French PEA definition

A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - L - M - N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - Y

See all glossary trading terms

What is a French PEA?

A French PEA refers to a Plan d’Epargne en Actions, which is a tax-efficient investment wrapper for residents of France. It allows French investors to buy and sell European securities with preferential conditions. In English, a PEA would be defined as a stock savings plan, similar to a stocks and shares ISA.

PEAs were created in 1992 with the intention of encouraging French residents to invest in the stock market, which at the time was experiencing very low participation. Individuals are eligible if they live in France or an overseas French territory.

Learn how to trade stocks

Find out more about share trading, including how to build a trading plan and open a position.

Pros and cons of a French PEA

A French PEA functions in a similar way to a normal securities account, but with a specific set of tax benefits and payment constraints.

Pros of a French PEA

The primary benefit of a French PEA is its tax appeal: investors can profit from increases in stock prices and dividend payments in a favourable tax environment. There is a minimum five-year holding period, but after this has passed, any profits made in a PEA are exempt from tax.

It is considered as a simplified stock savings plan because a PEA account contains both a securities account and a cash account. The cash account is debited when a security is purchased, and credited when a security is sold or a company pays dividends.

Cons of a French PEA

Although a PEA can accommodate all kinds of securities, including equities and tracking funds, it cannot hold short-term investments such as options, spread bets or CFDs.

Any securities it does hold are subject to specific restrictions, in order to qualify for the tax benefits. The only eligible assets are those of French companies, and companies with their headquarters within the European Union or a European Economic Area that has a tax agreement with France, such as Norway or Iceland.

The total amount of cash held in a French PEA cannot exceed a set level, and the account is subject to restrictions on withdrawals of cash. Any withdrawals before the five-year minimum holding period is complete will be subject to tax and the account may be closed.

Although you’d open a French PEA account with the hope that its contents would increase in value over time, there is always the possibility of a stock market crisis. There is a significant need for research and risk management by anyone seeking to hold a French PEA account.

Build your trading knowledge

Discover how to trade with IG Academy, our series of interactive
courses, webinars and seminars.

Help and support

Get answers about your account or our services.

Get answers

Or ask about opening an account on 0800 195 3100 or newaccounts.uk@ig.com.

We're here 24hrs a day from 8am Saturday to 10pm Friday.

Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage. 79% of retail investor accounts lose money when trading spread bets and CFDs with this provider. You should consider whether you understand how spread bets and CFDs work, and whether you can afford to take the high risk of losing your money. Spread bets and CFDs are complex instruments and come with a high risk of losing money rapidly due to leverage.