Guide to Banking in France

10. Complaints to Your French Bank

If you have a problem with your bank, then clearly you should approach the branch in the first instance to try and resolve the problem.

The next stage is to make contact with the Service Relations Clientèle with a letter of complaint, which should be sent by recorded delivery, called recommandé avec avis de réception.

If the matter is still not resolved to your satisfaction, then the banks have in place an ombudsman complaints system where the dispute can be referred.

The main banks have their own independent ombudsman, called a Médiateur. The Médiateur is granted two months to review the case and provide a report.

You should ask at your branch for the contact details of the bank Médiateur or find their contact details on the bank web site.

The recommendations of the Médiateur are not binding on either yourself or the bank, but their reports are generally respected by both sides.

Alternatively, the Fédération Bancaire Française also have a Médiateur in place, whom you can contact at Fédération Française des Bancaires, 18 rue La Fayette, BP 151, 75422 Paris, Cedex 09 or e mail at

Ultimately, you have recourse to a court of law if the Médiateur cannot deal with your case or you are dissatisfied with the outcome.

In the case of cross-border problems between two banks then you should contact the European extra judicial complaints service called FIN-NET.

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