NEWS 2017

November 26: FNCA Financial Directors Meeting

On November 26, Didier Davydoff presented the latest savings trends and the OEE's work to Crédit Agricole Group's CFOs gathered by the Crédit Agricole National Federation.

November 17: Finkit Meeting

The OEE is participating in the project "Financial Education: a key tool to improve the life cycle".

FinKit, funded by the European Commission under the Erasmus+ program, started in November 2015 and will run for three years. The study is carried out by a network of European institutions including: CeRP-Collegio Carlo Alberto of the University of Turin (leading institution), the OEE, the Spanish Confederation of Educational Centers (CECE), Polytechnic Institute of Setúbal (Portugal) and the Ufficio Pio of the Compagnia di San Paolo (Italy).

The project will lead to the production of toolkits, videos, thematic leaflets made available to social workers, trainers / coaches / volunteers, program developers, local development agencies and financial actors contributing to the education of their audiences. Project stakeholders rely on behavioral finance studies to define tools that are appropriate for each type of audience, especially elderly people.

On November 17, the OEE participated in an international conference organized in Turin as part of the project and during which various experiences of financial education programs were presented by associations or local communities.

November 8: Long-term Investors Club Meeting

Jacques de Larosière, President of the OEE, concluded a meeting organized in Paris on November 8, by the Long Term Investors Club "For a national strategic capital". Using OEE statistics, he showed that French savings are abundant but insufficiently allocated towards equities.

November 3: EFBS Board of Directors

On November 3, in Bucharest, Didier Davydoff, Director of the OEE, made a presentation to the Board of Directors of the European Federation of Building Societies, entitled "The Future of the EU: Visions by Jean-Claude Juncker and Emmanuel Macron ". He exposed the convergences between the two visions, made public in September 2017, through the speech on the state of the union (Jean-Claude Junker) and the speech of the Sorbonne (Emmanuel Macron).

October 31: World Savings Day


The Professional Association of Banks and Financial Institutions of Algeria (AFEB) announced the creation of a National Observatory of Savings.

On October 31, on the occasion of the World Savings Day, Didier Davydoff, Director of the OEE, shared with the Algerian financial community the experience of the OEE that could inspire this Algerian observatory.

Domestic savings remain high in Algeria but are falling and banks are trying to mobilize higher household savings to finance the investments needed by the country.

The National Savings and Provident Fund (CNEP Banque), the main Algerian retail bank, inaugurated the same day its new premises in the presence of the ministers of finance and housing. His savings account is distributed by the CNEP agencies and La Poste ticket offices. Each Algerian family holds a booklet (7 million holders). Saving on a passbook allows you to benefit from preferential rates on housing loans. In order to mobilize savings, the public authorities are also trying to implement the right to the account, which has been in the law since 2010.

August: Overview of Savings in Europe No.34

The OEE published its new Overview of Savings in Europe, a document compiling the main indicators and latest trends in saving behavior.


Financial environment savings trends identified at the end of 2016 continued rising at the beginning of 2017 in the Eurozone. Interest rates stabilized at very low levels. Those who own shares directly or indirectly continued to benefit from the rise of equity markets. Wages are rising in a world with almost no inflation. The situation is quite different in the United Kingdom post-Brexit-vote. The British have regained confidence. But at the same time, real incomes, trimmed by inflation and heavier taxes, stagnated or fell. The equation could only be resolved by an increase in credit. An increase in the use of credit was also recorded in France and Germany where housing loans were also spreading. Consumer credit was becoming more widespread, particularly driven by car hire purchase.

In the Eurozone, savings rates were not really impacted by the monetary policy of the ECB. They were negative in “a cash-basis” methodology in the United Kingdom.

Holdings of bank savings products continue to stagnate or decline in a majority of countries. France and its regulated savings always remunerated at 0.75% are the exception. In addition, Housing savings products (PEL) with a higher return, still attracted savers. In Germany, the periodic survey by the association of private building societies (Verband der privaten Bausparkassen) reveals that housing acquisition projects are a growing motivation for the saving act. At the same time, wealth building strategies that have been permanently deflected by the 2008 financial crisis mistrust have become a minority.

Direct ownership of securities has not yet restarted. In Italy, where individuals have long held large bond portfolios, Prometeia estimated that the decreasing of household bond portfolios will continue to benefit all forms of assets managed by professionals.

On the regulatory front, the implementation of the Solvency II directive changed the way in which insurance technical reserves were valued. Above all, it has encouraged intermediaries to promote unit-linked products at the expense of euro-denominated contracts, which require too much capital and are costly when assets have a performance below the rates guaranteed or expected by savers.

