3. Opening a French Bank Account

  1. Eligibility
  2. Types of Account
  3. Bank Charges
  4. Applying for a French Bank Account

3.4. Applying for a French Bank Account

In order to open an account you should make a visit to the local branch office of the bank of your choice and complete an application form, called a mandat.

You will need to bring your passport and proof of your address, such as your electricity or telephone bill. You may also be asked to produce your latest French income tax return.

If you are non-resident, you may also need to produce your last two bank statements and a banker's reference.

These later two requirements are in decline, but we cannot say with certainty that no bank or branch does not still adopt the practice.

If you have recently purchased in France and do not yet possess a utility bill for your French property, you should obtain from the notaire a certificate of purchase (attestation), confirming your ownership of the property. The local mayor may also be able to assist with such a certificate.

When you open an account you will need to sign a contract called a convention de compte, which sets out the rules governing the operation of the account and the products and services.

It may contain some information on tariffs but the full list may be in other documentation.

Next: Running Your Bank Account

Back: Bank Charges

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