The bankruptcy of a neo-bank plunges its savers into uncertainty

    Created in 2018, the neo-bank Lille Swoon offered advantageous savings. Today, this payment service start-up is in liquidation and has disappeared from circulation. A situation that plunges hundreds of savers into uncertainty

    Since the liquidation of the Lille fintech Swoon this summer, Marc * is worried about never recovering his 60,000 euros. Like him, several hundred customers do not know what happened to their savings, despite the promise of reimbursement from the founder of the start-up.

    Advantageous savings

    From its creation in 2018, the 100% online payment service start-up offered its customers advantageous savings, at 3% interest, which it called savings book, surfing on the imagination of guaranteed security. by the booklet A. To offer such a return, much higher than the 0.5% of the booklet A, Swoon relied on crowdlending, which consists of putting savers in touch with companies shunned by traditional banks to finance themselves. The company gave them loans at 5%. Today, Swoon is in liquidation and has disappeared from circulation. Closure of the website, mobile application and social media accounts. Customers only have email addresses to contact the company. And many requests for refunds remained pending.

    “A life of savings”

    “We are talking about years of savings, a life of savings in fact,” regrets Marc *. “It hurts a lot when you take it in the head.” Out of 80,000 euros placed, he recovered 17,500, in 18 transfers. A process that does not inspire him much confidence.

    The Prudential Control and Resolution Authority (ACPR), the regulator of the financial sector, considers that it is “impossible” at present “for a real bank to offer guaranteed and risk-free savings accounts with a remuneration of 3% or more for such a product ”. “The term” booklet “is not legally framed and does not have a precise economic definition”, defends Me Riglaire, lawyer of the founder of the company Quentin Haddouche. If he was initially cautious in limiting his investment, Marc * quickly gave in to the promises of gains. “The more I saw the interest, the more it encouraged me to invest,” he says. “For me, it was 100% safe and guaranteed. “

    300 customers to reimburse

    Charles *, 40, for his part invested 10,000 euros, in several installments. But for more than a year, the forty-something has noticed an increase in withdrawal times, from a few days to several months. Three months ago, he needed 5,000 euros to finance his marriage. The transfer, requested on June 6, has still not been made.

    He then created, in July, the account Twitter “Don’t get Swoon”, where he documents the progress of the case on a daily basis. He talks with other members and four of them decide to file a complaint in September. “The four of us represent more than 50,000 euros,” he says. Me Riglaire wants to reassure on the will of his client “to reimburse absolutely everyone”. “As soon as these funds are released, of course they will be passed on to investors as they have been told, as they have been written,” he assures us. But we must therefore wait for the companies to repay the capital loaned by Swoon. The lawyer estimates the number of clients still to be reimbursed at around 300 people, with average amounts of 10,000 euros.

    Be vigilant

    The repayment period? Quentin Haddouche, who spoke to MoneyVox on Wednesday, prefers not to come forward. “Not 10 years, but not 10 days either. The association UFC-Que Choisir revealed in a study in 2017 that the investments of business loan platforms would only offer consumers a return of 0.33%, due to the small number of loans having been repaid in full. .

    The ACPR recommends being “particularly vigilant with regard to sites, advertisements, offers on social networks and people who offer a risk-free passbook under financial conditions that are much more attractive than those of credit institutions”. Lionel Maugain, head of the Silver section of the magazine 60 Millions de consommateurs, recalls the basics, “do not invest in offers that you do not understand, beware of excessively attractive returns, check that the company exists in the official registers and find out more about consumer forums online ”.

    *First names have been changed

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