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Opening a French bank account

Dec 30. 2016

If you are considering a move to France, one of your priorities will be to open a French bank account. Here are a few points to bear in mind about the process:

1. Opening an account
Accounts can be opened by making an appointment with an adviser in a local branch of the bank. Current accounts can have up to four named account holders; all of whom must provide their own documents and sign the contracts.

2. Spending limitations
It is also worth noting, that unlike in the UK, bank cards and cheque books are not sent directly to your home address. They must be collected from the branch. There are also limitations how much cash can be withdrawn per week and you will have a limitation on how much spending can be carried out per month. Discuss this with your adviser.

3. Savings accounts
Although, everyone will have access to savings accounts and investments, certain accounts will only be available for those that are living in France and paying French income tax. Such products are referred to as ‘assurance-vie’ and do offer many benefits, so are worth speaking to a French bank about, if you meet the requirements.

4. Use cheques wisely
Cheques remain in common usage in France, but use issue them with care. Bouncing cheques and cancellation of cheques incur greater repercussions in France. If one cheque bounces, the account holder will be blacklisted by the bank and barred from issuing cheques for anything up to 5 years. Cheques can only be cancelled under certain circumstances in France. Is it useful to discuss this with an advisor also.

5. Overdraft rules
Accounts can have overdraft facilities, as in the UK. However, French rules imply a time limitation on the facility. It is common practice for there to be a limitation on how long this can be accessed for; it is often 30 days. Your account must come back into credit for at least 24 hours during this time period, else you may start incurring costs.

It is strongly advised that a French bank is consulted for verification and for further information on how to open and maintain a French bank account.

Burke Bros Moving Group have been moving families and individuals to and from France for over 35 years. We know the country and the customs remarkably well and provide a well re-known and respected moving service. For further information on our regular services to and from France, please call 01902 714555 or email sales@burkebros.co.uk.

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