The landscape of retirement savings also evolves, in a more dispersed order. The automatic affiliation of employees to a pension fund continues to be deployed in the United Kingdom.  It translated into significant additional savings. The Italians also allowed an automatic affiliation through branch agreements. However, the effect is more limited because only employers have to contribute under these agreements. Attitudes about the legal age of retirement also diverge. In France the plan for notional pension rights is accompanied by a promise not to change the legal age of retirement. In Italy, which has also opted for a notional system that inspired the French project, the legal retirement age was raised to 66 years and seven months to ensure the sustainability of the pay-as-you-go system. The Belgian legislator now prevents active individuals from claiming their pension rights earlier than the legal age whereas the Italians are setting up an early exit option to encourage savers in the accumulation period.

July: OEE Insights No.5

The OEE published in December its fourth issue of OEE Insights. This review presents both descriptive and normative work carried out by OEE members and by the OEE team.

In this issue:

Les comportements financiers des Européens pendant la crise, André Babeau, Professeur émérite des universités

 • Italians are no Longer Bond People, Lea Zicchino, Prometeia, Andrea Alemanno, Ipsos Italia, (version anglaise uniquement)

July 3: OEE General Assembly


On July 3, the members of the OEE met in General Assembly under the presidency of Jacques de Larosière.

The meeting read the management report of the Board of Directors, approved the association's accounts for the 2015-2016 fiscal year and selected two research projects from among those proposed to it in response to its call for papers. 2017 offers.

Participants took note of the progress of ongoing research launched following previous calls for tenders. Mary Pieterse-Bloem's Briefing Paper on bond market liquidity and the studies in which the OEE team participated were also shared with participants:

- The Financial Guidance study conducted under the guidance of the OEE for the European Commission and the Financial Service User Group (FSUG);

- The "Pension Savings, the real return" study of the BetterFinance association;

- AF2I Institutional Panorama France;

- The "FINKIT" project, led by Professor Elsa Fornero (University of Turin).

June 20: Presentation of a study by Elsa Fornero


Elsa Fornero, former Minister of Labor and Social Affairs of the Italian Government, was invited on June 20 by the OEE to present a study entitled "Voting in the Aftermath of a Pension Reform: the Role of Economic-financial Literacy" in the premises of the French Association of Management (AFG).

The study shows that economic reforms are the better accepted as the level of economic and financial education of the population is high.

June 13: Financial Guidance Seminar

On June 13, Better Finance, BEUC and the Observatoire de l’Epargne Européenne will organize a seminar on financial guidance in Brussels.

Financial guidance is a process of determining an individual's financial goals, purposes in life and life's priorities, and after considering his resources, risk profile and current lifestyle, to detail a balanced and realistic plan to meet those goals.

Financial guidance provides a detailed strategy tailored to a consumer’s specific situation, for meeting a consumer’s specific goals covering various aspects of personal finance which includes cash flow management, education planning, retirement planning, investment planning, risk management and insurance planning, tax planning, estate planning and succession planning but excludes the recommendation to purchase a particular financial product.

Representatives of the supervisory authorities (FSMA), the European Commission, financial and consumer organizations will discuss the results of a study on access to comprehensive financial guidance for consumers and debate on the conditions needed for financial guidance during a roundtable.

Consult the page of the event

May 23 & 24: 15th International Conference on Pensions, Insurances and Savings

Paris-Dauphine University, in partnership with the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment, University of Oxford, organize the 15th international conference on pension, insurances and savings on May 23 and 24 in Paris.

For more information

May 10: 17th OEE Call for Tenders

The Observatoire de l'Epargne Européenne is currently seeking out contracts for the realization of European research projects on the following themes that were selected by its Scientific Committee:

Theme 1: Modelling of household income dynamics for better financial advice and risk measures

Theme 2: Trust in the financial industry

Funding offered by the OEE is generally between € 10k and 50k. Research is expected to be completed within one year.

Submissions of proposals by a team combining academic researchers and professional specialists are particularly welcome.

Tenders and requests for additional information may be submitted by email to

The deadline for submission is June 11, 2017.

Tendering specifications

May 2017: CeRP Workshop

On 19-20 October 2017, CeRP-Collegio Carlo Alberto, CINTIA-Centro Interuniversitario Nestpar Italy and the Department of Economic, Social, Mathematical and Statistical Sciences of the University of Turin will organize a Workshop on ‘Household Finance and Retirement Savings’.

