Why the desertification banking is inevitable

On march 7, the COMPANY announced the removal of a hundred of its agencies in France by 2021. Two years ago, it was already 250 closures on the horizon 2020. Fo

Why the desertification banking is inevitable

On march 7, the COMPANY announced the removal of a hundred of its agencies in France by 2021. Two years ago, it was already 250 closures on the horizon 2020. For the time being, almost 20% of the agencies of the bank which were gone in less than five years. This phenomenon affects most of the banks: between 2016 and 2020, the number of agencies may spend 37.261 to 32.500, according to a study by the firm Sia Partners. "Everyone will be affected, cities and campaigns," said Serge Master, president of the French Association of users of banks (Afub).

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The recent example of Clichy-sous-Bois, in the suburbs of paris, illustrates this prediction. The following combinations of branches in the Savings bank and at BNP Paribas for the benefit of the neighbouring cities, 30,000 inhabitants have been without a bank branch historically implanted in the joint. A dispenser in the enclosure Leclerc at the entrance of the city, as well as an agency The Post office are the office of consolation to the inhabitants, sometimes forced to make several kilometers to fill their portfolio. The scale of the department, the problem is the same. According to the Association française des banques (AFB), the Seine-Saint-Denis has an agency for 4153 inhabitants, making it the department with the least well off in the matter.

France is, after Spain, the second european country with the most bank branches per capita, namely 549 for a million inhabitants in 2017, the eu average being at 255. Despite everything, the recession in France is quite low (approximately 5%), but can only accentuate on the horizon 2021. In Germany, about a quarter of the centres have closed in ten years, for example, a pace which today is slowing down.

The banks online and mobile applications to create shadow agencies

The reasons for these deletions are many. To begin with, mobile apps and websites now allow you to use many services out of these agencies. "Like any network, we adapt continuously our network of branches to local contexts as well as new uses of our customers who are increasingly using online services," confirms BNP Paribas regarding the closure of its agency in Clichy-sous-Bois. Transformation strategies in the digital asserted that led to the closure of many agencies, and the disappearance of distributors. "Most of the operations are in line, resumes Serge Master, only 17% of people push the door of a agency once per month." He adds that this desertification is likely to result in "an impoverishment of the local economic fabric". In fact, such a metamorphosis of the services may "amplify the digital divide."

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It's the same with the rise of online banks. According to a recent study of the Authority of prudential control and resolution, 6.5% of the French are customers of an online bank. To compete, "the business of the bank will certainly change," says the president of Afub. But never being separated from their employees, promise the banks. If the agency of Clichy-sous-Bois was closed "in the face of the significant decline in attendance and direct debit of customers' accounts," according to the BNP, "the two collaborators (...) have been accompanied individually to ensure their mobility within the retail banking in France BNP Paribas". However, in the past five years, the number of employees within the establishments of the French banking Federation (FBF) has been steadily decreasing, from approximately 378.000 2014 to 366.000 in 2017.

"Cashback" and Green Dot to accelerate their development

note that this mutation is not only in France but throughout Europe. In Belgium in particular, bank workers have already the possibility to convert back into nursing to help address the restructuring of the sector. However, in France these deletions of posts to anticipate could be quite hidden. The age pyramid in the sector should allow banks to reduce their workforce without too much trouble until 2023 or 2024, by not replacing retirements that will be many on this time period. In fact, according to the AFB, the over 50s currently represent almost 30% of employees.

From a general point of view, the agencies disappear especially in the city centres, where the banks are relatively numerous. The vending machines, "that it is necessary to save in priority" according to the Afub, are also on the decline. And this may amplify rather widely. Because, new services are emerging, such as the Green Dot. The system, proposed by Crédit Agricole over 6000 points in France, allows you to pay by credit card an amount with a merchant who will make the same amount of cash. More generally, this corresponds to the service "cashback", which has been authorised for the month of December, which can perform this same operation in all the stores, of course with the agreement of the trader.

Updated Date: 17 March 2019, 00:00

Kathleen Lees


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