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> Opening a bank accout in France?, Any tips?
kitkatgo
post May 26 2008, 02:04 PM
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Does anyone know the easiest way for a U.S. citizen to open a bank acct in France? Any tips, suggestions?

Thanks,


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starlagurl
post May 26 2008, 03:41 PM
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Hi Kit, I don't know if you've looked around much, but I found this pretty quickly, it's for British people, let me know if it helps:

http://www.shelteroffshore.com/index.php/l...ount_in_france/

The most useful type of bank account you can open initially is a straight current account or compte courante – if you’re not living in France but have a property there and require an account for use when you’re at your French home you can open a non-resident account or compte non-résident by the way.

A current account in France does not generally pay any interest on the balance whatsoever and so it really is only an account to use for small transactions. If you have any larger sums of money on deposit open a savings account for it – also known as compte d’épargne. Some banks are sophisticated enough to allow you to link the two, and when your balance in your current account drops below a certain threshold money will be moved into the account from your savings account…if you require this service then ask for it.

Charges on bank accounts vary and you will often be charged for things you get free in the UK. For example, you often have to pay an annual charge for a simple debit card and if you use your agreed overdraft limit you may still be charged heavily. Ask about all of these quirks up front to avoid any expensive surprises.

And finally, as soon as you have your account up and running you can set up direct debits and standing orders, you can withdraw cash and write cheques…but please note, In France it is a criminal offence to write a cheque if you do not have the money in your account to cover it!


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kitkatgo
post May 26 2008, 04:21 PM
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Hey, Louise, thanks for the article.

I have looked around some on the internet. It seems getting an acct in France is no easy task for a U.S. citizen if you do not own a property or work there. And it's just all around confusing.

We don't own property in France (yet...someday, she dreams...). So, I don't know, it seems like a really difficult if not impossible thing. Just wondering if anyone out there had done it. blink.gif

We almost opened an account in Prague last year which would have been quite easy. But we didn't, since they aren't a part of the EU yet.

Well, if nothing else, we'll see what we can find out when we are in Paris this summer.


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gyl.johnson
post May 27 2008, 12:06 PM
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Actually, its not being a US citizen that would make it difficult to open a bank account in France. French/EU citizens sometimes have problems as well. Here's what I suggest;

Typically the most important thing you need is an address in France. It doesnt have to even be your home per se, it can be in care a friend for example. But even then its still possible to do it but it will take more work.

1. Don't walk into banks in person. They have screeners who will most likely tell you, its not possible however, they are'nt the ones who make the real decisions in a given bank now are they. Always call first and ask to make an appointment with someone who specializes in foriegn accounts. Credit Agricole is a good bank that wants foriegn clients.

2. Once you've made the appointment, if you have a French address, any address in France will do, it shouldnt be a problem. If you don't have this, its still possible especially if you're planning to deposit a significant amount of money and you mention you are planning to invest in France, buy a home etc.

3. If you arent planning to deposit a good deal of money and have no French address, you only have one option left; say that you travel in France often on business and you need to regularly make and receive bank transfers between you and your company. That could be a way in and you could use your foriegn address.

If one bank says no, just try a different branch

Best of luck


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kitkatgo
post May 27 2008, 12:20 PM
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Hmmm...ok. Good info. This is the stuff I need to know. I will definitely make an appt. Good to know about Credit Agricole too.

Thanks so much!


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