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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Gang,
Nearly there, house survey has been competed, contract exchange date is almost set, movers are on standby, so should arrive the first week of December in our long stay gite.

Now onto the nitty gritty - How long does it take to get a bank account in France - Primarily one with internet access and a bank card?

Or would I be better off using Britline in the short term?

Regards


Tank
 

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The process took 1.5 hours for me and my husband (but he is francophone, so the process went faster than if I had been alone), and we got online banking access right away. The bank card takes about a week, however. At my bank, I couldn't get the bank card until I had received my PIN in the mail, probably because they wanted to confirm the validity of my mailing address. When the PIN arrived, I brought the form into the bank and was given my bank card.

Just make sure you bring all the documents they require when you go to your appointment, or you'll have to reschedule. I went into the bank to make an appointment to get my account created, and they gave me a list of the docs I would need to bring in for my appointment the following day.
 

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The process took 1.5 hours for me and my husband (but he is francophone, so the process went faster than if I had been alone), and we got online banking access right away. The bank card takes about a week, however. At my bank, I couldn't get the bank card until I had received my PIN in the mail, probably because they wanted to confirm the validity of my mailing address. When the PIN arrived, I brought the form into the bank and was given my bank card.

Just make sure you bring all the documents they require when you go to your appointment, or you'll have to reschedule. I went into the bank to make an appointment to get my account created, and they gave me a list of the docs I would need to bring in for my appointment the following day.
Same for me, three different banks over the last 12 years, have recently closed 2 accounts and that also was quick, painless and free, unlike a Swiss one that cost 50Chf to close.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
The process took 1.5 hours for me and my husband (but he is francophone, so the process went faster than if I had been alone), and we got online banking access right away. The bank card takes about a week, however. At my bank, I couldn't get the bank card until I had received my PIN in the mail, probably because they wanted to confirm the validity of my mailing address. When the PIN arrived, I brought the form into the bank and was given my bank card.

Just make sure you bring all the documents they require when you go to your appointment, or you'll have to reschedule. I went into the bank to make an appointment to get my account created, and they gave me a list of the docs I would need to bring in for my appointment the following day.
Thanks for this, I don't actually remember the last time I a) wrote a check, b) went into my bank, I do everything online. What bank did you use?

Tanks
 

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Thanks for this, I don't actually remember the last time I a) wrote a check, b) went into my bank, I do everything online. What bank did you use?

Tanks
ooooooo, you might have to change your habits; it is worth cultivating the staff in your local bank.

h ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
ooooooo, you might have to change your habits; it is worth cultivating the staff in your local bank.

h ;)
Its probably because my UK bank is HSBC. I went in to talk about a €uro account all they had done was print off the online screen.....

But always willing to try anything once - even Andouillette ( only once)

Tank
 

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andouillette? even once merits more than it's worth - IMO

It's a Room 101 candidate along with a few other things - like tripes, museau, blue cheeses and pumpkins :D as far as I'm concerned.

h x
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
andouillette? even once merits more than it's worth - IMO

It's a Room 101 candidate along with a few other things - like tripes, museau, blue cheeses and pumpkins :D as far as I'm concerned.

h x

Had it once, as I though it might be something like South African boerewors - similar to Toulouse Sausage - as I discovered it wasn't.

My niece and her husband were going to France and I told them to avoid it under all circumstances - He had to have it .... Since then he has always followed my advice :laugh:
 

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Thanks for this, I don't actually remember the last time I a) wrote a check, b) went into my bank, I do everything online. What bank did you use?

Tanks
Prepare yourself - online access is generally not free here. And there are certain things you will have to do in person at the bank.

Pick a bank that is close to you (and if you have a choice, one where there is parking available nearby - nothing more aggravating than having to go to the bank and not being able to find a place to park).

Most folks I know have had good experiences with Banque Populaire (in its various iterations around France). CIC and Credit Agricole also draw favorable comments, though the local branch staff can make all the difference. If the branch manager is a PITA, he or she can make your banking life hell. Your "conseiller" will change constantly - these are the newbies freshly hired in and they seem to change every 6 to 12 months. Still, cultivate your conseiller (maybe they leave each other notes about the customers) and everything tends to go smoother.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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The Caisse d'Epargne could be a good option. We have full internet banking through them. The bank opens on Saturday morning but closes all day Monday. Our conseiller has remained the same ever since we arrived 30+ months ago and has even come round to see us here. We have both a direct line and a mobile phone number for him. He also recognises us in the queue and checks if we need him to help. None of which I ever experienced in the Uk. Some of this may be because we remain his only English clients, but he views all of the above as part of his customer service.

