French savers are aware of the low rate environment – Natixis

French savers are aware of the current low rate environment and the impact it can have on savings’ performance, Natixis AM has found out in its second annual study on French savers.

Some 1,000 clients whose assets are comprised €75,000 and €300,000 have been surveyed in May 2015 by the manager.

Four in five French savers have noticed a drop in the returns delivered by traditional savings products such as Livret A whilst 64% have stressed that life insurance’s profitability has decreased.

According to them, the current economic context will last for long. Natixis’ survey reports that 40% of French savers think the decline in Livret A’s returns will pursue and 42% say life insurance will continue to be less profitable.

Clients interviewed by the firm are also realistic and pragmatic about yields given the current economic context. Over half of them (52%)  assess that an investment delivering returns of 3% to 5% would make it profitable.

The study reveals that most French savers (71%) are ready to review their investments and to diversify them in products adapted to the context. Three in five French savers would invest in stock market-linked savings.

Among individuals surveyed, 41% have already reviewed their investments since the beginning of the year, 38% have already diversified their investments and 30% have invested assets in financial markets.

Retirement remains the main concern of French savers. Over 66% of the clients surveyed keep saving money for it. Among them, 34% use traditional savings accounts such as Livret A and 26% choose life insurance products. Clients investing in stock market-linked products account for 14%, against 9% in 2014.

Long term thematic funds focusing on food, employment and environment particularly draw French savers, Natixis highlights.

Christine Lacoste, head of Networks and Distribution Support Functions at Natixis AM said that 2015 marks a clear break for French savers. According to her, they progressively consider investing their assets again in stock market-linked products such as Ucits and diversified unit-linked funds, for which they accept to take a measured risk.

Adrien Paredes-Vanheule
Adrien Paredes-Vanheule is French-Speaking Europe Correspondent for InvestmentEurope, covering France, Belgium, Geneva and Monaco. Prior to joining InvestmentEurope, he spent almost five years writing for various publications in Monaco, primarily as a criminal and financial court reporter. Before that, he worked for newspapers and radio stations in France, in particular in Lyon.

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