La Banque Postale Group is studying a plan to wind down Ma French Bank. Here is a press release that surprises this Wednesday, December 20, a few days before the end of 2023, while mobile banking has not yet celebrated its 5th anniversary. The decommissioning project will be extended for 1 year or 18 months.
At the time of launch, on July 22, 2019, it aimed to reach a million customers by 2025. A few months ago, in the heart of the summer of 2023, the subsidiary of the La Banque Postale group claimed 675,000 customers. The countdown stopped at the end of June 2023, the 4th anniversary of this 100% mobile bank, whose promise was low-cost simplicity (2 euros per month). Now it has been announced that it will cease to operate, Ma French Bank will never reach a million customers. And the mobile bank La Banque Postale, a long-term project originally planned to launch in 2017, may no longer exist by 2025.
The La Banque Postale group dropped a small bombshell this Wednesday, December 20 at 17:15 via a press release: Ma French Bank and La Banque Postale have launched an information and consultation procedure with their respective employee representatives on December 18, 2023. The aim of these procedures is to study the project of the termination of the activities of Ma French Bank, a 100% mobile bank of the La Banque Postale group, and the conditions under which it would be implemented.
My French bank has not reached profitability and has not yet found its economic model
Why announce the end of Ma French Bank, while the goal of one million customers is certainly still distant, but not completely out of reach? Despite the undeniable success with customers, Ma French Bank has not achieved profitability and has not yet found its economic model, the group responds unambiguously in its press release, which evokes the future phase of social dialogue and strategic review. from Ma French Bank, 5 years later (THE) start (project), which led to the observation of a necessary shutdown: In an extremely competitive market in full consolidation that requires critical enough size to hope to become profitable, Ma French Bank would require massive investment to develop, especially by expanding the range of products and equipment. However, such an orientation no longer appears to be compatible with the strategic plan of the La Banque Postale group, which plans to prioritize its investments in accelerating its digitization.
Phase out Ma French Bank, by the end of 2024 or mid-2025
If the closure of Ma French Bank were to happen, it would be done after a progressive process that would be long-term and last 12 to 18 months, we read in the same press release.
If the termination is confirmed (the condition is appropriate, although the distribution of such a press release leaves little room for doubt), La Poste group employees working at Ma French Bank will be offered to continue their careers within the group. However, the reclassification of the French bank’s employees presents a real challenge given the prospect of not replacing the departures at the parent company, the Sud PTT trade union condemned in a press release on Wednesday evening.
After ING and Orange Bank…
Two players, ING and Orange Bank, have already thrown in the towel and their clients have been encouraged to migrate to Boursorama, a subsidiary of Socit Generale, for the former and Hello Bank!, a subsidiary of BNP Paribas, for the latter.
After a period of full development led by the previous chairman of the board, Philippe Heim (overhaul of private banking, acquisition of asset managers, development of consumer loans, etc.), Poštovní banka is now trying to refocus on its fundamentals. In any case, this is the mandate of the new chairman of the board Stphan Dedeyan, the former head of CNP Assurances (he joined last year from Banque Postale), who came to this position at the beginning of August. But the union Sud PTT makes it difficult to read the strategy waltz of bank leaders and the complexity of the group.
Acknowledging the lack of profitability of its online banking arm BforBank, Crdit Agricole made the opposite choice in September by repositioning the brand and giving it new ambitious goals.
What will happen to almost 700,000 customers?
La Banque Postale does not rule out the sale of the customer portfolio to a potential buyer, according to AFP’s indiscretion. In all cases, La Banque Postale undertakes to offer Ma French Bank to all customers the possibility to open an account in it, with access to its physical network with its 7,000 post offices and the services of a traditional bank. A proposal in line with the promise of a bank primarily aimed at young people along the lines of nobanks? Affected customers are of course free to choose to migrate to another mobile bank if they wish.
La Banque Postale Group and Ma French Bank would like to remind you this Ma French Bank exit plan poses no risk to client assets and deposits, which would remain accessible throughout the proceedings, the group and its subsidiary remind in a press release. They undertake to regularly inform customers and employees of the timetable for this probable closure.
Comparison of mobile banks