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Opening a Bank Account in France.

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
re the UK, we sat for ages in a Bank of Scotland in the UK consolidating historic accounts and merging into one only to take 9 months for them to work out that they couldn't add my wife to our "joint" account because we weren't resident. Muppets.

HammondR, if you can find a cheap way to avoid exchange rate fees, additional ATM fees and don't need to send anyone French cheques, a French account will be more hassle than it could possibly be worth.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
AlpineAddict, if you want a credite agricole account then make an appointment to go and see Nathalie in St Gervais, be preoared for about an hour and a half interview and i suspect you'll get an account.

Its worth remembering the French expect you to do business i person and not via email/on line... It may sem antiquated to us but it's a cultural thing foe them.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Just a heads up about some changes to the rules about online payments made from Britline (and other CA) accounts, and this seemed the best place to post it.

Since 2nd September, CA have introduced more stringent rules about transfers initiated online.

There are now online transfer limits of €2,500 per transaction and €5,000 per day.

In addition there is now a 2 clear calendar day delay from the time you set up a new payee until the time you can send a payment. The website says it's 48 hours, the staff say it's 48 hours when you phone, but it's actually 2 clear calendar days. So if you set up a new payee on, say, Wednesday, you cannot initiate a payment to that payee until Saturday. I've just been caught out by it. I phoned and Britline told me to email them the transfer request and they'd waive the fee for doing it manually. I was lucky and was in a position to print and scan the request, but it wouldn't have been as easy if I was travelling, so thought other people may like to be aware.
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Getting an account with Banque Postale required us to have an interview with someone who went through the inevitable form filling and the account was then opened. Wasn't that difficult but maybe that was because we had our passports for ID and bills for our apartment that showed our address. I am not being a cheerleader for BP but once we got the card through it has been fairly plain sailing and the online operation is straightforward. Transfers from UK forex provider are easy to the account are easy and we didn't have a problem paying in a cheque at la Poste in Les Menuires even though our home branch is in Moutiers. By the way, we have the VISA Classic debit card and its only €18.75 a year as I mentioned, not €500!! I have used it for petrol, tolls before getting the Sanef gadget, in supermarkets and restaurants as well as cash withdrawals. Piece of cake provided you remember your pin.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
ll sj1608, all I need for my Barclays France account to set up a new payee is my mobile phone. Authorisation code is sent to it, I enter it online, and can pay anyone immediately.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
Hells Bells, that's because it's a British bank, I guess! I don't actually object to the new security measures, just think they should be clear about them upfront.
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
sj1608, no, it's most definitely still a French one, but how long that lasts I'm not sure, as they are considering the sale of their European banks.
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
We have a French account with AXA which was easy to setup remotely with assistance from one of their agencies that support english:

https://agence.axa.fr/bretagne/morbihan/baud/herrmann-marc-henri

More and more I have been using Revolut where I have a GB, EUR and CH account with IBAN/BIC and find it much easier and cheaper send money, pay people and make low cost FX transactions.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
https://n26.com/en-fr

Experience of Austrian/German version and seems to work well. Pay in cash at stores but with a 1.5% fee or from a debit card directly with no fee.

If you want a UK based account this might be an option (only have experience with the GBR account which is fine)

https://www.starlingbank.com/current-account/euro-bank-account/

Then there is Transferwise/Revolut/etc, as mentioned
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
It has always intrigued me how these long dead threads get revived.
You would have to search for them.
Why? Has anything new happened?
So, Ozboy, to a curious old duffer, what prompted the resurrection?
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
it was a spammer that resurrected it, but that spam was deleted
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
it was top of the 'latest' post list. Should have realised.
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Well. now it's resurrected.

I tried opening a Barclays euro current account, only to find out later that they do not issue a debit card with them, so a bit pointless. They actually suggested that, if I wanted to pay from the account, I could transfer it back to sterling to do so. Why bother to convert in the first place?

Back in mid 2019, before we left the EU, tried to open an account in Belgium, using a friends address. Just wanted a current account based in Europe, to transfer into when the rates were good, and use to pay travel expenses etc in Euros, without having to worry about exchange rates.

Also wanted to be able to open savings accounts later, so funds could be built up in EU, for later property purchase.

To qualify, Usual problem. You need an account to pay a bill, but you need a bill to open an account.

Could not fully remove his name from electric bill, as an annual contract, so added joint names. Also changed telephone bill to my name. both still paid out of his account until mine set up.

If paid electric manually after reading meter and sending bill, no problem. But, as paid by direct debit, only 1 bill produced annually. - in April.

Planned to go back in April to complete application, but things conspired to prevent it...

Hopefully, will get sometime next year. Not sure if I will be able to do it now we are out of transition period.

In the meantime, I opened a Revolut account and transferred some funds when the rates were reasonable. Only keep a few hundred euros there as a backup.
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
@brianatab, I have a debit card for my HSBC France current account, it is linked to my HSBC UK account and is easy to transfer money between the two.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
pam w wrote:
another vote for Credit Agricole Britline - very easy, and you can do it all in English if you like!


Just a heads up on CA BL. I recently got sent someones bank details, online banking codes, the lot. They had opened an account and transferred an extremely large sum of money over to buy a property. I could have cleared it out and retired somewhere Happy. It seems that they confused the person who opened the account with me because I'd once been the power of attorney for my mum's Britline account and I shared the same name as the person who'd opened their account.

