Savings: advice still needs to be improved

vsas every year, Marielle Cohen-Branche, an intermediary at the Financial Markets Authority (AMF), presented her report at the beginning of June, a good barometer of the difficulties that savers encounter with their bank or financial intermediary. The first lesson: if the number of files to be dealt with by the mediator in 2023 is generally stable compared to 2022, it remains at a high level. Lesson two: share savings plan disputes, which account for 25% of the total, remain the main reason for referral to an intermediary.

Two-thirds of these files relate to the deadline for transferring the plan in the event of a change of establishment. It’s not a new problem. A working group set up by the AMF two years ago already worked on this topic, then issued a report containing 18 practical proposals, approved in 2023. We are anxiously waiting to know how businesses have been integrated. At this point, it apparently hasn’t affected the number of disputes yet…

If employee savings also remain an important subject of dispute, 18% of files are handled by a mediator, two new issues emerged during 2023. The number of disputes related to real estate investment companies (SCPI) and real estate crowdfunding has increased. The doubling of SCPI referrals is mainly due to delays in processing redemption requests and stock depreciation. These complaints appear to be related to a lack of understanding of how these investments, which have been massively distributed in recent years, work. Proof that the subscription is not accompanied by the minimum required advice and warnings and that many intermediaries sold this product as if it were risk free.

Mysterious visits

In the case of real estate crowdfunding, the sharp increase in the number of processed files has led to the need for the intermediary to distinguish between the difficulties associated with the downturn in the real estate market and those resulting from dysfunctions specific to participatory platforms. Even here, however, we can ask whether the savers who invested with these intermediaries did so consciously and whether they were aware of the risks they were taking.

Also read: Article reserved for our subscribers Financial culture: where are the French?

The financial culture of the French being what it is, it is imperative that they are properly informed when they subscribe to a savings product. And in terms of advice, there are still many things that need to be improved. The new Mystery shopping campaign carried out by the AMF in the period from September 2023 to March 2024 with advisors of banking institutions therefore reveals “still a fragmentary collection” customer preferences for sustainable investing. Worse, the AMF points out: “A significant number of bank advisors did not ask the mystery visitor about the financial aspects in full to establish their profile, even though knowledge of the client’s situation has been mandatory for several years. »

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