LexInter | February 22, 2002 | 0 Comments

BANKING AND CUSTOMERS

IMPROVED RELATIONSHIPS

BETWEEN BANKS AND THEIR CUSTOMERS

Article 13

  1. – 1. Section 1 of Chapter II of Title I of Book III of the Monetary and Financial Code is entitled: “Account right and customer relations”.
    2. After article L. 312-1 of the same code, articles L. 312-1-1 to L. 312-1-4 are inserted as follows:
    “Art.L. 312-1-1.- I. – The management of a deposit account is governed by a written agreement between the customer and his credit institution. The main provisions of this deposit account agreement, in particular the general and tariff conditions for opening, operating and closing, are specified by an order of the Minister responsible for the economy and finance after consulting the advisory committee set up at the Article L. 614-6.
    “Any proposed modification of the price of the products and services covered by the agreement must be communicated in writing to the customer three months before the envisaged application date. The absence of dispute by the customer within two months after this communication constitutes acceptance of the new price.
    “No costs may be provided for by the agreement mentioned in the first paragraph or charged to the customer for the closure or transfer of an account operated at the request of a customer who contests a proposal for a substantial modification of this convention.
    “II. – Unless the account agreement provides otherwise, all credit and debit operations of a deposit account must be brought to the attention of the client at regular intervals.
    “Art. L. 312-1-2. – I. – 1. The sale or offer for sale of bundled products or services is prohibited except when the products or services included in the bundled offer can be purchased individually or when they are inseparable.
    “2. Any sale or offer for sale of products or services made to the customer and giving the right free of charge, immediately or in the future, to a financial or in kind premium of products, goods or services whose value would be. greater than a threshold set, depending on the type of product or service offered to customers, by a regulation made by order of the Minister responsible for the economy, taken after the opinion of the advisory committee set up in article L. 614-6 .
    “II. – Banque de France agents commissioned by the Minister for the Economy and officials empowered to identify violations of the provisions of Articles L. 113-3, L. 121-35 and L. 122-1 of the Code of consumption are qualified to carry out, in the exercise of their functions, the search for and the establishment by report of infringements of the provisions of I of Article L. 312-1-1 and I of this article.
    “These agents can access all premises for professional use and request the communication of books and all other professional documents and make copies of them, collect information and justifications upon summons or on site. They can only access these premises between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Professional secrecy cannot be opposed to agents acting within the framework of the powers conferred on them by this article.
    “The reports are sent to the public prosecutor within five days of their establishment. A copy is also given to the person concerned.
    “Art. L. 312-1-3. – I. – Any credit institution appoints one or more mediators responsible for recommending solutions to disputes relating to the application by credit institutions of the obligations set out in I of Articles L. 312-1-1 and L. 312-1 -2. Mediators are chosen on the basis of their competence and impartiality.
    “The mediator is required to rule within two months of being referred. This suspends the limitation period during this period. The findings and statements that the mediator collects cannot be produced or invoked in the rest of the procedure without the agreement of the parties. This mediation procedure is free. The existence of mediation and its modalities of access must be mentioned in the agreement referred to in Article L. 312-1-1, as well as on the account statements.
    “The annual activity report drawn up by each mediator is sent to the governor of the Banque de France and to the chairman of the advisory committee set up in article L. 614-6.
    “II. – A banking mediation committee is hereby set up to examine the reports of the mediators and to draw up an annual report on the banking mediation which it transmits to the National Credit and Security Council. This committee is also responsible for specifying the procedures for exercising the activity of mediators, in particular ensuring their independence. It is informed of the terms and amount of indemnities and compensation paid to mediators by credit institutions. This committee can make recommendations to credit institutions and mediators.