Okay I'm sure this could happen with other banks but I was surprised at the lack of controls.
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
@davidof, yep. I got an email from CA des Savoie asking me to repay my overdraft. And then sent a credit card.

There’s someone else in Chamonix with my somewhat Scottish name and CAdS reckoned we had to be one and the same ...

Pink faces when I wandered in to question it.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
@rjs, Is that because you opened the France account for an address there, already having an account here? Makes things easier.

Once you have an account in another EU Country, it's fairly straight forward. It's the first one where you have to jump through rings.
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
@brianatab, Did everything through my local UK branch, the address for my French account is my one in the UK. Have never been into a HSBC branch in France.
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under a new name wrote:
@davidof, yep. I got an email from CA des Savoie asking me to repay my overdraft. And then sent a credit card.

There’s someone else in Chamonix with my somewhat Scottish name and CAdS reckoned we had to be one and the same ...

Pink faces when I wandered in to question it.


okay not just isolated then. I contacted them to let them know their error. I didn't fancy a life on the run with my ill gotten gains.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
FWIW my experience with opening an account with HSBC France online is quite smooth and easy. Everything is done online, the documentation is in English and if you have HSBC Premier the account fees are waived. Otherwise, I thought the fees are reasonable for a French bank, too.
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 You'll need to Register first of course.
You'll need to Register first of course.
One needs to be careful with some of the new kids on the block that they are subject to some sort of guarantee scheme in the event of bank failure
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 Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
Then you can post your own questions or snow reports...
@davidof, you could have shared them with me then they'd need to find two culprits?
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 After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
After all it is free Go on u know u want to!
We opened an account at CA in Chx quite easily, though it was 10 years ago, all done using a UK address for correspondence. We told them we had an address in Chx, but they asked for no proof.

TBH I keep thinking about closing it and just going with Revolut. They don't sfaik have a UK licence, but do have an EU one.
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 You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net.
Well...since it's here and resurrected, I would second (or third) Revolut - they are a newish 'disrupter' not around at the time of the original post (edited to add they started up in 2015 so were around in 2016!) and I would recommend them. I use them for both my business and personal accounts. Spot rates for FX, free (or V cheap if you need additional services), cards like normal, can have linked accounts in different currencies, can use googlepay or garminpay so you don't even need to carry a card, just pay with your watch!
(edit - and they have a European banking license).


Last edited by You'll get to see more forums and be part of the best ski club on the net. on Tue 22-12-20 20:05; edited 1 time in total
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 Ski the Net with snowHeads
Ski the Net with snowHeads
We're in Brides Les Bains for the next four months and have opened multi currency accounts with TransferWise. Easy to use app, better exchange rates than I was getting elsewhere and no fees with the debit card when you spend abroad. So far has been really good....... https://transferwise.com/gb/multi-currency-account
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 snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
snowHeads are a friendly bunch.
I just transfered some money with currencyfair. They charge 0.33% commision and a 3€ fee per transaction. It is by far the cheepest I've come across.
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 And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
And love to help out and answer questions and of course, read each other's snow reports.
johnE wrote:
I just transfered some money with currencyfair. They charge 0.33% commision and a 3€ fee per transaction. It is by far the cheepest I've come across.


Suggest take a look at Revolut - no commission and no fee...
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 So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
So if you're just off somewhere snowy come back and post a snow report of your own and we'll all love you very much
Don't bother. revolut, transferwise and perhaps others like Monzo provide a better and cheaper alternative than the archaic and comical French banking system if you are only arriving for a season. But if you fancy a blast back to the 90's with a cheque book, expensive account fees, day after day waiting in vain for your cash to arrive then get in the (often lengthy) waiting list for the interview you need to open one
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 You know it makes sense.
You know it makes sense.
^^^ this. Revolut has completely changed the way I move money to France for mortgage etc. I don’t bother paying for premium membership and FX rates (with small fee) still most competitive.
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 Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Otherwise you'll just go on seeing the one name:
Quote:

Suggest take a look at Revolut - no commission and no fee...

Most of the time, but to quote "On the weekend (Sat-Sun London time) the provided rates are fixed to protect against fluctuations, this means there is a markup of +1% to all currencies" I make that 1% commision on those days
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 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
countryman wrote:
One needs to be careful with some of the new kids on the block that they are subject to some sort of guarantee scheme in the event of bank failure


N26 has a full European banking license (with the European equivalent of FSCS cover) and the account having a European IBAN; in my post earlier I also suggested Starling Bank, which also has a banking license (UK) and is covered by the FSCS. No connection with these two other than being happy customers.

We had a similar situation to some posts here with local banks, albeit in Austria, and N26 bank was a saviour with nothing but a positive experience so far. It has certainly made life easier having an European account and an Euro IBAN.

We’ve used Revolut and it has also been fine.
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
under a new name wrote:
@davidof, you could have shared them with me then they'd need to find two culprits?


Next time
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Is Britline still the way to go post-Brexit if Miss FZ needs to open a 'proper' French bank account. New employer can't get their heads around Revolut. Thoughts?
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I've had no problems with Britline, but no dealings since Brexit, really.
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 Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
Anyway, snowHeads is much more fun if you do.
@foxtrotzulu, I was told the La Poste account was easy to open and use. Problem with Britline is that Credit Agricole are all regional banks. There's no joined up system from one region to another.
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