4. Managing Your French Bank Account

  1. Cash Withdrawals
  2. Direct Debits and Standing Orders
  3. Statements
  4. Bank Overdrafts
  5. Closing/Transferring Account
  6. Death of Spouse/Partner
  7. Seizure of Account

4.5. Closing a French Bank Account

If you later wish to close a current or standard savings account there is no charge for doing so

However, the banks are still permitted to make a charge for closing certain types of regulated savings accounts, and if you wish to transfer the account to another bank there will also be a charge.

In the case of a joint account, closure of the account requires you both write jointly to the bank. If the account is overdrawn the bank can refuse to close it.

If, say, in the event of a separation, you wish to end the joint account and your former partner is not cooperating, you need to send a letter to your bank lettre recommandé avec accusé réception to dénoncer la convention de compte joint. You need to copy your former partner.

The account will not then be closed, but it will mean that any use of the account has to be jointly agreed, which should be enough to force an outcome. You should consult with your bank for their own particular rules and procedures.

Given the French intolerance of unauthorised overdrafts, it would also be best if you first opened a bank account in your new bank to avoid potential embarrassment with any outstanding cheques or standing orders/direct debits operating in existing account.

You should then send your bank account details (Relevé d'Identité Bancaire - RIB ) to those where you have standing orders and direct debits in place, advising them of your new bank.

Next: Death of Spouse/Partner

Back: Bank Overdrafts

The Guides to France are published for general information only.
Please visit our Disclaimer for full details.