French Savings Accounts

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Sue234
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French Savings Accounts

Post by Sue234 » Tue 31 Jan 2017 14:52

Hi there,

Can anyone help with the best way to go about finding a decent instant access savings account in France, which pays a bit more interest than a Livret 'A'? I have one of those already and could top it up but the interest is very low. However, it may be the best I'll get. Someone told me about a comparison site:
www.meilleurtaux.com/epargne-comparativ ... index.html
but the page seemed incomplete and incomprehensible. I gave up!

Any ideas very gratefully received,

Thanks

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Kate
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Post by Kate » Tue 31 Jan 2017 15:03

Possibly a PEL?
Here's a little bit about them.....
https://www.service-public.fr/particuli ... its/F16140
but I'm not sure that they're much better than the very pathetic Livret A, and if you take money out before the agreed date, your interest rate is cut - so actually not at all what you're looking for!!
I was told by the bank that the best thing to do is keep an eye on the various promos for eg an interest rate that is on special offer for 9 months, maybe up from 1 to 2.5, then close it when the offer is over and look for the next. Not for me personally as I have the memory of a flea and the money management skills of of donkey, but might work for some.
Last edited by Kate on Wed 01 Feb 2017 09:45, edited 1 time in total.

Sue234
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French Savings Accounts

Post by Sue234 » Tue 31 Jan 2017 15:13

Thanks Kate,

Sounds as if your money management skills are some way above mine! Thanks for your suggestions. Maybe there really isn't much out there - I thought it was just me being a duffer. I'll do a tour of Collioure banks (shouldn't take long!) and see what's on offer. Might even stray into Port-Vendres!

Sue

martyn94
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Post by martyn94 » Tue 31 Jan 2017 18:16

I can't guess, and wouldn't want to know, how much money you have to stash away. But the Livret A rate is actually not bad, for a tax-free and entirely risk-free account: the government have not dared, recently, to cut the rate as low as it "ought" to be. The underlying truth is that short interest rates in euros are just very low everywhere. If you want to work at it, and you are ready to put it on your tax return, I could point you to higher yields online (at least for a while: as in the U.K., banks can give you a good rate initially to draw you in, as Kate has said, and then you have to chase after the next deal once that one runs out), but for myself I couldn't be bothered unless I had say €20k to play with, and in truth probably not even then. But then I'm lazy.

Sue234
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French Savings Accounts

Post by Sue234 » Fri 03 Feb 2017 20:44

Hi Martyn

Thank you for your reply. If you have any information that might help I'd be glad to hear it, and of course I'm happy to declare it on my tax return. I already have a Livret A and can top it up but there will be some left over. The thing is, I'll need most of the money during the next six months so I need instant access, always a loser in terms of interest rates at the moment.

Sue

martyn94
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Re: French Savings Accounts

Post by martyn94 » Sat 04 Feb 2017 11:51

Sue234 wrote:Hi Martyn

Thank you for your reply. If you have any information that might help I'd be glad to hear it, and of course I'm happy to declare it on my tax return. I already have a Livret A and can top it up but there will be some left over. The thing is, I'll need most of the money during the next six months so I need instant access, always a loser in terms of interest rates at the moment.

Sue
A quick search on "meuilleur livret" found me this

http://www.finansemble.fr/comparateur-livret-epargne

and I am sure it's worth following up. But I note that they don't include some of the well-known online banks like ING, Fortuneo, or Boursorama, and I recommend you also look at them. The attractive rates are all likely to be introductory offers, but in your circs that may not matter. The best are almost inevitably going to be online accounts. If they are called "livret" that should imply instant access, but you will obviously want to check the details.

Incidentally, I didn't mean to imply that you might leave taxable interest off your tax return, merely that it would involve some extra faff to return it (and some maths to compare the post-tax returns if you still have some headroom in your livret A).

martyn94
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Post by martyn94 » Sat 04 Feb 2017 14:07

Just out of curiosity I looked a bit more at a few of the options. The various factors to consider are sufficiently complex, and variable between products, that I rapidly lost the will to live. But it seems evident that you would have to work hard to match, let alone beat, the net-of-tax return from a livret A/LDD (€34,950 between them this year). So the standard advice - top them up to the limit before looking anywhere else - seems to be right.

If you have more to stash away than those accounts will absorb, by all means look at eg the comparator in the first link I gave you above. But don't think you'll make much by it: at best say 0.4% net, after tax, between the best and really mediocre. On €100,000 over six months, that's €200. I would hardly get out of bed for that, but then it's not my money.

It's a whole other question why the French are so risk-averse that they stash away huge wodges of money for such lousy returns (when they are not constrained by short term issues like Sue234). But I was equally surprised in my working life by the huge balances that some wealthy UK people kept in a building society.

Sue234
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Post by Sue234 » Tue 07 Feb 2017 13:35

Hi Martyn,

Thank you for your sage advice. I've made an appointment at my bank!

Sue

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