Our only problem comes when we need to see him, as he's always running late through talking too much!
 

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'you can take the boy out of Sarf London, but you can't take Sarf London outta the boy'
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Agree with Bev here. Banque Populaire have been great but you pay 7.95 a month for online banking and a debit card.

I found britline pretty useless. French banks are regionalized and britline is normandy/brittany based. Basically if you go into a CA bank anywhere else they really did not want to know.
 

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Agree with Bev here. Banque Populaire have been great but you pay 7.95 a month for online banking and a debit card.

I found britline pretty useless. French banks are regionalized and britline is normandy/brittany based. Basically if you go into a CA bank anywhere else they really did not want to know.
Tosh! Our Credit Agricole here are fabulous; no complaints at all. Granted, Britline seems Normandy-oriented, but here there are usually a couple of people who speak English lurking somewhere around (not that we need them, but they ARE there), and who are completely au fait with inter-country transactions.

And our ol access is free. The CB/Mastercard is 39,90 p.a.

hils
 

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Tosh! Our Credit Agricole here are fabulous; no complaints at all. Granted, Britline seems Normandy-oriented, but here there are usually a couple of people who speak English lurking somewhere around (not that we need them, but they ARE there), and who are completely au fait with inter-country transactions.

And our ol access is free. The CB/Mastercard is 39,90 p.a.

hils
When we were with CA it was all free and the online service is good. Now with CM (also free I think) as that's who the mortgage is with and their internet service is in English as well if you want.

The earlier post from hils re- local bank staff relationship development is deffo worthwhile. They can usually match prices near enough for car/house/mutuelle insurance etc, some of the staff you will find can speak English and more importantly they generally stay the same month to month, year to year.
 

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Agree with Bev here. Banque Populaire have been great but you pay 7.95 a month for online banking and a debit card.

I found britline pretty useless. French banks are regionalized and britline is normandy/brittany based. Basically if you go into a CA bank anywhere else they really did not want to know.
Banque Populaire varies by region. Here in the Paris area (BP - Rives de Paris) I pay 6,15 a month for both online banking and a debit card. If you want to make payments online there are other plans that allow you to do that. But in France you pay for all your bank services. (They do, however, have to give you a chequier - check book - for free.)

Most banks list their service fees online or offer a little brochure at the bank that outlines their fee schedule. On arrival in town, it might be a good idea to make a tour of the banks in the area and collect their little fees brochures to assess your options.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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'you can take the boy out of Sarf London, but you can't take Sarf London outta the boy'
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Tosh! Our Credit Agricole here are fabulous; no complaints at all. Granted, Britline seems Normandy-oriented, but here there are usually a couple of people who speak English lurking somewhere around (not that we need them, but they ARE there), and who are completely au fait with inter-country transactions.

And our ol access is free. The CB/Mastercard is 39,90 p.a.

hils
just my experience hils albeit 10years back. I had a britline account and my then local CA in Aude did not want to know me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Prepare yourself - online access is generally not free here. And there are certain things you will have to do in person at the bank.

Pick a bank that is close to you (and if you have a choice, one where there is parking available nearby - nothing more aggravating than having to go to the bank and not being able to find a place to park).

Cheers,
Bev
Don't think parking will be a problem as we are heading for a small town / village, but thanks for the tip.

Tank
 

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ING Direct has also no bank charges for online banking, Master card. But it is true: 750Euros/month are required. I think new people get also 80Euros currently.
 

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Clarification, SVP

I am with ING direct, free for 750EUros/month income. I refuse to pay for a bank. It comes with a mastercard gold for free.
What do you mean by 750 euros per month income? Do you mean, if I have at least 750 euros per month deposited, there's no charge? Is there any minimum balance requirement?

What would you say the principal drawbacks are of ING Direct rather than what you've mentioned?
 
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