The Popular Savings Account (LEP), a regulated savings investment reserved for the most modest and remunerated at 6%, has passed the milestone of 10 million holders, a record, the Bank of France announced on Tuesday. The central bank has set itself the objective of reaching 12.5 million holders by the summer of 2024, out of the 18.6 million eligible people identified by the General Directorate of Public Finances (DGFiP). The LEP is supported by its remuneration rate of 6%, the highest on the market and without any taxation. “Difficult to find better with the same characteristics”, including the possibility of withdrawing funds at any time, observed during a press conference Marie-Laure Barut-Etherington, deputy general director in charge of statistics at the Bank of France.
If the number of holders is at a record level of 10.1 million, the total outstanding amount - 59 billion euros as of September 30, according to the Caisse des Dépôts - remains below the record level of 2008 (more than 62 billion euros). In addition to the openings, net collection (difference between deposits and withdrawals) is very positive with 11.1 billion euros between January and September, more than for the whole of 2022, according to the Caisse des Dépôts (CDC). October promises to be very favorable for the LEP since its ceiling has been raised from 7,700 euros to 10,000 euros.
The opening of LEP among the many eligible savers in France is a hobby horse of the Minister of the Economy Bruno Le Maire and the Governor of the Bank of France François Villeroy de Galhau. For more than a year and a half, they have increased their number of speeches to ensure its promotion, particularly during the announcements of regulated savings rates every six months.
However, there is one obstacle to its democratization: only people declaring up to 21,393 euros of tax income for a single person, or 32,818 euros for a couple (two shares) are eligible. Banking establishments are also only timidly participating in its growth, for example by not promoting this product on their websites. “Some banks are not zealous in opening LEPs,” conceded Marie-Laure Barut-Etherington. It must be said that the banks pay the 6% interest in equal shares with the Caisse des Dépôts, a bill which could exceed 3 billion euros this year.