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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought I should give this recommendation for anyone planning to move to Montpellier, because I've visited this bank three times since I got here and have had nothing but good experiences, which cannot be said for all banks in France!

The Banque Populaire du Sud on Syracuse in Montpellier seems to have only friendly, helpful people who were extremely efficient at sorting out our needs. I suspect part of the reason for the efficiency is because Montpellier sees so many expats and this bank knows how to deal with them, plus we speak French, but the employees are also just very friendly and customer-service orientated.

The first day, we opened a joint bank account by providing our lease for our vacation apartment where we are staying for one month, which had our names and addresses on it, and also provided our passports. It took 1.5 hours, but I think that is the norm. During the one-week wait for our cartes bancaires, we needed to make a deposit into our account, so we showed up and the lady dropped what she was doing and allowed us to make a deposit at the ATM with a temporary bank card. We were in and out in 3 minutes. Today we went again to pick up our cartes bancaires and cheques, and also buy the mandatory assurance de responsabilité civile for the duration of our stay, and again she dropped what she was doing and assisted us, and we were out within 15 minutes. During that time, the other employee who had first assisted us the week before came into the office and shook our hands and asked how everything was going so far. Honestly it was a way more pleasant experience than visiting my bank in Canada!

I've heard often that experiences and account requirements can vary widely among banks and even among branches of a specific bank, so I'm mentioning this particular branch for others who may not know where to start when they move to Montpellier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
P.S. Forgot that I also needed to provide a bank statement from my Canadian bank in order to open our account. They kindly allowed my husband to log in to his bank account from their office computer so he could print the form.

In addition, I created a Paypal account for this bank account, and I was required to print an autorisation de prélèvement form and mail it to my bank. Not having a printer, I emailed a copy of the form to the lady who opened our account, and she printed it in her office today when I picked up my CB, no problem.
 

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So nice to hear praise for the much-maligned customer service which is the normal flavour of posts in here - thanks.

FWIW my Bank here (Credit Agricole) treats me very similarly, and always has. Although many of them do speak English, when I've been in there on occasion, and a tourist Brit is being a typical tourist Brit (shout loud enough in Pidgin English & they'll get the message), one of the staff has glanced my way with an eyebrow raised and indicated for me to step in and help ...

As many of us have tried to point out in other threads, the "colour" of the Bank is irrelevant; it's the quality of the staff and the mutual attitude on both parties that can make all the difference (& not just with banking).

But I'm glad my adopted country has given you an enjoyable and helpful welcome. Well done, France
:cheer2:
 

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The various Banques Populaires seem to draw very positive comments. I got fed up with the bank my husband has been with for ages, and based on rave reviews from an association I dealt with in Paris, I switched my accounts to the local branch of the Banque Populaire. Have never regretted the decision (even back in the days where it cost 20€ to close the account in the other bank!).

Apparently, the Banques Populaires are organized by region - up here it's called Banque Populaire Rives de Paris - but they function as a sort of co-op bank. You are required to own a couple of "shares" in the bank and you are invited to the annual meetings (or can vote online for the various motions).
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Thought I would give my recommendation for the Britline which is part of credit agricole, based in Caan, they have been excellent, and will deal with all your banking needs on line or by phone and in English (which helps), very professional team
 
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