extremely unlikely due to the strict regulation of French banks and their relative asset strength.
However, if a French bank was at risk of failing, the banking authorities will activate the SRM and take over management of the bank. This action reduces the potential impact on the customers and prevents bankruptcy. Decisions concerning transfers of activity or disposals of assets are also its responsibility.
The FGDR guarantees all deposits as a last resort.

What things should you look for to assess the strength of a bank?

Customer preferences often influence our choice of bank; nevertheless the following may help:

  • Customer satisfaction: how do clients rate their bank? 
  • Key financial indicators: look at ratings such as solvency, risk, profitability and growth.
  • Brand awareness: there are several new banks setting up; longevity and experience are other key factors.
  • Cybersecurity protections: how does a bank manage threats to its security (and your money!).
  • Corporate social responsibility: evidence of working in communities and supporting sustainable initiatives.

You can find answers to many of these questions online – or simply ask your bank!

How does CA Britline compare?

CA Britline is a part of Crédit Agricole Normandie, a member of the Crédit Agricole Group. Crédit Agricole has a A+/stable credit rating  and excellent ratios for solvency and banking satisfaction. The French banking regulation similarly protects customers with a CA Britline account.
Banks and other financial institutions use a benchmarking system called the Net Promoter Score (NPS). CA Britline has a rating of +54. This is extremely high, demonstrating the quality of its advisors and the confidence of its customers.

CA Britline: the French bank that speaks your language 

CA Britline provides a bilingual, English-speaking service to our customers. 
With CA Britline you can call or email us whenever you wish. Customers may also request a call back using the website. Need an appointment with your advisor? No problem using your online banking account or the app!

Open a French bank account today with CA Britline in 4 easy steps. Once you complete the form online and supply the supporting documents, we will then contact you to discuss your requirements before opening your account.

We look forward to talking with you!


Image used is provided by Getty Images.
First published: 20th December 2023