April 12, 2018 / 3:58 PM / 7 days ago

French banks stem flow of clients to fintech rivals survey shows

PARIS (Reuters) - French bank customers have become less inclined to switch to a financial technology firm over the past year, a Deloitte survey showed on Thursday, as lenders move to fend off new entrants.

French banks such as BNP Paribas and Societe Generale, have sped up investments in so-called fintech, either by buying start-ups, known as “neobanks”, or by offering clients new payment methods or online options.

German mobile bank N26, Orange Bank, provided by French telecoms giant Orange, or the aggregator app ‘Bankin’ have all threatened to steal market share from the incumbents.

The Deloitte and Harris Interactive survey showed that only 22 percent of French bank customers would leave their core bank for a fintech, a drop of 4 percentage points over the year.

“Banks have caught up a bit (with fintechs)...to do that they have relied on fintechs, either by buying them or integrating their services,” Deloitte’s Julien Maldonato said.

Despite the promise of fintech firms over the past two or three years, people were increasingly questioning what would change by switching, the associate at Deloitte added.

The also showed that 22 percent of the French were open to opening accounts in different banks or insurance companies, up 3 percentage points versus last year’s survey.

But 53 percent of those polled still said they would prefer to stick to one financial institution.

Reporting by Maya Nikolaeva; Editing by Alexander Smith

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