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Banking inclusion and microcredit

The Banque de France works constantly to promote banking inclusion, with the aim of providing vulnerable people with access to suitable banking services, and preventing those in difficulty from becoming financially excluded due to inappropriate use of banking services.

As part of this role, the Governor of the Banque de France chairs the French Observatory for Banking Inclusion (OIB), which was created by the Law of 26 July 2013 and is governed by the Decree of 30 June 2014. The OIB comprises representatives of the relevant stakeholders (including public authorities, associations and banks), and is the central body charged with measuring and promoting banking inclusion in France. Each year, it publishes an annual report containing an analysis of banking inclusion indicators, an assessment of the practices of credit institutions, and recommendations from the OIB on how to improve banking inclusion. -> Link to the OIB report

The Banque de France is also responsible for implementing the legal “right to an account” procedure for individuals who have been refused a bank account or whose account has been closed. Under the system, applicants can ask the Bank to designate a high street credit institution to supply them with a basic account. They are also given free access to the basic banking services needed for everyday life, to prevent them from becoming financially excluded. In 2015, close to 70,000 requests were submitted for the right to an account.

Another way of improving the financial inclusion of vulnerable populations is assisted microcredit. This consists in granting loans to borrowers who do not have access to traditional bank credit, to help finance social or professional integration projects.

The Banque de France is a strong supporter of the scheme. Each year it awards two “assisted microcredit” prizes to outstanding projects that are particularly good examples of how this type of lending can combat financial exclusion. -> Link to videos of the 2016 prizes.

Updated on: 12/09/2016 17:38