N26 is brought to court after five French neobank clients have decided not to stop at a simple amicable settlement. Under the wing of maitre Emma Léoty, attorney at Choisez et Associés, they now want to get compensation after weeks without access to their funds. A situation that has lasted since the end of 2021 and which has led hundreds of customers to the closure of accounts and the blocking of funds in an “abusive” way.
On Friday, September 2, RMC shared the news, citing several victims of these setbacks, including Patrick. For three months this man who had just sold his house no longer had access to his 74,000 euros in his account. Neobank N26 has gotten used to tightening the screw when unusual activity occurs on one of its customers’ behalf. But according to the rules, the establishment shouldn’t hold the funds for that long. A case that immediately made noise. On Facebook, a group called “N26 Robbed Customers” has grown to 3,900 members.
Closing accounts without credit balance
In May, Presse-citron was able to discuss with lawyer Emma Léoty to learn more about her role in the case and the evolution of support requests from N26 clients. At that moment, she explained it to us “The movement is always full”and that since December 2021 has always received about thirty new people in support of it.
With her, several former clients affected by the situation plan to travel to Berlin at the end of the month to meet with the management of N26 and talk about these no-credit account closures. The Swiss and Germans will also go there, for a meeting scheduled for September 30th. At the level of the French authorities, the Directorate-General for Competition, Consumption and the Prevention of Fraud (DGCCRF) still has its case pending.
On the phone, Mr. Léoty also taught us that N26 was not insensitive to his presence and that the new bank usually responded to his requests amicably. “Under the blocked 500 euros, I don’t take clients to court. We simply email N26 asking them to return the funds within 8 days “. Since then, he has explained to our radio colleagues that a “About fifteen people a day contact me to unlock their accounts”.
Recall that N26 was penalized last year by the German BaFin gendarmes, for a reason that is the exact opposite of the current situation. In July 2021, the German Federal Financial Supervisory Authority fined N26 a € 4.25 million fine for being too careful about money laundering activities through her app. Since then, neobank has always limited itself to a new customer acquisition rate of up to 70,000 per month. Previously, the startup claimed 100,000 more every 30 days.
Revolut widens the gap
In England, its direct competitor Revolut did not deal with such situations, so the new bank continued to develop and move closer to a traditional bank, particularly in France. From now on, its customers can obtain a French IBAN, very practical to avoid discrimination against the IBAN that it still governs. Currently, the bank wants to launch new banking products such as loans and credit. In parallel, a large-scale cryptocurrency project is in preparation.
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