Our commitments to banking inclusion and vulnerable customers

A civic bank, La Banque Postale provides a service tailored to its 20 million customers, paying particular attention to financially vulnerable customers and those excluded from banking. La Banque Postale is the only bank in France with a public banking accessibility function, which benefits 1.5 million of our citizens. La Banque Postale also takes care of 1.6 million financially vulnerable customers.

A public service mission to promote banking inclusion 

Thanks to its public banking accessibility function, La Banque Postale guarantees people who are excluded from the classic banking system universal access to free, simple and essential banking services. The banking accessibility function is provided through Livret A accounts.

La Banque Postale is thus obliged to open a Livret A for ‘any person who requests it’, to accept the opening of a Livret A from €1.50 and to authorise deposits and withdrawals from this same amount. Lastly, all account holders are allowed to use the account for certain payments and withdrawals. 1.5 million La Banque Postale customers, i.e. nearly 5 million people including families, benefit from this banking accessibility function, which is vital for social cohesion.

Support for customers facing financial difficulties

In addition to this banking accessibility function, La Banque Postale supports 1,6 million customers whose income is estimated to be below the poverty line, who are overindebted or have been banned from banking and who are recognised as ‘financially vulnerable’ by the Observatory of Banking Inclusion (OIB).

The ‘Simplicité’ account option

La Banque Postale offers them a ‘Simplicity’ account option, with fees calculated as fair and capped, a card with systematic authorisation and immediate debit. The 140,000 Simplicité account customers benefit from a cap on their incident fees at €20 a month and €200 a year.


In November 2013, La Banque Postale created ‘L’Appui de La Banque Postale’, a banking and budget support platform. Accessible via a single toll-free number, it provides day-to-day support to any La Banque Postale customer in a situation of financial vulnerability, whether temporary (life accident such as unemployment, separation, illness) or long-term. It also aims to prevent the deterioration of financial situations.

Thanks to this innovative system, at the crossroads of banking advice and socio-budgetary support, customers are accompanied by Appui advisors to assess their financial situation, identify the existence of unpaid social rights and understand how banking products and services work (unpaid debts, situations where people are banned from banking, etc.). The advice provided on account management and access to online banking thus provides additional budgetary leeway.

The Appui advisors also direct customers to professional social players (social assistants, budget advice points, etc.), solidarity-based offers developed by other companies (the Malin Child Food Programme, Mobiliz Solidarity Garages, etc.) or non-profit partners (new Solidarity in the face of unemployment, digital mediation service, etc.). Customers can also be directed to Crésus to avoid overindebtedness.

Finally, the Appui advisors promote personal and professional micro-loans to customers who are excluded from traditional lending by directing them to specialised organisations such as Créa-Sol, a micro-finance institution for personal micro-loan distribution, or Adie, which offers professional micro-loans to support entrepreneurs when starting a business. Adie therefore supports potential micro-entrepreneurs who have been identified by post offices in vulnerable urban areas and wish to start their own business.

Key Appui figures:

  • 200,000 customers assisted by Appui since 2013
  • Over 65,000 incoming calls in 2020

The ‘initiative against banking exclusion’ think tank

In 2012, La Banque Postale created a think tank to meet the needs of financially vulnerable customers. This think tank, called ‘initiative against banking exclusion’, welcomes all other players from the social, non-profit and banking world who, sharing its goals, wish to develop new initiatives against banking and financial exclusion. The think tank has 23 members.