Property loan. Credit: soon the 35% debt rule will be bypassed?

In early April, the Finance Committee of the National Assembly voted in its first reading of a bill presented at the end of January that relaxes the standards for providing real estate loans imposed by the High Financial Stability Council (HCSF), the body responsible for monitoring the financial system and chaired by Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire .

However, several amendments were made to empty the text “of its essence” according to CNCEF Crédit, an approved professional association of credit brokers.

The 35% Debt Rule

A rule imposed on banks not to exceed a household debt ratio of 35% when providing loans, “contributes to the massive decline in home loan production” (except for renegotiation)“by preventing access to the assets of potential perfectly solvent debtors”, in the context of high lending rates and inflation, the bill suggests.

According to one of the articles of the text, banks could thus be freed from the indebtedness rule. They would rely on various tools to determine the financial capacity of the borrower himself, for example by assessing the risk of granting the loan with regard to the concept of “remaining life”.

Target: “facilitate access to credit for people who do not pose a risk of excessive indebtedness. »

However, the amendment proposes that the conditions under which banks could deviate from these decisions be determined by the HCSF on a proposal from the governor of the Banque de France every three months, “taking into account differences in the supply and demand for loans. »

“Drained from Her Essence”

“While the production of real estate loans fell by almost half between 2021 and 2023 after the entry into force of the HCSF standards, the adopted proposal (…) no longer responds to the urgency of the moment”stated CNCEF Crédit.

The professional association of brokers condemns “a text that has become ineffective and devoid of its essence. »

Adjust HCSF management

The section of the bill retained by the committee intends to modify the composition of the HCSF, “to bring a deputy and a senator. »

They are appointed by the President of the National Assembly and the President of the Senate. “To the extent that from 1ahem From January 2022, the HCSF’s decisions will become binding as they represent true macroprudential standards, the draft law points out. It therefore seems necessary to include elected officials from the national representation. »

A text still to be discussed

The draft law will be submitted to the deputies for a vote at the plenary session on April 29, then to the senators for a vote.

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