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Opening a Bank Account in France: Your Guide to New Offers

Updated: Nov 28, 2023


This comprehensive tutorial will walk you through the process of creating a bank account in France, covering residency requirements and alternatives. Whether you're staying temporarily or planning a long-term move, having a local bank account can significantly simplify transactions and financial matters.


Effortless Access to French Banking

Discover the convenient way to kickstart your French banking experience. In just five minutes, using your mobile phone, you can open a comprehensive bank account. As a mobile-only banking option, this solution provides instant access to your account, quick payment confirmations, and customer support in English, Dutch, German, Italian, and Spanish.


Exploring France's Diverse Banking Landscape

With approximately 300 public regional banks, 266 private and foreign banks, and the central Banque de France overseeing regulations, France boasts one of the world's most sophisticated banking systems. Our in-depth guide provides insights into navigating this dynamic banking environment.


Do You Need a French Bank Account for Your Transactions?

While not mandatory under French law, having a local bank account proves beneficial for various transactions, from receiving your salary to applying for a mortgage. Managing finances from an account in another country may pose challenges and incur additional expenses, especially for routine tasks like paying utility bills.


Considerations Before Opening a Bank Account in France

If you're relocating to France, you can manage your finances temporarily with an account from another country. French financial institutions may even offer non-resident accounts, allowing you to start the account creation process before your move. Some banks facilitate account setup for future residents, provided you can demonstrate your permanent residency and provide a French address.


Types of Bank Accounts in France

Explore the three primary categories of personal bank accounts in France:


1. Current Account (Compte Courant): Ideal for day-to-day finances with unrestricted access to funds.

2. General Savings Account (Livret): Convenient for non-urgent funds transfer with tax-free options like Livret A.

3. Long-Term Savings Account: Offers higher interest rates for saving towards long-term goals.


Exploring Offshore Banking for Expat

Expats in France may find offshore international banks advantageous for managing funds across borders. These accounts often provide a broader range of services and reduced taxes. Explore options from major French institutions like Banque Populaire and international banks such as Axa Banque, Barclays, Citibank, Deutsche Bank, and more.


Choosing the Right Bank in France

Before establishing a bank account, consider factors like costs, ease of access, range of services, and English-speaking support. Explore online and mobile banking options like bunq, Hello Bank, LeoPay, N26, and Revolut for convenient international transactions.


Documentation for Opening a Bank Account

When establishing a bank account, ensure you have the necessary documentation, including proof of identity, address, and residence status. Some banks may require proof of employment or enrollment in school. Non-French documents may need notarized translations or Apostille stamps.


Opening a French Bank Account Before You Move

Certain banks offer non-resident accounts, allowing you to start the process before your move. Online banks like N26, bunq, LeoPay, and Revolut provide quick and paperless account setups, making it convenient for international users.


Digital and Mobile Banking in France*

Explore the convenience of managing your finances through online and mobile banking. While many traditional banks offer online services, mobile-only banks like N26 and Bunq cater to a tech-savvy audience, providing instant access and flexibility.


Opening a Business Bank Account in France*

For those venturing into business, most French banks offer corporate banking services. Understand the documentation requirements for business accounts, which may vary based on business structure.


Banking for Children in France

Explore options for children's bank accounts, considering various offerings from different banks. Understand the documentation requirements, which often include parental consent for those under 18.


Dealing with Account Denials

If faced with a bank account denial, you have the right to request a rejection letter. Submitting this to Banque de France can lead to the designation of a bank that must accept you as a customer.


Managing Your Finances in France

Discover the wide range of financial services offered by French banks, from traditional accounts to insurance, loans, investments, and international money transfers. Explore alternatives like CurrencyFair, Moneycorp, Remitly, Wise, and WorldRemit.


Changing or Closing Your Bank Account


Learn about the hassle-free process of changing banks in France and the steps to close your account. Ensure all outstanding payments are settled and notify relevant parties about the account closure.


Useful Resources for Banking in France

Stay informed with resources such as Banque de France, Autorite de Controle Prudentiel et de Resolution (ACPR), and Tariffs Bancaires, a public website comparing banking costs.


For a detailed analysis of banking services in France, explore our guide to banking in the country.


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