How to Open a Bank Account in France
This article will guide you though how to open a bank account in France, and what is required if you want to open a bank account in France as a non-resident. If you live in France, or you work in France, then you will need a bank account to allow you to be paid, to pay bills, and so forth. Opening a bank account In France is better for making local payments, also having a bank open in France will make buying properties and conducting international transactions much easier for you. There are no legal restrictions on non-residents if you want to open a bank account in France from another country.
Picking A Bank In France
When choosing a bank in France, your best options are to go for large national banks. They are the banks that have internet banking, and they have time-tested methods when dealing with foreign account holders.
Until you fully understand the charges and fees that each bank is going to slap you with, you might want to just concentrate on the basic areas that will matter to you such as a simple current/checking account or business account. Forget about share-dealing accounts, saving accounts, and other accounts until later.
The national banks in France include CIC, BNP Paribas, the French post office (La Banque Postale) and Societé Générale. The Regional institutions operates with the same money moving network, which means thing such as transfer times and fees are often very similar.
Some Internet banks operate within France, these include BRED, Groupama, and Axa Banque. The banks that are tied to major financial institutions are Hello Bank (BNP Paribas), Filbanque, and
Holding a bank account in France is normally free if you are a resident. Some banks charge you 10 EUR per year. Having a saving account is usually around EUR 40 per year. Some banks have added fees on checking and business accounts. These fees vary from between 0.20-2.00 EUR, and they include charges for withdrawals from ATMs using out-of-network ATMs, or fees for national transfers, wire transfers and international transfers.
Opening A Bank Account Before You Move To France
Opening an account before you move to France is quite acceptable as there are no legal barriers that say you cannot open an account as a non-resident. In many cases, they want you to visit the bank to actually open the account for use, but you can do a great deal of the work online prior to you arriving.
Some banks will be a bit funny about opening an account if you are not staying in France long.
If you are moving to France for a long term period, then you can arrange to have a bank account opened for you before you arrive, and all you need to do is provide a proof of your French address after you arrive.
Some banks that provide a day-to-day service for both France and other countries. For example if you live in Britain and you have an HSBC bank account, then HSBC maybe willing to open an account for you with a HSBC bank in France. The big-named banks that will let you do this are HSBC, Societe Generale, and Credit Agricole.
If you are looking for personal loans in France then Younited Credit enables borrowers and investors to borrow and lend money without the traditional bank fees because it is a French peer-to-peer lending company. If you want the translated version of the website, then Google it and click the link on the Google search engine results that says, “Translate this page.”
Tips On Providing Documents When You Are Not Physically In France
You will need to prove your current address, your new address in France (if you have one), and you will also need to provide proof of identity. Some banks are also going to ask you for your employment and financial history. There is also a chance they will ask to see your French visa status.
The bank may accept digital copies of your documents, they may accept photographs/scans of your documents, and they may accept paper photocopies of your documents that you have posted to them.
When dealing with foreign documents they will have to be authenticated. The most common ways are:
1. Get an Apostille stamp or a notarized copy
2. Visit a ‘correspondent bank’ that is selected by the French bank
3. Go to the France and visit the branch that is dealing with your application
Non-Residents And French Bank Accounts
The French term for non-residents in France is compte non-resident. Not all banks have non-resident provisions to offer, and even if they do, they may impose restrictions based on a minimum deposit amount. Non-EU nationals tend to have a harder time getting accepted. EU residents have both a higher chance in being accepted, and banks tend to offer them more even if they are non-residents. But, before you run off and become an EU member, you should know that Europeans are now officially being taxed more than US citizens thanks to the tax bill that President Trump pushed through in 2017/2018. US citizens are now taxed less than EU citizens for the first time since the start of the Bill Clinton administration.
Open a Bank Account in France
These days you can either go visit the bank to open your new account, or you can get the ball rolling online. Just how far you may take the process online depends on the bank you choose to go with. If you do need a translator because you are unable to understand French, then you will need to book a translator, but this may be unnecessary in may cases.
If the bank is going to call you back at a pre-arranged time, then you can likely ask for an English-speaking person to call. In addition, many of the staff members in France’s major city banks are bi-and-tri lingual. It is often easy to find people in the major-city banks that speak French, Spanish, English, German and Urdu. If you are making a planned visit for an appointment in a French bank, then you may request an English-speaking bank clerk. In addition, most of the major banks have forms (online and offline) that are either in English, or that have an English translation.
How to Open a Bank Account in France Online
Many of the larger French banks offer most of their services online. This fact alone means that foreigners may operate their bank account in France both when they are living there and when they visit home.