The objective is to host presentations and foster interaction between senior and junior researchers working in the area of household finance and retirement savings. The workshop will include state-of-the-art research on household risk management over the life cycle.

They solicit papers in the following areas, but other related areas may also be considered:

– Savings, insurance and portfolio choices over the life cycle;

– Labor income and unemployment risk;

– Consumer indebtedness, financial distress and default decisions;

– Financial literacy and retirement savings;

– Theory based empirical household finance;

– Retirement planning and financing;

– Behavioral approaches to household finance;

– Technological advances and risk management.

The deadline for submission is May 31, 2017.


For more information

April 21: IODS Seminar

IODS organized a seminar on Data for Researchers in Finance on Friday, 21st April, in Paris (Hôtel de Boisgelin, 5 rue Masseran, 75007 Paris).

The aim of this seminar was to present existing financial databases and associated technologies, as well as to exchange with academics and practitioners in order to better meet researcher’s needs.

More than 70 researchers and practitioners attended and exchanged views during this seminar. The seminar was composed of 3 presentations on Corporate Finance data, 3 presentations on Market Finance data and a round table on researcher’s data needs:

  • ESG Signals: Integration of Financial and ESG Variables through Machine-learning (Antonio Celeste, Director Institutional Relations, Sustainalytics / Christophe Geissler, CEO, Advestis);
  • Corporate Governance Data, Directors’ Remuneration and General Assemblies (Loïc Dessaint, CEO, Proxinvest );
  • Empirical Research in China (Tracy Wu, Marketing Manager Asia, GTA)
  • CDS Data for Academic Research (Gavan Nolan, Director in Pricing Division and co-head of Fixed Income Research, Markit);
  • Investment Fund and Asset Management Data (Jérome Couteur, Product Manager, Broadridge / Pritpal Garcha, Product Consultant, Broadridge);
  • Processing of High Frequency Data from Bond Markets (Mary Pieterse-Bloem, Global Head of Fixed Income Strategy & Portfolio Management, ABN AMRO Private Banking International).

IODS was created by the OEE in partnership with INSEAD, Caisse des Dépôts, Viel Tradition and CNRS and provides more than 30 dtabases to 65 research centers in Europe.


Read the presentations

April 19: Interview of Didier Davydoff for Le Revenu

On 19 April, Didier Davydoff, Director of the OEE, was the guest of Aline Fauvarque for Le Revenu.

Today, only 6% of French shareholders, for an amount og 185 billion while in 2008, the annual survey conducted by TNS Sofrés for the Autorité des marchés financiers (AMF) estimated the proportion of French individual shareholders to 13.8%.

Among the causes of this decline, taxation, much heavier on a live securities account than a savings plan or on life insurance.

Didier Davydoff believes a renewal of individual shareholding is possible and desirable provided that taxation ceases to disorient the splits.

This interview was a continuation of a conference organized in collaboration with the Ansa (National Association of Joint Stock Companies) on March 15th about shareholding.

Watch the interview

State of play and prospects for shareholding  in France

April 2017: IODS publishes a new Patrimonial Index

IODS has just released a new patrimonial index. This index measures the overall return on household financial savings in the 4th quarter of 2016.

Read the press release

March 31: Fondation BDF Thesis Prize

The Banque de France Foundation for Research in Monetary, Financial and Banking Economics will award a thesis prize in 2017.

Monetary financial or banking economics theses presented in France, between the 1st January 2016 and the 31st December 2016, may compete for this price. The jury in charge of evaluating the candidatures is composed of personalities appointed by the Fondation Banque de France and the Board of Directors of the AFSE (French Association of Economic Science).

The prize of €3,000, will be awarded at the 66th Annual Congress of the AFSE (Nice, 19-21 June 2017).

Applications must be sent to no later than the 31st March 2017.

March 23: Fintech Project launch

On 23 March, the European Commission (DG FISMA) launched a public consultation on FinTech.

According to the consultation document, the consultation is structured along four broad policy objectives:

1. Fostering access to financial services for consumers and businesses;

2. Bringing down operational costs and increasing efficiency for the industry;

3. Making the single market more competitive by lowering barriers to entry;

4. Balancing greater data sharing and transparency with data security and protection needs.

Contributions can be sent until 15 June 2017.

For more information

March 15: State of play and Prospects for Shareholding  in France

On Wednesday 15 March, the OEE and ANSA organized a conference on the shareholding structure of French and European companies.

In Le Livre blanc on “Emergencies for Growth” published in the autumn 2016, ANSA presented several proposals for the development of shareholding that constitute an essential issue for the financing of the economy.

