The Court of Accounts requested this Monday that the remuneration of the open housing savings plans be lowered before 2011, for being too expensive for the State and the bank.
If your PEL (housing savings plan) opened before 2011, it may be hanging by a thread. Small gold mines for savers who subscribed to them before 2011, the old savings plans for housing (PEL) are in the crosshairs of the Court of Auditors who asked this Monday that their remuneration be reduced taking into account their cost for the state and the bank.
Rates sometimes higher than 3%
Currently, the PEL, whose remuneration is fixed once and for all when signing the contract, seems inconvenient with a rate of 1% since 2016, while an A booklet contributes double (2%) and a popular savings booklet ( LPE) 4.6%.
But this has not always been the case: before 2015, money placed in a PEL yielded more than 2%. Its yield had even reached 3.27% between 2000 and 2003 and exceeded 4% before 1994.
In theory, the PEL is a medium-term investment: it allows you to obtain a loan under favorable conditions to buy real estate or finance works. Since 2011, it is only possible to feed it for 10 years and accrue interest for 15 years.
PEL signed before 2011 continue to accrue interest for an unlimited time, at the rate set at the time of the contract, which encourages some savers to keep them longer.
A situation denounced by the Court of Auditors in a report published this Monday: “ the PEL deviates from the historical objective of homeownership to become a long-term savings product “, she argues.
“A true annuity”
According to the institution, the old PELs are similar to to a real life annuity, in particular for the benefit of older holders with high assets “.
This situation has been denounced for several years by the banks, which pay the interest.
According to the Banque de France, PELs opened before 2011 accounted for €107.7 billion last year with an average remuneration of 4.5%, compared to 3.04% for all PELs.
In a letter to the Court of Accounts published on Monday, its governor, François Villeroy de Galhau, describes the situation as ” anomaly “.
PELs also cost the State money because those opened before 2018 are exempt from personal income tax for up to thirteen years and allow, when spent on a loan, to obtain a bonus from the State (up to a maximum of 1,525 euros), the amount of which depends on the interest received.
The Court of Auditors estimates the cost to the State in 2022 of these old PEL at 411 million euros” without the State withdrawing any economic return or directing the resource towards uses of general interest as is the case of regulated savings accounts “, he underlines.
She ” recommend considering a suppression device » of the advantage of the old PEL compared to other savings products, which he considers « unjustified and even disproportionate “.
Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire responded on Monday that he had ” take note of the court’s recommendations, content to say that the Court’s conclusion on PELs ” can legitimately raise questions about the efficiency of allocating this housing savings “.
Reviewing the rates of the old PEL is not easy because they are governed by contracts between individuals and banks.
If the banks decided to lower the remuneration of the old passbooks, this would give rise to important litigation and would damage their image in the eyes of their clients, underlines the Court of Auditors.
Therefore, it identifies other solutions, such as a negotiation between the banks and their clients to close the PEL, in exchange for compensation, or a modification of the contracts by law in the name of the general interest, in exchange for a commitment from the banks. .to finance priority projects, such as the ecological and energy transition.
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