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Good Banks/Bad Banks - Page 2


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  #11 (permalink)  
Old 27th August 2011, 03:11 PM
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Société génerale is out dated, is terrible at replying my emails, the branch people are not nice, they recently stopped offering cash withdrawal at the counter (you only have an ATM now), their prices are more expensive, and i recently read that their life insurance product is one of the suckiest.
Amazing isn't it? Soc Gen in Vannes has been terrific for us and all the staff are really friendly and helpful. Ah well, localization seems to be the key.

Cheers

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Old 27th August 2011, 03:33 PM
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Amazing isn't it? Soc Gen in Vannes has been terrific for us and all the staff are really friendly and helpful. Ah well, localization seems to be the key.

Cheers
At least there is no longer the 20 or 25€ charge to close your account. I got mad at the local Credit Lyonnais office and had to pay to close my account and go elsewhere.

Nowadays, you can simply take your business elsewhere (not that the banks care).
Cheers,
Bev

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Old 28th August 2011, 05:57 PM
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Any tips on exchanging Dollars to Euros? Should I wait until I am there and open an account and transfer funds or get a bank check before going to France? Or I can withdraw from an ATM.

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Old 28th August 2011, 06:27 PM
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I wouldn't travel with a bank check. If it's for $10,000 or more, you have to declare it at the airport yada dee, yada da - let the banks handle the paperwork for you when it comes to transfering large sums.

I wouldn't close out my US accounts completely. It always helps to have a US bank and a US based credit card, even if you're only buying stuff over the Internet. (And VERY handy to have a US account when you're back home for visits!)

You can access some of your money from back home via the bank machines here - certainly while you get your bank accounts set up.
Cheers,
Bev

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Old 28th August 2011, 07:14 PM
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Any tips on exchanging Dollars to Euros? Should I wait until I am there and open an account and transfer funds or get a bank check before going to France? Or I can withdraw from an ATM.
I use Everbank in the US, I have a checking account with a debit card and a Euro account. I can change dollars to Euros whenever I choose (or back if necessary) and wire transfer funds to my bank in France. They do not charge ANY fees and pay interest on credit balances. Highly recommended.

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Old 30th January 2013, 06:28 PM
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If I had known to join these forums in the beginning, I could have saved over 600euros. That is what it cost me to bank with Societe Generale.

Obviously I would advise a good serious look around before joining any bank.

For those that do bank with Societe Generale, make sure you know what you are entitled to for the price you pay. Also, keep a sharp eye for the definite discrepancies that will be on your statement and follow them up as soon as you can by lettre recommandee AR (Avis Reception).


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Old 30th January 2013, 06:34 PM
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ING direct for free with monthly income of at least 750Euros, but only online banking.

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Old 30th January 2013, 08:15 PM
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Just to add to the comments on local and regional banks. The big names in retail banking seem to be a loose federation of regional banks that were once independent. A financial magazine did a comparison of banks for different types of retail customers. I noted that (for example) BNP in Normandie did very well for one type, but BNP did not figure in the prizes in, say, Brittany.

A few years ago I had some rather unpleasant arguments with CIC, the Normandie region offered me a loan to buy a house in a different region, and the CIC in that region refused to play ball.

So, go for local knowledge. I've found that bank managers (directeurs) often speak a little English and are keen to improve it. This may help!

DejW

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Old 30th January 2013, 08:17 PM
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PS

I had a share dealing account with Fortuneo - an internet only banking service. First class, nearly, but not quite up to First Direct standards. However, I've found bank managers a good source of advice on life in general in France, so you may prefer a bricks and mortar bank.

DejW

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Old 30th January 2013, 09:42 PM
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There was a bank survey that was released just recently (within the last week or so) evaluating the differences in the various bank charges. What they failed to take into account was the differing policies from one branch to another.

The bank where I have my accounts was named as one of the more expensive banks - yet for my purposes, I pay considerably less than what one of the "cheapest" banks had been charging me before I moved my account.

You really do have to evaluate carefully what the charges are, and what services you do and don't need. While the banks no longer charge you to close your account (like they used to do), they do charge for things like "customer error" though you can often argue your way out of the charges if you can show that it was actually the bank's error.
Cheers,
Bev

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