Unlike some European and British banks, French banks may charge an opening fee for online services. For example, you may have visited the bank in France and your account may be open and in use, but if you want online banking, then you have to sign up for it and pay a fee. There is also a slim chance that there is a maintenance/monthly fee for having online banking, but this trend seems to have died off in recent years.
Some banks will offer packages that include free online banking services, in these cases the bank has to make its money some way. It may have nasty transaction fees or poor network ATM coverage. Come to peace with the fact that your French bank is going to find a way to make its money from you, and it is your job to find out how they intend to do that.
List of banks that offer online services in France:
- Fortuneo Banque
- La Banque Postale
- Societe Generale
- Hello Bank
- BNP Paribas
Checks, Card And Cash – How You Pay In France
Cash is still the king of all things in France, even though it is changing a lot, and even though most places accept card payments, cash is still very popular in France. This is partly for two reasons. The first is because France sees a lot of cash-carrying tourists, and the second reason is because there are epic numbers of middle eastern people in France who are tucked away or passing through in order to reach Britain and its excessively generous benefits system, and these people carry Euros rather than bank cards.
There are limits on the amount of cash you may take out of cash machines in France. It ranges from EUR 3000 down to EUR 1000, with most only allowing you to take out EUR 1000. Part of the reason for this is firstly to help stop hostage crime where people are held until they withdraw money from an ATM, and the other is to help slow the cash culture in France.
Some shops not all don’t allow credit or debit cards to be used, but they are fairly uncommon, it is mostly market stalls and street traders who do not accept bank cards. There are quite a few smaller stores that add a charge on to your debit or credit card transaction when you pay, so beware of those.
Other articles say you should have a little cash on you whenever you walk around France because of the stores and restaurants do not accept credit or debit cards, but I don’t think this is a good idea. I think you should avoid such places rather than walk around with cash on you. France is a safe country, but there are areas teaming with people who are in the country illegally or who are just passing through, and the criminal element within those communities rely on people like you having cash in your pocket. Some people will tell you that it is only a tiny minority of people who commit the crimes, but that end result is the same in that it is safer to not carry cash. This is especially true if you are entering areas you know nothing about.
Checks can be used in France because some places still do use them, but they are dying out. They are mostly used for larger business transactions or for paying rent deposits.
Paying Bills Directly From Your Bank Account
Direct debits (auto-pay) in France are used to pay rent and other utility bills. If you agree to a direct debit from your bank account, then the company is supposed to inform you of how much they are going to take out of your account this month. However, when companies “forget” to let you know, they are not penalized in any significant way, so it is a good idea to check your online accounts each month before your direct debits are taken out.
A standing order is a little different because only a fix amount of money is transferred automatically from your bank account. Some banks charge fees for standing orders or direct debits, but in our experience the larger banks do not unless the money is being paid overseas.
Transferring Money Abroad
When you receive payments from international sources, it is often free. In most cases, if you are sending money abroad, then your French bank will offer a wire service. International wire services almost always cost money to use, and they are usually overly expensive.
Local banks/insinuations may charge smaller fees, but it is typically more difficult for a foreigner to open a bank account with a smaller bank if he or she cannot prove that he/she has been living there for three months or more. It is cheaper to transfer large amounts than to transfer smaller amounts when you are using bank-bank transfers internationally. If you are transferring money overseas and you need it to arrive quickly, then use PayPal. If you are transferring money overseas and your currency need changing in the process, then use [[[Ashley ADD AFFILIATE LINK]]] Transferwise or CurrencyFair. [[[Ashley ADD AFFILIATE LINK]]]
What Can I Do If I Am Denied When Opening A Bank Account?
Ask for a ‘lettre de refus.’ It will state why the bank has declined to open an account for you. The bank is required by the law to send you a letter stating why they refused you because of equal opportunities laws. However, the reason they give can be just about anything and there is nothing you can do about it. Unless they state something that discriminates, then there is nothing you can do about it. Hopefully, the bank will give a good reason why they didn’t accept your application, such as refusing you because you haven’t lived in the country long enough, so you know if and when you can reapply to that bank.
What Are France’s Standard Banking Hours
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The bank’s opening hours are normally 8.00am to 5.00pm, but some days they may change to 9.00am to 5.00pm. Banks are open Monday – Friday, but don’t be surprised if your bank is open on Saturday mornings too. You should also check local branch opening and closing times because some branches close for an hour during the day (to go for lunch/ receive deliveries).