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Banking sector and credit lines in France - Statistics & Facts

Banking and financing services are constantly growing industries in France, necessary for the country's economic survival. Financing services are indeed extremely important in times of financial crisis, just as much as in times of economic prosperity. The same goes for various services provided by the banking sector, as well as by other non-bank organizations supporting private and corporate customers. With 406 banking institutions in 2020, France is within the top five in terms of the number of operating banks in the European Union.

The French banking sector is strong, gathering several banking institutions, both domestic and foreign-based. As of 2016, the total assets value of banking groups in France amounted to over 6.8 trillion euros for domestic banking groups and 363 billion euros for non domestic banking groups. The development of internet only banks has not been a serious threat for major banking groups such as BNP Paribas and Société Générale, which remain the leaders on the French corporate banking market.

Consumer credits, as the name suggests, cover the loaning of money for personal consumption and are usually used for personal, family or household purposes. The value of outstanding loans to private individuals has continuously increased over the past few years and reached nearly 1.3 trillion euros as of November 2019. In France, consumer credit comes in a number of forms, including overdraft credit, lease-purchase and automative loans.

The main source of credits and loans for both private and corporate customers in France are banks. Banks remain a traditional institution that French people turn to when in need of financing. In 2016, Crédit Agricole Group, the second leading bank in France by total assets, had a gross loan value of 456 billion euros.

Banks are, however, not the only player when it comes to credits in France, microfinance institutions (MFIs) are also offering financing services that attract a part of the population: microloans. In 2017, over 46,800 microloans were recorded in France and over 30.3 million euros were distributed for personal microloans.

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Banking sector and credit lines in France

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Consumer credit

Customer loans of leading banks



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