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 it.

The next stage is to make contact with their 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, 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 90 days 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. A full list can also be found at Annuaire des médiateurs bancaires.

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 a Saisir la Médiatrice.

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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