If Deloitte’s Bank and Customer Relations Report for 2017 tells us something, it is that the French are not satisfied with the services offered by their banks. In this 7th edition of the study, the figures show a mixed feeling: despite a slight rise in confidence, customers of French banks do not hesitate to express their dissatisfaction. Explanations.

2017 barometer of relations between banks and customers: increase in trust or decrease in mistrust?

The issue of confidence remains significant in a banking sector strongly affected by the recent economic and financial crises. However, the figures seem rather reassuring: 66% of French respondents say they trust their bank (against 65% in 2016), and 41% have confidence in the banking system in general (against 38% in 2016).

The project manager of the Deloitte study, Alexandre David, however, does not hesitate to qualify these figures slightly higher: “[The banks] have massively worked to renovate their relationship patterns with the objective of increasing the feeling of confidence. And despite these efforts, both in terms of customer relations and communication, more than half of the respondents say they do not have confidence in the French banking system : we should therefore rather speak of “less distrust”, according to Alexandre David, that of a real increase of the capital-confidence which banks have.

Why do the French change banks?

Among the reasons given by the people interviewed during the study, we find:

  • poor customer experience , even disappointing for 39% of respondents;
  • Of high fees for 36% of them;
  • A real loss of confidence for 34% of French people.

And if the Banking Mobility component of the Macron law is perceived as an incentive to change banks for 6 out of 10 French, it is necessary to further qualify these figures. Alexandre David reminds us that we must “distinguish intention from action. This famous banking mobility component, designed to streamline bank changes, only applies to current accounts; What about savings products, life insurance and real estate and consumer loans subscribed by thousands of French people in their banking establishment?

In addition, the low credit rates currently offered by banks are particularly favorable to them , since they contribute to reducing their attrition rate (which corresponds to the risk of loss of customers). This trend could, however, be reversed if these credit rates (and especially mortgages) were to rise.

Are the French ready to change their banking practices?

The Deloitte study is also interested in the arrival of new players in the banking sector . Telephone operators, online banks and payment institutions (like PayPal) have gradually established themselves in an area traditionally reserved for physical signs; but did they really seduce the French?

Not really, according to the figures in the report: only 37% of French people would be ready to take the step by opening an account elsewhere than in a conventional agency or in an online bank . However, the CSP + nuances these figures since they would be 47% to answer in the affirmative, while the 25-49 years would be 43% to be open to this type of alternative.

The digitization of traditional banks has nevertheless made its way, since the French are using more and more of their mobile applications to conduct banking operations . They are thus 34% to consult their accounts on mobile (against 27% in 2016), 28% to carry out simple operations (internal transfers, for example), 12% to learn about new banking products (against 9% in 2016) and 6% to carry out complex transactions (against 4% in 2016) on the applications or websites of their banks.

These figures tell us a lot about the evolution of banking practices in France. While most respondents accept the digitization of many services, they only use it massively for the simplest operations. Complex transactions and the subscription of new banking products continue to be the subject of travel to a physical agency , which is considered more reassuring by the client. The presence of a dedicated advisor also remains important for many French people, who wish to provide less and less personal information to be offered products more adapted to their needs by digital means -62% only consider to deliver personal information to their banking establishment, compared to 76% in 2013.

Digitization of services to the detriment of the customer relationship?

If the customers of French banks seem rather satisfied with the digital evolutions in progress, they do not hesitate to express their dissatisfaction on the quality of the customer relationship . They deplore the lack of support during key moments of life, such as a period of unemployment, disability or the death of a loved one. In this way, 8% felt “very well supported” by their bank during a period of unemployment, while 31% felt “not at all accompanied”. Similarly, only 10% of respondents feel they have been well supported by their banking institution in a divorce, while 34% of them feel that they have not been at all.

Surprising figures, since the customer relationship remains the main differentiator for physical banks , increasingly confronted with digital competition. Will they be able to exploit it during the year 2018?

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