Livret A : cinq chiffres pour comprendre le mastodonte français de l’épargne

55 millions de Français détenaient un Livret A en 2021.

Announced in mid-July, the measure came into force on Monday, August 1: the remuneration of Livret A goes from 1% to 2%, a level not seen for 10 years. This doubling follows the one already carried out at the beginning of the year, a direct consequence of galloping inflation in recent months.

This rise should continue next year, the governor of the Banque de France, François Villeroy de Galhau, has already warned, as long as inflation continues to rise and reference rates rise. Which gives an even more central place to France’s most famous savings products.

55 million brochures

This is the number of French people who have a livret A. A holding rate close to 81%, which confirms the predominant place that this product occupies, with a cap of 22,950 euros for individuals, in the savings options of the French.

This number is also much higher than the other investment solutions traditionally used by the French. Life insurance, the second most widespread financial investment in France, was only in the hands of 40.5% of households in 2021, according to Cercle de l’Epargne.

The sustainable and solidary development primer (LDDS) is one step behind. This “little brother” of Booklet A, also regulated and benefiting from the same rate, is however less popular: only 35.9% of households had one in 2021.

€324 billion

This is the outstanding balance of Livret A at the end of 2021. An amount that amounts to 343.1 billion euros if legal entities are included, and that has increased by another 16.5 billion since the beginning of 2022.

Thus, since 2008, the outstanding balance of passbook A has multiplied by more than two, which means that they already represent almost 40% of the total outstanding balance of regulated savings products.

In 2021, this amount exceeded that of the Housing Savings Plan (PEL), estimated at 291.3 billion euros, and that of the LDDS, which amounts to 125.9 billion euros, the Bank of France recently indicated in its regulated annual savings . report. These three products captured 89% of the regulated savings in force last year.

€24 billion

It is the net balance of Livret A in 2021, which therefore inflated the total outstanding balance. In detail, the French deposited 225,000 million euros in their savings accounts and withdrew 201,000 million euros. These movements, both in withdrawals and deposits, were greater than those of 2020, and well above the average flows observed since 2009.

For François Villeroy de Galhau, who spoke on the subject two weeks ago during the annual presentation of the report on regulated savings, these movements would be linked to the “post-Covid riots” as well as the economic recovery, which have given rise to more household decisions.

€5,800

This is the average outstanding balance of a Livret A at the end of 2021, 300 euros more in a year. A level well below the ceiling of 22,950 euros, but which hides a high concentration: barely 14% of savings accounts have an outstanding balance of more than 19,125 euros. And they alone represent almost 55% of the total outstanding balance of savings accounts. In the same way, during the period of health crisis, the “oversaving” movement logically focused on the richest households.

€10.4 billion in loans

This is the amount, in euros, of the loans signed by the Caisse des dépôts et consignations (CDC) for the construction of social housing at the end of 2021. A figure of more than 6% in one year, which has allowed the construction of 85,300 new homes of social interest and renew 81,600 at the end of last year.

The issue is closely linked to the remuneration and collection of Livret A, since the CDC savings fund (which centralizes 60% of regulated savings, or almost 300,000 million euros) is used to refinance these loans.

Still, the increased profitability of booklet A worries social patrons. In mid-July, the Social Union for Housing warned of the increase in the debt burden. “A year ago, the Livret A rate was 0.5%. This quadrupling of the rate increases the debt burden of the sector by more than 2,100 million euros in a full year, or 10% of the total amount of rents”.

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