You just arrived in France, or you will be in France soon and you just wonder whether if it's good for you to have a bank account in France or not?
We will see when it can be interesting for you to have a bank account in France and how to open a bank account in France.
Should you or should you not to open a bank account in France? The reasons that can be interesting for you to open a bank account in France?
First of all, this is not because that you live in France that you should have a bank account in France.
By not opening a bank account in France you will save time, paperwork and paperwork to deal sometimes in French language.
So if you are just in France for few months, I will recommend you to not open a bank account in France.
Especially if your bank belong to the Eurozone country. Usually when your bank is one of the Eurozone country you won't have crazy bank fee to pay when you are in France.
Of course I let you check with your own bank the fee that applies in your own case when you use your money in France.
If you have expensive bank fee that might be useful to open a bank account in France.
The reasons of why you should open a bank account in France?
- You plan to spend several years of your life in France (more than a year)
- You have expensive bank fees when you use your own bank account in France
- You plan to find a job in France for a long period time (sometimes employers won't make transfer when your bank account is not in France)
- If you need to have a bank account in France to get an accommodation
- If you plan to live in France
How to open a bank account in France?
Now you have a better idea if it is useful for you to open a bank account in France, we will see what are the documents you need to have to open a bank account in France and what are the main banks that operate in France.
Before to go straight directly to the bank to a bank account, it's better to ask the bank an appointment for a bank account opening. When you ask for the bank account opening appointment, the bank may ask you to give them:
- Your Name
- Your Surname
- Your date of birth
To open a bank account in France you will need to following documents:
- A valid ID card or Passport or Residence Permit
Sometimes the bank can ask you a second document like a driving license.
- A proof of address dated less than 3 months (tax assessment or electricity bill or water bill or rent receipt or certificate of lodging)
You will need to have the copy of the ID card of your landlord in the case of you present a certificate of lodging to the bank.
- Your last 3 wage slip if you have a job or your student card
Get all those documents close to you and think to have the original of your documents with you during the appointment with the bank. Having copies of your documents in a folder might also be useful.
The most famous banks in France:
You're almost done you have gather all your documents to open a bank account in France, now let's see the main banks that will be available in France.
The list of the French bank is tired from the Discover France Guide when you have more information about how to plan and discover your life in France.
- BNP Paribas (National bank account access)
- BRED – Banque Populaire (Regional bank account access)
- Caisse d'Epargne (Regional bank account access)
- Crédit Agricole (Regional bank account access)
- Crédit Mutuel (Regional bank account access)
- CIC (National bank account access)
- La Banque Postale (National bank account access)
- LCL (National bank account access)
- Societe Generale (National bank account access)
What is a Regional or National Bank account access?
All the banks listed here operate in France. By having a bank account in those banks, you will be able to withdraw money and pay with your card everywhere in France.
But some of them operate on a regional level and the other on a national level.
The differences between a regional or national level are in the operations that you will be able to do at the bank desk.
With a regional bank level you won't be able to do desk operations in another region of the bank account because the bank employees won't have access to your bank account. But you will still be able to manage your operations on a cash point or on your internet bank access.
In national banks you can ask the ban employees to manage your bank account whenever you are in France.
Keep in mind that the banks can have different price for a same service regarding the bank you choose so I let you have a close look to your own needs to make you own choice ;)
Ps: This page is just an informative article to help you to have a clearer mind of the different steps to open a bank account in France, keep in mind that you should follow the opening procedure and condition asked by the bank you choose.