Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 6 of 6 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
108 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I’ve just come back from opening my French bank account (finally after living here for 5 months!) and I must say it was a breeze!

I was rather apprehensive beforehand, having read so much about the French bureaucracy and paperwork, and ensuring you have practically your life history with you - but hey, that's why we love France isn't it?!

Anyway my experience was fabulous. We have now got an account with Credit Agricole, after setting up an appointment with our local branch (in a small village in Aquitaine department) and just need to wait 5 days to receive our cards and pin number.

So I can't recommend them highly enough (although I appreciate it very much depends on your branch, who you speak with, your grasp of the language (and mine isn't brilliant), etc etc).

Next up, buying a car and finding a new rental near Bayonne, but I am feeling a lot more positive about handling it!
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
49,394 Posts
Hey congratulations on surviving yet another of the many hurdles to establishing yourself in France. I'm about convinced that the better prepared you are for anything they can throw at you, the easier the process will be.
Cheers,
Bev
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
30 Posts
Hi Sarah,

Lucky you.

My partner and I have just about opened a Credit Agricole Britline account, as we're based in the UK until our property purchase completes.

It took us 3-months to open the account, due to our English banks (Halifax & Natwest - mention no names!) not providing us with a Bankers Reference through sheer incompetence. None of the staff appeared to a) know exactly what it was & b) Know exactly how to process and who's responsibility it was to action it (branch or head office).

This is just a word of warning to ex-pats (in England)who are about to undergo this pursuit, it's actually more stressful at our end, the French side was as you stated a breeze!

Lloyd.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
108 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
To be honest Lloyd, that's exactly why we decided not to open an account in advance - i'd heard horror stories about it, and in fact when i went into my bank before leaving the UK to get the reference letter (which we didn't actually need at all in France) there was such a fuss about it that it took the bank a long time to manage to give it to me.

So my advice to everyone else, don't bother getting it sorted before leaving the UK, once in France make a 'rendez-vous' with your local branch (via Britline English Speaking Service if you need help with the language and they will dial in via conference call to the meeting) and it then takes about 1 hour with your local branch adviser to sort it out. (The only reason it takes 1 hour is the amount of paperwork that needs to be completed by the branch, and then printing it out!).

Enjoy moving across to France!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
39 Posts
Congratulations!

Living in France on a Working Holiday Visa, I went down to my French girlfriends bank with her to open an account, and the best the guy said he could do was an account, but sort of a kids account or something? I dont know why but it was rather annoying and frustrating.

Essentially it was an account in my name, with a card however the card is only good for withddrawing cash from said banks ATMS. Not for eftpos in the shops or other ATMS. Pain in the **se but ok.

Then I get my letter in the post, with my name, then the address has a prefix of "Chez Mlle <insert girlfriends name> 83 rue de la" etc etc....

Kind of a joke but all i needed it for was somewhere for employers to drop my wages. Of which, finding one is STILL proving to be a RIGHT problem!! Paper paper...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
Thanks for the advice, Sarah. We're not quite ready to make the move yet but your comments are well worth bearing in mind. Our opinion of UK banks is not high so any way that we can avoid tearing our hair out with them is worth knowing about.

R&J
 
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top