October 2016

Banking 3.0

Banks are digital players. Their apps and websites have long been the natural extension of a customer relationship, which is not stuck in the last century! They are innovating and reinventing a close-up customer relationship in which digital tools play a full role in offering banking services that are increasingly fluid while remaining secure. The model is being reinvented but with always the same obsession in mind: the customer relationship.

Digital tools are radically transforming the customer relationship. They are being used more and more but without changing what have always been the hallmarks of our model - proximity and security. On the contrary, they help offer more banking services and give the bank more options for interacting with its customers.

Who among us can still imagine having to go to his local branch to view his bank balance or to make a simple transaction? Digital use is expanding fast in all daily banking services. 79% of customers view their bank account online; 67% make online payments and 63% make online transfers.*

Customers want access to their bank and its services through all possible channels - branches, phone, mobile apps, and others - while being assisted by men and women who have mastered all banking and insurance activities. This is the local universal banking model.

How do fintechs fit into all this? Banks are not against them. Quite the contrary! They are the natural leaders of the French digital industry by validating and driving innovations.

Emulation, cooperation, partnership, and "coopetition" - these are all words that can describe this ecosystem of excellence in which everyone has a part to play. Of course, as long as there is a level playing field and that each party's responsibilities are clear and ensured in the field of security.

Yes, digital brings banks closer to their customers but it must also meet standards of security, and that is the true foundation of trust between them and their customers. Trust is essential to the development of the uses that are driving new technologies. Regulation, whose main objective, remember, is to serve customers, must help protect and process data and ensure the integrity of systems on which this trust is based. Obviously, different types of service providers must be subject to the same regulation and supervision when they develop and offer identical services and activities. In no way does this mean shrinking away from competition or from novelty. Technological innovation is also there to ensure the protection of personal data and transaction security.

*Bank Image Barometer, BVA/FBF 2016

Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani
Chief Executive Officer of the French Banking Federation

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Our Positions

Banks in 2015
2015 featured several major phenomena for the banking sector: the increased prominence of digital, the confirmation of banks' role in major societal issues such as the energy transition, an unprecedented interest rate environment, and heavy, and constantly increasing regulatory pressure.

Go to our report for the main trends in the banking sector

Successfully funding energy transition
The cost of funding the energy transition remains a major challenge. To accelerate funding in this field, the FBF has put forward a proposal called "the green supporting factor".On the regulatory front, FBF highlights "a suitable prudential treatment".This should lower the capital requirement for financing and investing in these assets. Sound definition of asset eligibility would be based on labels such as the Climate Bond Initiative, and the 'Energy and Environmental Transition for Climate (TEEC) label .Finally, all economic agents would be eligible, individuals, SMEs, companies, banks and sovereign bodies.

Concrete proposals from the FBF

The French love their banks!
With 68% favourable opinions, French banks' image is at a 10-year high. Favourable opinions have risen steadily, by 16 points since 2010. This was confirmed by the 18th edition of the "Baromètre image des banques" (Bank Image Barometer) by the BVA polling institute. The main sources of satisfaction are close-up relationships, based on both the advisor's skills (70% of French persons surveyed had a favourable view of their bank advisor) and the performance of digital services available to them (79% of French people view their accounts via their banks' digitalised services).

Bank Image Barometer

In their own words

Daniel Nouy, Interview in "Eurofi newsletter"
"... Only profitable banks can put aside enough capital for the bad times, and only profitable banks can attract investors. So there is a close link between the stability of a bank and its profitability. "

FBF in the media

Les Echos - "Low rates will have perverse long term effects"


Philippe Brassac, new chairman of the FBF, responded to questions from Echos on priorities for his 2016-2017 presidency: Basel IV, interest rate policy of the ECB, good results of French banks following the EBA stress tests, Brexit and the attractiveness of the Paris financial market place, impact of digital players ... etc. After recalling the main purpose of banks to continue to effectively finance the economy, he discussed the risks that the Basel Committee's work had on funding. About the economic situation and the persistence of low rates "We are simply asking for a more coherent approach between monetary policy and prudential policy." Finally, on the interest of the digital giants for finance "If the Gafa [Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) jumped into banking, I would just say to them: Welcome to the Basel Committee."

Revue Banque (….) – “Banks and fintechs cope with regulation”


Jérôme Raguenes, head of digital coordination at FBF, has called for changes in regulations to ensure a level playing field between new fintech and banking entrants. “It is not proper to constantly step up banking regulations while, at the same time, doing everything possible to lighten regulatory restrictions on new entrants. The security of the financial system and the principle of fair competition are at stake”. This issue must be approached on three levels: prudential regulations on increased capital adequacy, regulation of activities and the end of the banking monopoly in certain activities, and the regulation of customer relationships.

Le Figaro (French daily) – “French banks’ confirm their solidity”


In an interview after the release of the results of the banking stress tests, Frédéric Oudéa, FBF chairman (until 1 September 2016), pointed out French banks’ solidity, as demonstrated by the EBA’s stress test findings. He discussed the economic environment and low interest rates, which are creating a special situation that will have a cost for the financial system. He expressed satisfaction with the way the Paris market has reacted to Brexit and taken on a competitive mind-set. He also said he was happy with the way Ecofin ministers had become aware of the challenges of the additional capital requirements under Basel 4 and noted that a “mis-calibration could undermine financing systems that, yes, are specific to Europe, but that work well”.



Annual meeting of the Institute of International Finance, in Washington (with the FBF taking part)


FBF press update upon signing the WikiPME partnership, in the presence of Marie-Anne Barbat-Layani and Hervé Novelli


Meeting of G20 finance ministers and central bank governors in Washington


Eurogroup/ Ecofin


Planète PME (SME trade fair), with FBF as a partner


BBA Annual International Banking Conference, London

Tweet of the month

Figure of the month

73% of French people see banks as key players in #financing the #economy

68% of French people have a good opinion of French banks