Finding the best bank is not easy in France and for good reason. There are hundreds of French banks and agencies throughout the country, and they all offer offers that will suit some and not others. A short overview.
How to find THE best French bank?
Finding the best bank in France is like comparing banks on different criteria. To help in this process, many actors carry out interesting works, studies and reports.
Many laureates based on rankings
Here is a non-exhaustive list of the various winners, with for each ranking / comparative / study that rewarded them.
Note : the following tables are NOT "classifications", it is a summary of the data we were able to collect. If an error has crept in, do not hesitate to let us know.
|ING Direct||online bank||Biggest number of customers (online)|
|Boursorama Banque||online bank||"Les Trophées tarifs 2018", Biggest number of customers (online)|
|Bforbank||online bank||"Les Trophées tarifs 2018" (1 profil), "Élu Service Client de l'Année 2015 & 2016" (Custumers Service of the Year 2015 & 2016)|
|Fortuneo||online bank||Top 10 Bankin' Coach (2017), "Élu Service Client de l'Année 2017" (Custumers Service of the Year 2017)|
|Monabanq||online bank||"Élu Service Client de l’Année 2018" (Custumers Service of the Year 2018)|
Know the existing banks
Before going further in comparative and other charts it is important to know that there are several types of "banks". Rather, there are several types of structures offering banking products. For France, you can find a list of banks here .
Here are the different types of banking institutions or similar:
- Network banks : have a network of branches in France and sometimes abroad, to interact with advisors about your banking products,
- Online banks : were born in the 2000s following the rise of the Internet and "online", dynamic and growing, they offer special offers and often have low bank rates,
- Neobanks : are banks often mobile via a smartphone application and offering a reduced number of products,
- "Bancassurance" : refers to an insurer who also makes a bank or a bank that also insures,
- Private banks : reserved for wealthy clients or those wishing to manage wealth with their banker.
« Rankings » and winners
This year, as every year, rankings are carried out by independent media / sites, consulting them will already be a good first step:
- The 2018 Fare Trophy by MeilleureBanque.com
- Ranking of the cheapest banks by CBanque (Apr 2018)
- Top Banks in France Top 10 by Bankin 'Coach (Dec 2016 and Apr 2017)
Once these rankings are consulted you will already have a first trend that will emerge. This trend is that online banking is very strongly represented.
Compare to better choose
Compare is putting face to face banking offers, bank rates, and all that is comparable to choose the best. Depending on its needs, we can identify which bank will be the best.
You can, for example:
- Compare bank fees through our partner Panorabanque,
- Use one of the many comparative bank charges available online ,
- Use our comparative table of bank offers to open an account .
To make an opinion thanks to the media reports
If there is a good media in which you can have confidence on the questions of defense of the consumers it is well « 60 millions de consommateurs ». This association put forward in a study published in October last year , that the most financially troubled people who pay the most because of incidental costs, often significant. Here is a program dedicated to bank charges, which will allow to know the "bank abuse" and the "abusive banking fees":
According to another viral video on Facebook proposed by the online media "BRUT" (and which certainly follows the study of 60 million consumers), we discover a mini-clip concluding by the fact that only " Postal Bank "and" online banks "would differ from traditional banks in certain bank charges. We let you judge for yourself:
If you consult all of these content available online and you use one or two of the comparative tools presented, then you will certainly have a better opinion on what is the best bank in France.
Which are the best banks in France?
Let's go further with a little guide of the "best banks" in France according to specific criteria. Indeed, each bank if we only focus on certain criteria can stand out - you could see it with the rankings previously presented and the charts.
The best ethical bank
Ethics in finance is not doing "greenwashing", it is concretely using its economic power to encourage sustainable and ethical projects, rather than encouraging an economy that would be destructive for the planet.
The Responsible Finance website lists banks that respond to a real societal and ethical responsibility. He classifies them in several families according to the "climatic and social risks":
- "Minimal Impacts": The Nave and the Cooperative Credit,
- "Moderate to important risks": Postal bank, Crédit Mutuel (CIC), Banque Populaire, Caisse d'Epargne,
- "Maximum risks": Société Générale, Crédit Agricole (LCL), BNP Paribas.
Note that things are moving on these issues given the mobilization of public opinion on this subject following the many demonstrations of associations and civil society.
The best bank for the climate
Another subject, fairly close to ethics, the climate. Most climatologists agree that if we continue in the path of infinite growth, the planet will not be able to follow ... Protecting the planet and safeguarding a sustainable climate for the planet as a whole is therefore a major issue. Some banks are better students than others and the site Epargneclimat.com established a ranking of banks on this criterion in terms of savings products.
The best bank for young people / students
Everything will depend on your profile. Contrary to what may be misunderstood most often, students do not all have the same profiles. The age groups are similar, but the savings and the means are not the same. So based on your monthly "earnings" and your uses, you will direct your choice to one offer or another.
To watch closely:
- redit card: pay attention to the charges on withdrawals or the maximum amount of payments,
- Account management fees: pay attention to the amount of fees, overdraft opportunities.
You can always direct yourself with online comparisons, or rankings. Capital magazine made a ranking of the best banks in June of last year. Axa Banque was elected "the first bank for young people among 110 establishments out of 7 profiles and 3 products".
Which bank has the best customer service?
There are different rewards to highlight the banks that best meet the expectations of what a GOOD customer service should be:
- Elected customer service of the year: a distinction valid for one year, a recognizable logo and known to French (es).
- Excellence Client: a list of awards that has rewarded at least 1 bank for 2 years, based in particular on customer ratings (in this case ING Direct for 2 consecutive years).
The importance of customer reviews
Many consult them to form an opinion, before opening an online account. To take a loan from a credit institution, or to open a checking account in it, is a kind of marriage. The customer service of the banks is a little after-sales, but also and especially the daily help that the establishment can bring to its customers in cases not necessarily always easy.
Customer opinions, whether on search engines, specialized opinion sites or social networks, have played an important role in purchasing decisions, and the banks have understood this well. They are therefore attentive to the satisfaction of their customers who trigger quickly with the Internet positive or negative opinions depending on the case.
If you have never given your opinion on your old banks, it may be time to do so to contribute to this immense work of collective intelligence enabled by the Internet.
Ranking of banks by number of customers
Online banks have experienced a boom since the advent of digital. Digital is everywhere, and the finance and banking sector is not immune to the steamroller. Here is a list of online banks with the most customers (2017):
- ING Direct 1 million customers
- Boursorama 1 million customers
- Fortuneo 365,000 customers
- Monabanq 310,000 customers
- Hello Bank! France 237,000 customers
- BforBank 165,000 customers
- Soon 27000
Ranking on the same criteria for network banks:
- Crédit Mutuel - CIC 24.1 million
- Crédit Agricole 21 million
- Caisse d'Epargne 20.6 million
- Societe Generale 11.5 million
- La Banque Postale 10.7 million
- Banque Populaire 9.6 million
- BNP Paribas 7.4 million
- LCL 6 million
- Crédit Mutuel Arkéa 3.6 million
- Banque Française Mutualiste 1.2 million
- BRED 1,000,000
- HSBC France 850,000
- Axa Banque 750,000
- Crédit Coopératif 337,100
- « La Nef » 37,131
The next coming soon!
Now you will know what to do if you were tempted to open an account with a bank without a deposit , to obtain a card without a prepaid bank !