Banking – Opening a Bank Account

Opening a bank account in France is a quick and simple process. The banking and tax systems is very well managed although there may be a barrier when communicating due to the language. However in some banks you will easily be able to find representatives that are able to speak the English language to assist you.

When setting up your account in France, the bank may contact your existing bank for a credit reference. Many Expats choose to open accounts with local larger banks such as BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole, Credit Mutuel, Banque Populaire and International banks such as HSBC. Local French banks don’t usually pay interest and you may be required to pay a small monthly charge for your account to be maintained.

Banking is fairly expensive as monthly fees are charged and you may be charged when withdrawing money from an ATM. There are two types of accounts that you are able to open

  • Non-resident account: This is the best account for people who are living in France for less than three months or if you are unable to provide proof of employment or a resident permit. Expats opening a non-resident account will be required to pay a high opening deposit.
  • Resident Account: Will have more services available to them such as overdraft as well as being able to set up direct debits. Resident account holders can also have access to online banking.

Primary types of bank accounts in France:

  • Private current account: The bank account holder can receive payments, make deposits and also authorise withdrawals. Expats choosing to open this account will have no interest paid.
  • Joint account: This is a great options for couples to moving to France
  • Deposit Account: This is a savings account for funds you don’t need to access

To open a bank account it is quite simple, but you will have to follow the requirements.

To open a non-Resident bank account expats will need to show:

  • Proof of Identity i.e. passport
  • Address proof
  • Reference from a previous bank
  • Deposit to open the account – This can be as high as 10,500 EUR

To open a resident bank account expats will need to show:

  • Proof of Identity i.e. Passport , birth certificate or EU card (For EU citizens)
  • Proof of Address (Utility Bill)
  • Resident Status
  • Reference from a previous bank
  • Proof of earnings or status (Work contract or student card)