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Hi everyone could anyone please tell me the best and safest way to exchange money to purchase a property? Also is it possible to open a french bank account before we move over? Any help would be very welcome thank you sharon :)
 

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You can open a French bank account before you move, but it will be a "non-resident" account. Not sure what the exact restrictions are on a non-resident account but you can always ask. Best way to handle it is to visit a bank in person, take an appointment and bring in your various i.d. documents. (Becoming pretty much standard bank practice everywhere these days, due to the "know your customer" laws to avoid money laundering and other banking no-nos.)

What most folks seem to do is to wire money to their French account or arrange to wire funds directly to the notaire's escrow account as required. A bank-to-bank wire transfer usually gets hit with charges on both ends, but there are a number of currency exchange businesses that can do the transfers "free" (basically, for the exchange fee).
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Normally when you are buying a property in France you will be required to send your money to the notaire before the Acte de Vente.Transfers of cash within SEPA the Single European Payment Area are free but banks give a poor exchange rate so it might be better to use a Currency Transfer company such as HIFX or I have used 4X Currency.Personally I would go to a French bank local to where you are moving to open an account.IF you are using an Agent then they may take you,but be aware French banks charge to have an account with them
 

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Hi, we moved here last year. As previous post suggested, all deposits and balance have to be conducted through Notaire. We set up an account at Foremost Currency Group based in the UK and they arranged for all transfers . They were very efficient, knowledgable and their charges/exchange rates very reasonable. We arrived in France a few days before completion so we could open French Bank Account and set utilities. I must be honest our Agent was very helpful in aiding us with translation etc. I know it can seem very daunting but as long as you smile a lot and keep your sense of humour all will be good in the end. We haven't looked back although we have come through a LOT of problems and beaurocracy. Good Luck
 
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