Several large banks stop taking credit files brought by brokers

Several large banks stop taking credit files brought by brokers

The margins of the banks have become too narrow between the rates which are skyrocketing and the rate of wear defined by the Banque de France which does not follow. They therefore prefer to save on the commission of brokers.

After having warned for months about the problems linked to the low wear rates established by the Banque de France, brokers are now paying the price. Several large banking groups have simply decided to do without their services. This is the case of Société Générale and Crédit du Nord (which belong to the same group), as well as several regional banks of Crédit Agricole, as revealed by the newspaper. The echoes Monday evening. Other banks could follow suit in the coming weeks.

The production of new credits has not been stopped but, concretely, none of the files submitted by brokers are retained for the moment. In other words, these banks have decided to take only direct customers. A temporary decision, of course, but which acts as an earthquake in the credit sector. In question: a rate of wear that does not evolve fast enough, while the rates of mortgages, them, continue to increase, under the pressure of changes in monetary policy of the major central banks.

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An obsolete calculation method

Intended to protect individuals from abusive borrowing conditions, the usury rate, set each quarter by the Banque de France, is relatively unknown to the general public. Concretely, no bank can, all costs included, lend at a rate higher than this threshold calculated on the basis of the average rates granted during the last quarter, increased by 30%. Currently, it is set at only 2.40% for fixed-rate mortgages with a duration equal to or greater than 20 years. Its next update will be on July 1.

The problem is that this wear rate is calculated from loans signed between January and March. But since then, interest rates have risen very rapidly. “Average rates are increasing to 1.35% 15-year, 1.55% 20-year and 1.75% 25-year, but more and more banks are now showing rates above 2% 20-year , rates that had not been displayed since 2017″, specified the broker Vousfinancer in early June. When we add the costs (and in particular the borrower’s insurance and the commission of the brokers), many files therefore pass narrowly at the moment.

“Societe Generale has not stopped the production of mortgage loans for its customers and prospects whose files are studied as usual on a case-by-case basis. Nevertheless, given the methods of calculation and definition of the wear rate which do not reflect the sudden and rapid rise in rates observed since the beginning of 2022, the bank has decided to temporarily stop the use of prescribers (brokers, local real estate agencies, etc.) whose share in the production of mortgage loans is not not significant”, specifies Societe Generale.

Well aware of the problem, the government had recently paved the way for a revision of the calculation of the rate of wear but without precise details. Have the big banks decided to speed up the executive decision-making process? And this, at the very moment when the possibility of changing borrower insurance at any time (since June 1 for new contracts) risks cutting into the comfortable margins generated by their dominant position in this area.

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