Compensation rose to 1.70%.
It is not the cold shower that savers expected. Despite the crisis and persistently low interest rates, the fund’s returns in euros have held up rather well in 2020. Afer announced a better than expected rate of 1.70% (after 1.85% in 2019) . Once again this year, the savings association should play its role as a spur for banks and bancassurers. Some, but not the majority of players, have already unveiled their 2020 rates (Maaf, Macsf, GMF…) with rather moderate declines, around – 0.25 points. According to the Savings Circle, the returns of funds in euros should oscillate overall between 1.10% and 1.20% for 2020, against an average of 1.40% in 2019. Much better than expected. There is a reason for this: ” The euro fund remains a leading product, which must remain attractive », Underlines Philippe Crevel, economist and director of the Cercle de l’épargne.
In this environment of low interest rates, some insurers had to dig into their reserves this year, to offer good returns to savers – Afer thus took 80 million euros this year. But this is not the only explanation. ” Euro funds also hold a small pocket of equities. But the stock markets held up well in 2020, despite the spring crash », Underlines Stellane Cohen, president of the broker Altaprofits.
But beyond returns, the health crisis brought an unexpected gift to savers. Negative inflation (-0.3%) gave a boost to real life insurance returns. “To make almost 1.30% in such a context of inflation, it is excellent and it is historic”, explains Cyrille Chartier-Kastler, founder of Good Value For Money. Two years ago, the average yield was higher (1.40%) but largely penalized by inflation (1%).
Life insurance has had a hectic year in 2020. Collections fell by nearly 25% compared to 2019. As a result, for the first time in years, customers deposited less than they withdrew. The balance was negative at 7.3 billion euros over the first eleven months of the year. But not all life insurance players have suffered this shock in the same way. Banks, the biggest distributors, accustomed to physical exchanges suffered. Not the online distribution platforms, which for the most part did better than last year “ We won 50% of life insurance clients and 10% fundraising », Explains Antoine Delon, at the head of the broker Linxea.
The collection was also better at the end of 2020. The French, who have a surplus of savings, will they go back to life insurance in 2021? Yields on euro funds are expected to decline in the coming years, as long as interest rates remain low or negative. Nevertheless, life insurance remains an unparalleled long-term savings tool. Its tax advantages are significant. And life insurers are doing education to convince the French that it is interesting to subscribe at the same time as a fund in euros very secure, part in units of account (UC), more profitable but more risky. This is the package they almost always offer, with 30% UA. ” We start with clients who want to earn 5% without taking any risk. It must be explained that the context has changed », Emphasizes Martin Alix, deputy general manager of product development at Primonial. ” Today, some say they can return to the stock markets », Estimates Thierry Goument, general manager Île-de-France Axa.
Still, the majority of French savers are rather reluctant to take risks. For these reasons, life insurers are pushing new forms of euro funds, more daring than traditional funds, but less risky than UCs. Life insurance, and in particular euro funds, has not had its last word.
Craze in 2020 for the livret A
Very widespread in France, the livret A in 2020 attracted twice as many savings as in 2019, garnering a net amount of 26.4 billion euros, the Caisse des Dépôts announced on Wednesday. The sustainable and solidarity development booklet (LDDS) is also in good shape: 8.8 billion were collected last year through this investment, twice as good, again, than in 2019. “ It represents 50 euros per month and per booklet. It’s a record since 2012, it’s huge», Commented the CEO of the Caisse des Dépôts, Éric Lombard, on Wednesday on RTL.
The success of the livret A, which nevertheless guarantees a historically low interest rate of 0.5% per year, contrasted with the withdrawals observed on life insurance contracts. In times of economic crisis and while confinements have generated “forced” savings (that is to say linked to prevented consumption), the French have bet on safe and liquid investments.
In total, the outstanding savings stored on the two passbooks amounted to 448.3 billion euros at the end of December 2020.
To see also – Savings: “We broke a record” in 2020 announces the CEO of the Caisse des Dépôts