The Court of Auditors wants to get rid of the old ELPs, which are overpaid

The Court of Auditors wants to get rid of the old ELPs, which are overpaid

The Court of Auditors wants to get rid of the old ELPs, which are overpaid

In particular, we recall a negotiation between the banks and their customers to close the PEL, in exchange for a fee.

Small gold mines for savers who signed them before 2011, the old housing savings plans (PEL) are in the crosshairs of the Court of Auditors which asked on Monday that their compensation be reduced taking into account its cost to the state and banks.

Currently the PEL, whose salary is fixed once and for all at the time of signing the contract, seems not very advantageous with a rate of 1% from 2016, while an A book carries double (2%) and a popular savings book ( LEP) 4.6%. But that wasn’t always the case: before 2015, the money deposited in a PEL returned more than 2%. Its yield had even risen to 3.27% between 2000 and 2003 and had exceeded 4% before 1994.

In theory, the PEL is a medium-term investment: it allows you to obtain a loan at advantageous conditions to purchase real estate or finance works. Since 2011 it has been possible to feed it only for 10 years and accumulate interest for 15 years. PELs signed before 2011 continue to accumulate interest indefinitely, at the rate fixed at the time of the contract, which encourages some savers to keep them longer.

A situation denounced by the Court of Auditors in a report published on Monday: “the ELP is diverted from the historical goal of home ownership to become a long-term savings product“, He argues. According to the institution, the old ELPs are similar toto a real income, in particular for the benefit of older owners who have high assets“.

Expensive for banks and the state

This situation has been denounced for several years by banks, which pay interest. “These old ELPs are no longer in line with the market today and represent a significant cost to financing the economy.“, The French Banking Federation (FBF) assures AFP. According to the Banque de France, ELPs opened before 2011 represented € 107.7 billion last year with an average remuneration of 4.5%, compared to 3.04% for all ELPs.

In a letter to the Court of Auditors published Monday, its governor François Villeroy de Galhau describes the situation as “anomaly“. PELs also cost the State because those opened before 2018 are exempt from income tax up to the thirteenth birthday and allow, if spent on loan, to obtain a State bonus (up to a maximum of 1,525 euros), the whose amount depends on the interest received.

The Court of Auditors estimates the cost to the State in 2022 for these old ELPs at € 411 million “without the State withdrawing any financial refund or allocating the resource to uses of general interest as is the case with regulated savings accounts“, points out. She “I recommend thinking about a remover“The advantage of the old ELPs over other savings products, which he believes”unjustified and even disproportionate“.

Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire replied on Monday that he had “notedof the Court’s recommendations, contenting itself with stating that the Court’s conclusion on ELP “can legitimately raise questions about the efficiency of the allocation of this housing savings“.

A commitment is a commitment

Reviewing the rates of the old ELPs is not easy because they are regulated by contracts between individuals and banks. The issue is all the more delicate as inflation, which reached 5.8% in August in a year according to INSEE, is undermining the real earnings of savers. “A commitment is a commitment and must be respected“, François Carlier, general delegate of the consumer association CLCV, replies to AFP. If the banks decide to lower the remuneration of the old passbooks, this would lead to major litigation and damage their image towards their customers, the Court of Auditors points out.

It then identifies other solutions, such as a negotiation between banks and their customers to close the PEL, in exchange for a fee, or a modification of contracts by law in the name of the general interest, in exchange for a commitment by the banks. , such as the ecological and energy transition. The FBF ensures that “the profession is open to participate in the work that the Court recommends to public authoritiesand favors a regulatory change in the performance of old ELPs.

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