To what extent are Qonto's activities regulated and monitored?
Qonto is the trade name of Olinda SAS. Olinda SAS is a payment institution (code no. 16958) under the supervision of the French Prudential Control and Resolution Authority (ACPR), attached to the Banque de France (find out more).
We are therefore supervised (and are subject to regular controls) by the same authority as all French banks: the ACPR.
How does Qonto ensure the security of my deposits?
Your money is safe because the funds deposited in your Qonto account are totally separate from its cash flow, in line with the applicable requirements.
Qonto can safeguard your funds through different mechanisms:
Part of the client funds may be "fenced", i.e. deposited in the books of our partner banks: Crédit Mutuel Arkéa and Natixis.
Another portion may be invested in units of a fund created specifically for the safeguarding of Qonto clients' assets. To ensure full protection, the invested portion is covered by a financial guarantee granted by Crédit Agricole CIB (CACIB), a subsidiary of Crédit Agricole S.A.
Finally, a last part may be invested in qualified money market funds on an occasional basis. Where applicable, the fund units are held in the books of Société Générale.
Regardless of how client funds are safeguarded by Qonto, it is important to note that all of these arrangements have been subject to prior authorisation by the ACPR, as required by the rules applicable to Qonto.
But what would happen in the event of bankruptcy?
Neither Qonto nor any of its banking partners have any plans to go bankrupt. These scenarios are extreme, and Qonto works with institutions with a very limited default risk. However, please be aware that your funds are also protected if this were to happen:
If Qonto were to go bankrupt: the money deposited in Qonto accounts is isolated from our cash flow. If we were to go bankrupt (which again, is an extreme scenario), your funds would be returned to you in full by our partners and under ACPR’s supervision.
In the event of the bankruptcy of Crédit Mutuel Arkéa or Natixis: your funds are guaranteed by the French Deposit Guarantee and Resolution Fund (FGDR, Deposit Guarantee Fund whose mission is to protect customers in the event of bank failure) for up to €100,000 per client and per failing institution. The scenario of Crédit Mutuel Arkéa or Natixis going bankrupt is unlikely, both being amongst the largest banking groups in France. Moreover, this €100,000 guarantee is the same for all European credit institutions. This means that you benefit from the same level of guarantee for your funds as a traditional bank (such as BNP Paribas or Crédit Agricole, for example).
In case of failure of CACIB: in this very theoretical scenario, Qonto has committed to find a new guarantor to cover the invested amount. Failing that, these funds could be safeguarded by another mechanism listed above.
In the event of the bankruptcy of Société Générale: the units of the qualified money market funds in which your funds are invested are held in a securities account separate from the bank's assets. The latter is bound to return them to the holder, in this case Qonto, even in case of bankruptcy. The scenario of Société Générale going bankrupt is unlikely: it is one of the largest banking groups in France.