    “The Banking Mediation Committee is chaired by the Governor of the Banque de France or his representative. The other members are appointed by order of the Minister responsible for the economy, according to the following distribution: a personality proposed by the college of consumers and users of the National Consumer Council, a personality proposed by the French Association of Credit Institutions and investment firms and two personalities chosen for their competence.
    “Art. L. 312-1-4. – The provisions of Articles L. 312-1-1 to L. 312-1-3 are of public order. They apply to the credit institutions mentioned in article L. 511-1 as well as to the organizations mentioned in article L. 518-1.
    “Their conditions of application are specified by a decree in the Council of State. ”
    II. – 1. Chapter I of Title V of Book III of the same code is entitled: “Offenses relating to the right to account and to customer relations”.
    2. Article L. 351-1 of the same code reads as follows:
    “Art. L. 351-1. – Is punished with a fine of 15,000 Euro for disregarding one of the obligations mentioned in I of article L. 312-1-1 or one of the prohibitions enacted in I of article L. 312- 1-2.
    “Legal persons can be declared criminally liable under the conditions provided for by article 121-2 of the penal code for the offenses defined in the previous paragraph. The penalties incurred by legal persons are the fine, in accordance with the terms set out in article 131-38 of the penal code.
    “Before initiating public action tending to the application of the penal sanction provided for in this article, the prosecution may refer the matter to the banking mediation committee for an opinion if it deems it necessary, mentioned in II of article L. 312-1-3. In the event that a complaint is lodged with the constitution of civil party relating to infringements of the provisions mentioned in the first paragraph, the public prosecutor may, before making his requisitions, refer to the banking mediation committee for an opinion. The requisitions are sent to the examining magistrate after consulting the committee.
    “In the event of direct summons to the criminal court hearing by the victim for the offenses referred to in the preceding paragraph, the president may, before any substantive examination, refer to the banking mediation committee for an opinion. This notice is sent to the parties and to the tribunal by the committee and placed in the file.
    “The banking mediation committee takes a decision within six weeks at the latest after receipt of the request for an opinion. In his opinion, he notably assesses the seriousness of the facts as well as their possible repetitive nature. ”
    III. – The provisions of Articles L. 312-1-1 to L. 312-1-4 and of Article L. 351-1 of the Monetary and Financial Code come into force one year after the publication of this law, subject to the following provisions:
    1o The provisions of I of Article L. 312-1-1 apply from 1 January 2003 for deposit accounts opened on the date of entry into force of this law and which have not been signed. ‘subject of an agreement in accordance with the provisions specified by the decree mentioned in the first paragraph of I of this article.
    For these accounts, credit institutions send no later than July 1, 2002 or the date mentioned in the first paragraph, for accounts opened between July 1, 2002 and this same date, if later, a draft account agreement. to their clients, by informing them of the conditions under which the agreement can be signed. In the absence of signature, the absence of dispute by the customer within three months after receipt of the draft agreement constitutes acceptance of the account agreement;
    2o The provisions of I of Article L. 312-1-2 apply from January 1, 2003 to sales or offers to sell which originate in agreements concluded before the entry into force of this law.
    IV.
    1o Article L. 113-3 is supplemented by a paragraph worded as follows:
    “The rules relating to the obligation to provide information by credit institutions and organizations mentioned in Article L. 518-1 of the Monetary and Financial Code are set by I and II of article L. 312-1-1 of the same code. “;
    2o Article L. 121-35 is supplemented by a paragraph worded as follows:
    “For credit institutions and organizations mentioned in Article L. 518-1 of the Monetary and Financial Code, the rules relating to sales with premiums are fixed by point 2 of I of article L. 312-1-2 of the same code. “;
    3o Article L. 122-1 is supplemented by a paragraph worded as follows:
    “For credit institutions and organizations mentioned in Article L. 518-1 of the Monetary and Financial Code, the rules relating to subordinated sales are set by point 1 of I of Article L. 312-1-2 of same code. “;
    4o In article L. 122-4, the words: “by the general banking conditions brought to the attention of customers and specifying” are replaced by the words: “by the account agreement established in article L. 312-1-1 of the Monetary and Financial Code which specifies ”.

