PARIS (Reuters) – France’s banking groups agreed to limit fee increases to 2% next year, Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said after a meeting with the country’s FBF banking federation on Tuesday.

The government has urged all companies that can to help clients cope with the current inflation and energy price spike, singling out banks, oil group TotalEnergies and shipper CMA CGM.

“All of the banks have committed to not increasing their fees by more than 2% in 2023,” Le Maire told journalists after the meeting, adding that some banks had agreed to freeze some fees on common products like bank cards.

“We prefer measures that go right into French consumers pockets rather than other more constraining measures,” he added.

France has achieved the lowest inflation rate in the European Union, at 5.8% in August, mainly through a series of government measures including costly caps on gas and power prices.

(Reporting by Leigh Thomas, writing by Tassilo Hummel; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)

FILE PHOTO: French Minister for the Economy and Finances Bruno Le Maire attends the MEDEF union summer forum “La Rencontre des Entrepreneurs de France, LaREF” at the Paris Longchamp Racecourse in Paris, France, August 30, 2022. REUTERS/Sarah Meyssonnier