One in Five French People Exceeds Their Authorised Overdraft Every Month

The overdraft is expensive if its ceiling is exceeded.

If the trend is down, the French are still adept at the bank overdraft authorised, which concerns six people out of 10 every year. And this service continues to be expensive.

More than one in five French people exceeds the limit of their overdraft allowed once a month. This is evident from a study conducted by the Panorabanques banking comparator.

The online comparator finds that “the French are less bright red than in previous years: they seem to manage their budget better”.

But for households that exceed their overdraft, the service continues to be very expensive.

An overdraft authorised plebiscite

Nearly two-thirds of French people want to benefit from an authorized bank overdraft (62%), according to the Panorabanques study conducted among more than 51,000 people between the ages of 18 and 65 between May 2018 and August 2019.

The ceiling and its duration are provided for in an account agreement or in an exceptional authorization, underlines the French administration on its website , which recalls that in case of dispute, it is possible to seize the banking mediator.

Six French in ten over the limit at least once a year

Despite these permissions, many customers continue to exceed the limit allowed by their bank. In 2019, nearly six out of ten French people (57%) are in unauthorized overdraft at least once a year, of which 21% are once a month.

A situation that affects everyone. Among those who go over once a month, there are French people earning less than 1,500 euros a month (23%), like those with a salary of more than 3,000 euros per month (13%).

Even the most affluent incomes do not escape the annual overrun (47% of them).

Laure Prenat, CEO of Panorabanques, sees a habit of using the overdraft, authorized or not, regardless of its level of income: “It can be a poor management of cash and even a choice: some may prefer to be short a few days away from releasing money from booklets or other savings products. ”

“If one warns his banker of a big expense and that it is called when it arrives, one can negotiate or even eliminate the expenses of incidents and to pay only the agios on these few days.”

Exceedances that are expensive

In case of crossing the authorized threshold, the invoice can however hurt. “It is a service that is widely demanded and used by the French. But it is expensive and must remain exceptional, “Laure alert Prenat, contacted by .

On average, this amounts to more than 70 euros per year to the customer, according to the rates charged by his bank. A sum that corresponds to:

  • To the intervention commissions: they are capped at 8 euros per commission and 80 euros per month.
  • “Unauthorized accounts receivables” : on average, they cost ten euros, and are free in 24% of banks.
  • At the agios of unauthorized overdraft:  with a rate that varies between 16% and 21%.

It should be noted that the use of the authorized overdraft represents a cost, on average between 20 and 30 euros per year, between the set-up fees or annual files (around 7 euros per year) and the user fees for the service.

Other additional costs

As for customers who regularly exceed their ceiling, their bill can be even more burdensome, with large differences noted according to the banks, which can go “up to several hundred euros a year for those who are exceeded every month “.

In addition, sometimes, when the economic health of the household is lower, incidents of payments (discharges of withdrawals, checks …) that further aggravate an already fragile situation.

Banks have however committed in 2018 to cap incident costs for the most vulnerable populations to 25 euros per month, for a traditional banking offer.

A tendency to improvement? 

Despite this observation, the trend over the last six years shows a decrease in the frequency of overdraft authorized, with 43% of French people who meet the threshold. They were 40% in 2018, compared to 35% in 2014.

A decrease that can be explained in part by:

  • the development of banking tools (app, alerts …) to better manage its budget
  • offers not allowing the overdraft
  • new patterns of household consumption.

“The French are becoming fans of the resale of objects that have become useless, the purchase of second hand, private sales or group purchases, which save money and help the better performance of the budget,” rejoices Laure Prenat.

In case of difficulties, the CEO of Panorabanques recommends dialogue and exchange with his bank advisor, or even the comparison of offers and rates between banks, because “from one institution to another, the cost of overdraft sometimes varies. from single to double. Changing banks can help you reduce the bill. “

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