In order to deepen this work, Christian Schricke, general delegate of ANSA, spoke of the decline in individual shareholding in France and the measures advocated by ANSA to remedy this.

Jacques de Larosière, President of the OEE, recalled that the European households finance the economy more than their American counterparts. But savings is not directed to the equity of companies. Indeed, the confiscatory taxation of investment in equities illustrates the contradiction between the discourse and the reality of taxation. The French continue to save, but especially in banking products. The aim of the ECB's monetary policy was to increase household consumption and investment. Unlike the United States, however, the Central Bank's Quantitative Easing did not have the effect of directing savings to equities, largely because of taxation, and households did not benefit from  wealth effects that might have prompted them to consume more. Finally, it is mainly the governments’ deficit that have benefited from Quantitative Easing by financing themselves at low cost.

Xavier Delsol, associate lawyer at Delsol Avocats, and Virginie Seghers, president of PROPHIL, presented the first European study on shareholder foundations. While these are numerous and powerful, in several European countries (Germany, Denmark, Sweden,...), there are in France only four majority or reference shareholder foundations. The authors make several proposals for their development.

Didier Davydoff, Director of the OEE, presented the work of the Observatoire on ownership in Europe. He presented statistics on direct and indirect equity investment (via investment funds, life insurance and family holdings). He showed that the weight of non-financial enterprises in the shareholding of other companies has increased, as groups of companies of all sizes represent an increasing share of the French economy. He also presented new statistics on the geographical origin of foreign investors in European equities.

Read the presentations

March 2: Agora of Management organized by the AFG and The Institut Louis Bachelier

André Masson, researcher at the Paris School of Economics, presented the results of his paper co-written with Luc Arrondel, "How to explain and remedy the permanent drop of stock ownership since 2008?".

According to the authors, the inexorable decline in individual shareholding in France since the 2008 financial crisis cannot be explained by supply and demand factors, but by far more complex mechanisms. To study these mechanisms, the authors used the different waves (2007-2009-2011-2014) of the PATER (Risk and Time Preference) survey. These surveys made it possible to measure, for a panel of savers, their preferences, particularly with regard to risk.

More information:

    1. Les épargnants français dans la « grande récession » : préférences, anticipations et choix de portefeuille. Report for the Institut CDC pour la recherche, February 2016 (French only)
    2. How to explain & remedy the continuous drop of French stock ownership since the 2008 crisis?, presentation for the conférence “The Future of Savings”, co-organised on the 4th of November 2016 by Axa and la Banque de France

March 2: What are the 2017 Challenges for Occupational Pension Schemes?

On Thursday 2 March, the OEE and Amundi organized at the Banque de France a conference on longevity risk.

Researchers at the universities of Tilburg (the Netherlands) and Paris-Dauphine (France) conducted a study for the OEE comparing longevity risk management solutions at retirement. The study compares the pooling of risk between members of a pension fund with an annuity contract provided by the market. The authors conclude that the mutualisation of the risk by a pension fund brings to the members of the latter a superior utility because the level of fees that insured are willing to pay is lower than the cost of capital committed to cover the risk of longevity.

After a presentation of the study by Marie Brière (Amundi, Paris Dauphine University and Université Libre de Bruxelles) and Ling-Ni Boon (Paris Dauphine University and Tilburg University), practical solutions for occupational retirement were presented by Philippe Serceau, Head of ESR Consulting, Project Management, Amundi International Development Support.

Read the presentations

February 7: Roundtable on Fostering Retail Investment in Capital Markets

On 7 February 2017, Didier Davydoff, director of the OEE, was a participant of the roundtable organised by the European Commission in the context of the mid-term review of the Capital Market Union (CMU) action plan. The action plan aims at fostering retail investment in capital markets.

This roundtable brought together more than 45 representatives from retail investors, national and European supervisors, industry and other interested market players. It enabled the Commission to obtain targeted comments on specific issues in order to clarify its thinking on the review of the CMU action plan.

Have a look on the presentations and minutes of the round table

January 13: Jean Eyraud, President of Af2i, speaks in Banque et Stratégie magazine

An article by Jean Eyraud, President of Af2i, entitled "Retirement savings: a strategic axis for the French and the financial industry" was published in Banque et Stratégie No.354.

The author speaks in favor of the development of attractive three-stage savings plans: a stage for the first phase of accumulation, a second stage for long-term savings or retirement, a third stage for a possible annuity.

The article is one of the nine contributions of a dossier dealing with the theme "Asset Management, a strategic moment for the Place de Paris".

