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Since the global banks (BNP, so on)have pulled out of the US banking system, does anyone have suggestions on transferring money from my US bank to a Bank in France? I will need funds for a deposit and utilities in a local bank. How are people doing it now? I also want to avoid as many exchange fees and transfer fees as possible.
 

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I think you'll find that quite a few of the members in the forum here are using Wise (formerly Transferwise) for making transfers to and from the US. You will need to have set up a bank account in France (to accept the transfer) - and that can be tricky to set up when you first arrive here.

For transferring large sums of money, you may want to check out the various FX transfer services here: https://moneytransfercomparison.com/best-way-to-transfer-money-abroad/ Again, several of our members have referenced this site to compare FX services when they need to transfer funds for something major like a house purchase.
 

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@GGlisson -- Of course first you'll need to open a bank account in France. I recently opened a non-resident account with BNP Paribas, after reading on this forum, that another member was successful (I tried to open a non-resident account with them 3 years ago and failed.) I have also read that about half a dozen of the big banks were delving into the non-resident space (including for Americans.) BNP has high fees, but at least I have an account!

I routinely just wire funds from my U.S. bank to the BNP international branch in Paris. The exchange rate is crap, @Bevdeforges "Wise" suggestion is probably much better. If you need to transfer a significant amount, you might consider opening an account with an international FX broker. I know quite a few folks that open accounts with Home | Interactive Brokers LLC , deposit funds from their U.S. bank, covert the USD into EUR (at spot,) then transfer the EUR into their overseas bank. This method is a little convoluted and takes a bit of time to pull off (since IB won't give you access until your funds have cleared) but if you transferring big dollars, the exchange rate savings can be substantial. Cheers, 255
 

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@GGlisson -- Of course first you'll need to open a bank account in France. I recently opened a non-resident account with BNP Paribas, after reading on this forum, that another member was successful (I tried to open a non-resident account with them 3 years ago and failed.) I have also read that about half a dozen of the big banks were delving into the non-resident space (including for Americans.) BNP has high fees, but at least I have an account!

I routinely just wire funds from my U.S. bank to the BNP international branch in Paris. The exchange rate is crap, @Bevdeforges "Wise" suggestion is probably much better. If you need to transfer a significant amount, you might consider opening an account with an international FX broker. I know quite a few folks that open accounts with Home | Interactive Brokers LLC , deposit funds from their U.S. bank, covert the USD into EUR (at spot,) then transfer the EUR into their overseas bank. This method is a little convoluted and takes a bit of time to pull off (since IB won't give you access until your funds have cleared) but if you transferring big dollars, the exchange rate savings can be substantial. Cheers, 255
I appreciate you help and suggestions, thank you
 

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Since the global banks (BNP, so on)have pulled out of the US banking system, does anyone have suggestions on transferring money from my US bank to a Bank in France? I will need funds for a deposit and utilities in a local bank. How are people doing it now? I also want to avoid as many exchange fees and transfer fees as possible.
Your US bank can transfer money to your French account using the international SWIFT system. We have our US bank (US Bank) do it half a dozen time per year. We get a decent exchange rate and each transfer costs us $50.
 

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Your US bank can transfer money to your French account using the international SWIFT system. We have our US bank (US Bank) do it half a dozen time per year. We get a decent exchange rate and each transfer costs us $50.
Just one note here: many French banks will charge a fee to "receive" an international bank transfer. For a couple individual transfers using your US bank is fine - but for a series of regular transfers, you may want to look into one of the FX transfer companies. They make the transfer through a network of banks "local" to both the US bank and the French (or EU) bank to avoid that receiving charge.
 

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Definitely take a look at Wise. After making ONE wire transfer (to open my French HSBC account) from my US based credit union that cost a $40 fee and in which I got a terrible exchange rate, I swore to never do that again. Now, with Wise when I need to send money I use my bank's electronic bill-pay (ACH) system to send dollars to my Wise account. The credit union charges ZERO and Wise charges ZERO for that transaction. Then I convert dollars to euros using Wise (from my $ to my € account). The conversion rate is the published "midmarket" rate i.e. the exact midpoint between the market's current buy and sell rates. It's the exact rate you see when you google the current exchange rate. There IS a conversion fee, which last time I checked was about 0.47%. Then I use SWIFT to send the funds to my HSBC account. The last time I did that there was ZERO fee, although historically they have charged me a minuscule (under half a euro) charge. Once you have your accounts set up, it's pretty easy and convenient.
 

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Your US bank can transfer money to your French account using the international SWIFT system. We have our US bank (US Bank) do it half a dozen time per year. We get a decent exchange rate and each transfer costs us $50.
50 bucks a time ? That's a rip off. I thought you were more clued up than that Peasant.
 

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Hi GG - I'm in a slightly similar position to you (needing to transfer money regularly from Australia to France). Set up an HSBC account (very convoluted, time-consuming, but ultimately successful). A while ago I did a transfer similar to jweihl, and the costs/exchange rate were just as awful. Have instead found myself going through xe.com. No fees, good exchange rate. Recently had to pay a speeding fine from our trip to France last year (ahem). I transferred funds via xe, and via my credit card, and it was all pretty straightforward. I'll use this method to transfer my (Australian) salary over to my HSBC account when we move over later in the year.
Cheers,
Danny.
 

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$50 on a $20,000 transfer is only 1/4 of one percent and I trust a (regulated) bank-to-bank transfer more than an unregulated transfer using Wise or whoever.
Not everyone makes 'regular' USD 20k transfers.......
Wise is regulated worldwide. By the FCA in the UK and by individual US states.

 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Hi GG - I'm in a slightly similar position to you (needing to transfer money regularly from Australia to France). Set up an HSBC account (very convoluted, time-consuming, but ultimately successful). A while ago I did a transfer similar to jweihl, and the costs/exchange rate were just as awful. Have instead found myself going through xe.com. No fees, good exchange rate. Recently had to pay a speeding fine from our trip to France last year (ahem). I transferred funds via xe, and via my credit card, and it was all pretty straightforward. I'll use this method to transfer my (Australian) salary over to my HSBC account when we move over later in the year.
Cheers,
Danny.
Thank you Danny, but HBSC doesn't operate in the US for the regular guy anymore. Too many regulations they say.
Since the global banks (BNP, so on)have pulled out of the US banking system, does anyone have suggestions on transferring money from my US bank to a Bank in France? I will need funds for a deposit and utilities in a local bank. How are people doing it now? I also want to avoid as many exchange fees and transfer fees as possible.
 

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Just to be clear , Wise is not 'free' . They will give you a true market rate and then shave their cut which is completely transparent. So for instance to transfer GBP 1000 from my UK account in Euro to me French account would cost £ 4.28. It is then free for the transfer 'à faible coût' using the open banking option ( which may not be available to all).
 

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Since the global banks (BNP, so on)have pulled out of the US banking system, does anyone have suggestions on transferring money from my US bank to a Bank in France? I will need funds for a deposit and utilities in a local bank. How are people doing it now? I also want to avoid as many exchange fees and transfer fees as possible.
We plan to buy a canal boat for 50 to 100k when we move to France this may. Our bank (creditunion
) says just open an account in France and write a check or wire the money. Very simple.
 
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