Article 14

  1. – Article L. 311-9 of the Consumer Code is supplemented by a paragraph worded as follows:
    “The words” credit card “are specified on the card.”
    II.- The provisions of this article come into force at the end of a period of six months from the publication of this law. They apply to cards issued or renewed after this deadline.

Article 15

  1. – Article L. 131-73 of the Monetary and Financial Code is thus amended:
    1o In the first sentence of the first paragraph, the words: “who has refused payment of a check for lack of sufficient funds” are replaced by the words: “may, after having informed the account holder by any appropriate means made available by him of the consequences of the lack of funds, refuse payment of a check for lack of sufficient funds.”He ” ;
    2o The last paragraph is completed by a sentence worded as follows:
    “When the amount of the rejected check is less than 50 Euro, the charges received by the drawee may not exceed an amount fixed by decree.”
    II. – Article L. 131-75 of the same code is worded as follows:
    “Art. L. 131-75. – The discharge penalty that the account holder must pay to recover the ability to issue checks is calculated on the non-funded portion of the check. It is set at 22 Euro per tranche of 150 Euro or fraction of an unfunded tranche, and reduced to 5 Euro when the unfunded portion of the check is less than 50 Euro.
    “However, this penalty is not due when the account holder or his representative has not issued another check rejected for lack of funds in the twelve months preceding the payment incident and that he justifies, in a two months from the injunction provided for in article L. 131-73,
    “The provisions of the preceding paragraph apply to all checks issued on the same account and rejected for lack of sufficient funds during the period of two months provided for in the same paragraph.
    “When the period provided for in the second paragraph expires on a non-working day, it is extended until the first following working day. ”
    III. – The provisions of this article are applicable in New Caledonia, French Polynesia, the Wallis and Futuna Islands and Mayotte.
    IV. – As a transitional measure and until December 31, 2001, the discharge penalty referred to in II is set at 150 F per tranche of 1000 F or fraction of an unfunded tranche, and reduced to 34 F when the unfunded portion of the check is less at 340 F.

Article 16

I. – Title II of Book III of the Consumer Code is thus amended:
1o This title is entitled: “Intermediary activity”;
2o Chapter I is entitled: “Protection of debtors and borrowers” and subdivided into two sections:
a) A section 1 entitled: “Nullity of agreements”, including Article L. 321-1;
b) After article L. 321-1, a section 2 entitled: “Advertising”, comprising an article L. 321-2 worded as follows:
“Art. L. 321-2. – Any advertising disseminated by or on behalf of a natural or legal person who assists, in any capacity whatsoever and in any manner whatsoever, directly or indirectly, in obtaining one or more loans. money by an individual must include, in an apparent manner, the following:
“” no payment of any nature whatsoever, can not be demanded of an individual before obtaining one or more loans of silver”.
“This advertising must indicate the name and address of the credit institution or credit institutions on whose behalf the intermediary carries out his activity. “;
3o Article L. 322-3 becomes Article L. 322-5;
4o An article L. 322-3 is reinstated and an article L. 322-4 is inserted as follows:
“Art. L. 322-3. – Is punished with a fine of 3,750 Euro the fact, for an advertiser, to diffuse or to make diffuse on its behalf an advertisement which does not comply with the provisions of article L. 321-2.
“Art. L. 322-4. – The offenses provided for in Articles L. 322-1 and L. 322-3 are sought and noted under the conditions set by Article L. 141-1. ”
II. – 1. In the second sentence of the first paragraph of Article L. 311-37 of the same code, after the words: “The actions”, are inserted the words: “in payment” and, after the words: “in front of him “, Are inserted the words:” on the occasion of the default of the borrower “.
2. At the end of the second sentence of the first paragraph of the same article, the words: “, including when they arose from contracts concluded before 1 July 1989” are deleted.
3. These provisions apply to contracts concluded from the date of promulgation

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