Read the article

January 10: Livre Blanc de l'épargne retraite by the AFG

In this Livre Blanc, the AFG proposes 3 key measures to strengthen retirement savings in France:


1. Create a new individual retirement product for the general public with a possible exit as a lump-sum;

2. Strengthen the development of occupational retirement savings, in particular PERCO;

3. Improve information for the French on their future retirement and how to supplement pay-as-you-go schemes.


Have a look on Le Livre Blanc

January: The Caisse des Dépôts publishes Questions Retraite & Solidarité No. 17

The Caisse des Dépôts publishes a new issue of Questions Retraite & Solidarité devoted to the presentation of the special pension fund of state industrial establishments workers (FSPOEIE) and its specific demographic situation.

This special pension scheme was instituted by the law of 21 March 1928, in order to create a common framework for all state workers. Today, this scheme only affiliates very few new contributors and most of the members reached the retirement age. In 2015, the demographic ratio of the fund is 0.3 contributors for one retiree. With constant regulation and no new recruitments, the scheme would no longer have contributions in 2050.

Read Questions Retraite & Solidarité No.17 (French only)

January: Overview of Savings in Europe No.33

The OEE published its new Overview of Savings in Europe, a document compiling the main indicators and latest trends in saving behavior.


Monetary policies reduce the return on financial savings of European households. Interest rates on bank savings and capital-guaranteed life insurance products in euros continued to decline in 2016. Equity markets, which have been declining for the last two years, recovered only in the last quarter of 2016. Madrid, Brussels and especially Milan, penalised by banking shares, ended the year 2016 down from the end of 2015.

Disposable income is up in all countries. The largest increases were registered in Germany and United Kingdom thanks to increases in wages and in Belgium thanks to reductions in income tax. In UK, rising revenues fuelled an increase in consumption following fears of the Brexit. Savings rate is declining in this country. In the Euro Zone, savings rates remain at high levels.

Financial investments remain abundant but are slightly down in Germany and France. In Spain and Italy, the increase in financial investments remains to be confirmed: the swelling of current accounts and investment funds may signal an increase in consumption or turn into sustainable savings.

Outstanding bank savings products are down. Constrained by the monetary policy of central banks, banks have lowered the remuneration of their products. With the return of inflation in UK and Germany at the end of the year, many products have negative remuneration in real terms.

In Italy, mistrust of banks is adding to this European trend. The withdrawal from deposits, bonds and banknotes is accelerating in favour of investment funds and life insurance.

Guaranteed life insurance contracts still retain their advantage, but their profitability declines gradually. There are no significant transfers to unit-linked contracts. More generally, savers have not sought to improve their financial performance by investing directly or indirectly in equities.

Overall, unconventional monetary policy measures have not (yet) had the expected effects on saving behaviour.

On the other hand, the fall in interest rates on housing loans made it possible to offset the rise in house prices, particularly in Germany and Belgium. In Italy and France, households benefited from both a moderate rise in house prices and a lower cost of credit. Only British households were penalised by rates remaining at relatively high levels and the high cost of property. In all the countries, consumer credit rose again in 2016.

Have a look on this Overview of Savings

January: Director’s greetings

The OEE team wishes you all the best for 2017.

With you, we will continue to explore the saving environment, savers' behaviors, products and services they need.

In 2017, the OEE will receive the final version of several research projects it has funded, on important themes:

- The report on the longevity risk mutualisation in pension schemes (Universities of Tilburg and Dauphine, Amundi);

- MiFID questionnaires and investment advisory practices (University of Strasbourg);

- A report on changes in the distribution channels of savings and loan products (Goethe University, Frankfurt).

Each of these works will be the subject to a seminar or a conference, where the results will be further explored and discussed with the professionals of savings.

Other conferences presenting the work of the OEE are scheduled for the coming weeks, in particular:

- A conference on shareownership, in partnership with ANSA, a new associate member of the OEE;

- A conference on financial guidance, after the approval of our report on this subject to the European Commission.

On the 14th of November 2016, Jacques de Larosière, President of the OEE and Didier Davydoff, Director, met Olivier Guersant, Director-General of DG FISMA (European Commission) and his staff. The OEE wishes to be a partner of the Commission for its studies in the economics of financial regulation and it has been agreed our work programs will be coordinated with them.

Finally, you will continue to receive a quarterly Overview of European Savings.

I sincerely thank the members of the OEE for their active contribution to the life of an organization now widely recognized and valued. We will continue our work with an intact enthusiasm, reinforced by your interest, your support and your friendship marks.

Didier Davydoff

Director of the OEE