For the holidays, Boursorama Banque invites the French to give themselves the greatest gift: savings. For the fifteenth consecutive year, it has just been crowned with the title of “the least expensive bank in France” in a ranking organized each year by The worldin partnership this time with Paronabanques.com. The opportunity to propose a communication campaign in the form of several posters, present in stations and in the metros and visible from Tuesday 13 December.
Savings, really? As every year, the most popular online bank in France compares the average annual fees of its customers (€7.79) with those of the competition (on average in France, bank fees amount to €219.9 €, according to Panorabanques figures for 2022). What to realize the gift that it is possible to make to save money, especially at a time when inflation weighs very heavily on purchasing power. Interesting figure, a Boursorama customer who would have opened his account 15 years ago would have saved more than 3000 euros today.
Boursorama Banque demonstrates this through its rate of customer acquisition over the past year: 100,000 come to register each month. A record pace while the bank says it does not include the share of new customers from ING Bank. They are however nearly a million to have transited from the Dutch bank to the French online bank during the year. 315,000 held a current account and the others had life insurance contracts, savings accounts, PEAs and securities accounts.
At Boursorama Banque, they will be able to access more than 40 different products, without the bank missing a single one to act as a main account, capable of meeting all your needs and domiciliating your income. “The best of online banking, traditional banking and neo-banks”judging Geek Diary in an article. The 4.4 million customers of Boursorama Banque can effectively find what it takes to take out a loan, deposit savings, invest in the stock market free of charge, pay in France and abroad, or even access insurance and cover from a Visa Premier card without spending a euro.
The hen with the golden eggs, until when?
Boursorama Banque certainly intends to keep its title of least expensive bank for the future, but one thing is certain, this strategy has a price. Until 2015, Boursorama was profitable. But since then, its massive investment policy to go from 700,000 to 4.4 million customers has plunged it back into the red. It has been loss-making since 2016 and relies on capital from Societe Generale to be able to offer customers reduced prices, and above all more than generous welcome bonuses.
During Pink Weekend, new customers can get up to 130 euros. A very attractive bonus which over time has seen its conditions become stricter. They change regularly but most of the time, it is necessary to opt for the banking mobility service, which will have the effect of transferring all your automatic payment transactions (taxes, telephone, internet, etc.) to Boursorama. A way for the bank to retain its customers and ensure that they make it their main account.
Can such an aggressive pricing and bonus strategy continue? We asked Benoit Grisoni, CEO of Boursorama Banque since 2017, the question over the summer. He explained to us in 2019 that the bank “could become profitable again tomorrow”, to illustrate the fact that it was enough that Boursorama stops its investments to regain economic balance.
This summer, he has tried to guarantee that prices will remain low: “A consultant said that a distribution network is about half the overhead in a retail bank. We don’t want to change our model even though we’ve been fighting to be the cheapest bank for 14 years. We believe that we are more efficient and that it is the client who also works for us. So it is normal for the customer to have a significant price advantage.”
To defend itself on its model, Boursorama Banque can claim an average of 15 transactions per customer per month. In its accounts, the outstandings are far from neo-banks, where customers deposit a few hundred euros.
“We have 15 billion euros in credit, around 11 billion on the stock market, 12 billion on life insurance, 12 billion on passbooks and 12 billion on demand deposits. These are big numbers that generate interest margin, financial commission, or stock market fees. So we have income. We are not starting from such a specific offer in payment as with neobanks. Our income will depend less on a subscription offer on a bank card”defended Benoit Grisoni at Lemon squeezer.
Conditions: No income condition – Welcome and Ultim cards
Annual fee: €0 • Initial deposit: €300
Check deposit: ✔ • Cash deposit: ✘
Monthly cost of the card: 0 €
Euro zone withdrawals: Free • Euro zone payments: Free
Foreign currency withdrawals: 1.69% • Foreign currency payments: Free