La Poste is France’s state-run postal service. Its history can be traced back to about 1476, when King Louis XI issued a decree for the establishment of the equestrian mail. Since then, La Poste has significantly expanded the range of its activities and has earned a place among Europe’s top three providers of logistics, corporate, and financial services. The identifying colour of the French postal service is yellow and its logo resembles a blue aeroplane on a yellow background.
The group’s financial services are managed by La Banque Postale
. Founded in 2006 and headquartered in Paris, the bank has assets of over fifty billion Euro and more than twenty million costumers. In terms of demand for savings and deposits, La Banque Postale has been named France’s fourth strongest provider of retail banking, and the body also has the third largest ATM network in the country.
Mr. Patrick Werner, Chairman of the Executive Board of La Banque Postale S.A., has set it as the bank’s mission to be a bank like any other – reliable, efficient, and profitable and yet a bank unlike any other. Its devoted officials are always ready to meet the individual needs of every client, with a wide range of everyday banking services and highly-integrated solutions - cheque, savings and current accounts, debit and credit cards, local and international money transfers, currency exchange, as well as investment and housing loans, mortgage plans, pension funds management, and online banking. Offering simple and practical solutions, the bank relies on a strong local presence and an individual approach to their clients. As a step in this direction in 2007, La Banque Postale was authorized to launch customer loan services, which are expected to start working towards the end of 2009.
Following an agreement with Committee of Credit Establishments and Investment Companies, La Banque Postale was allowed to offer micro credits to its corporate clients, including an assistance scheme for the beneficiaries.
In 2007, the European Commission challenged France
over distortion of competition, regarding tax-free savings livret A and livert bleu, which until then had been offered exclusively by La Banque Postale, Caisse d'Epargne, and Credit Mutuel. The legal case was closed on October 1, 2009. From a statement of the Commission, it becomes clear that at the beginning of this year, the French government introduced reforms allowing all banks to distribute such products and as a result, many citizens have since then opened livert A and livert bleu accounts with banks other than the aforementioned three. According to a recent market research, livert A and livert bleu are the most popular savings accounts in France – over fifity percent of the French people have such accounts, and the savings total over 180 billion Euro.
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