Opening a bank account

Quick Overview

Opening a French bank account is necessary for everyday life. In fact, a certain number of services must be paid for by automatic withdrawals from a French bank account. Moreover, having a French account is a simple way to manage your finances (automatic rent and electricity bill payments for example).



Opening a bank account

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Administration

Bank account

 

Opening a French bank account is necessary for everyday life.  In fact, a certain number of services must be paid for by automatic withdrawals from a French bank account.  Moreover, having a French account is a simple way to manage your finances (automatic rent and electricity bill payments for example).

 

 

How can you open an account?  Take a look at our advice:

 

Supporting evidence requested when opening your bank account:



Opening an account is quite simple.  Going into a bank and making an appointment with an advisor is enough.  Opening a bank account is free unless the establishment asks for a minimum deposit.  A minimum deposit is when a bank asks for a minimum amount in the account in order to give services, notably a chequebook and a bank card.

 

For a resident in French territory, the required documents for opening a bank account comprise of:



• An identity card or passport


• A residence permit


• Proof of address (telephone or electricity bill, rent receipt etc.)

 

 

Good to know: On the day of opening, you must deposit a minimum of 15 € into the account.  Once the account is open, you will receive a chequebook in around a fortnight, which is usually free of charge.  Normally you must order a bank card.  Remember, the annual cost of a credit card is around 36 €.



Choosing a bank in France:  



Before leaving, check with your bank in your home country if they have an associate partner in France.  If not, it is preferable to choose one of the main French banks due to their vast network.

                                
                         

The main French banks:



• BNP-Paribas : www.bnpparibas.fr
• Société Générale : www.societegenerale.fr
• Crédit Agricole : www.credit-agricole.fr
• Caisse d’Epargne : www.caisse-epargne.fr
• Crédit Lyonnais : www.creditlyonnais.com



There is also a network of post offices if you decide to open a bank account at the post office.

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