Sunday, October 05, 2008

How to Open a Bank Account in France

Here is my advice for opening a bank account in France. While we will hear a lot of different stories of people getting or not getting an account, if you follow these steps you should be successful.

Typically the most important thing you need is an address in France. It doesnt have to even be your home per se, it can be in care a friend for example. But even then its still possible to do it but it will take more work.

1. Don't walk into banks in person. They have screeners who will most likely tell you, its not possible however, they are'nt the ones who make the real decisions in a given bank now are they. Always call first and ask to make an appointment with someone who specializes in foriegn accounts. Credit Agricole is a good bank that wants foriegn clients.

2. Once you've made the appointment, if you have a French address, any address in France will do, it shouldnt be a problem. If you don't have this, its still possible especially if you're planning to deposit a significant amount of money and you mention you are planning to invest in France, buy a home etc.

3. If you arent planning to deposit a good deal of money and have no French address, you only have one option left; say that you travel in France often on business and you need to regularly make and receive bank transfers between you and your company. That could be a way in and you could use your foriegn address.

If one bank says no, just try a different branch.