Opening A French Bank Account
Until March 2019, (Brexit date) resident or non-resident Brits, 18 years or older, are entitled to open a French bank account so even if you don’t own property in France and are not resident, currently you can still open a bank account in France. The final situation regarding non-resident Brits will hopefully be clarified in the near future. Obviously for anyone owning a French property a French bank account is essential but it may be that the requirements for a non-résident account will become more stringent after Brexit. The non-resident bank account is called Compte non-résident and currently has more restrictions on the operating of it than a resident’s account called a Compte courant. A compte non-résident will require a larger balance to be kept in the account and is likely to have a restriction on the amount of monthly transfers. Residents opening a current account can also open a deposit account Compte sur Livret and/or or a tax free savings account Livret A.
The Process Involved In Opening A French Bank Account
Whichever type of account you are eligible to open you will need to visit the bank to open it. You will be asked to complete the application form Mandate and take with you your passport, proof of address (usually a utility bill but if you have not yet received one then the attestation that the Notaire will have given you when the final Acte to purchase your French property was signed will be needed). As well as these documents you will also need some cash to deposit into the new account. To open a non-resident account you may also need your last two bank statements from the U.K. and possibly a reference from your U.K. bankers. With all paperwork seen and application form completed you will sign a contract with the bank Convention de compte. During your meeting with the bank you will be offered various add-on packages to buy. These are not essential and most banks still offer current accounts free (although debit cards will be charged for). So make sure you know what the package offers and that you definitely require the services. You have the right to see a list of their charges so take your time at this stage and make sure you know what you are agreeing to!
Most people open a bank account with the nearest bank to their home or work. France does, however, have a growing number of internet banks which may be worth considering. They tend to sell themselves on lower charges and higher interest rates but generally these offers are short-term. It’s good to check this before making your decision. It is also best to consider how you want to use a bank when making your decision, bearing in mind that even high street banks in France do not hold cash so you will always need to use your credit or debit card for accessing cash. However, if you are likely to want to obtain a loan then having a relationship with a local bank may prove helpful.