Freezing the Livret A rate: the Council of State rejects an appeal calling for its cancellation

The Council of State rejected on Monday February 19 the appeal of law professor Paul Cassia who requested the cancellation of the freezing of the Livret A rate at 3%, according to a decision of which Agence France-Presse was aware

Freezing the Livret A rate: the Council of State rejects an appeal calling for its cancellation

The Council of State rejected on Monday February 19 the appeal of law professor Paul Cassia who requested the cancellation of the freezing of the Livret A rate at 3%, according to a decision of which Agence France-Presse was aware.

Mr. Cassia, from Panthéon-Sorbonne University, had filed several requests with the highest French administrative court from July 13, 2023, the date on which the Minister of the Economy, Bruno Le Maire, announced the maintenance of the Livret A rate at 3% until January 2025.

The rate of remuneration of the approximately 56 million Livrets A, like that of the 24.8 million Livrets de développement durable et solidaire (LDDS), is usually reviewed every 6 months by the Banque de France before being endorsed by Bercy. It results from a calculation taking into account half the inflation of the last six months and the other half an exchange rate between banks.

This operation gives 4.1% for the period from August 2023 to January 2024, 3.9% for that between February 2024 and July 2024 and is still expected above 3% for the last third of the journey, between August 2024 and January 2025 (the figure will be known in mid-July).

False “good news” for savers

Far from the “good news” for the French announced by Bruno Le Maire, this 3% freeze is therefore largely unfavorable to them, with more than 6 billion euros less in remuneration since a first downward rounding at the start of 2023.

The Council of State confirmed the competence of the minister to make such a decision and validated the argument of “exceptional circumstances”, put forward by the Bank of France, which justify it. The main argument for freezing the rate is the defense of the finances of social housing players, who borrow from the Caisse des Dépôts (CDC) at the Livret A rate.

The latter, however, deal with a accommodating lender and manage their debts over the long term, the standard duration of loans being 40 years, a horizon necessarily made up of drops and increases in rates. The freezing of the rate is also favorable to banks, which pay part of the interest, and limits the damage for insurers, who struggle to align the remuneration of their euro funds with that of regulated savings.