At The bank

This toolkit is all about money matters. Opening a bank account can be daunting enough in our home country, but doing it in France (the land of administration) can be even harder. Hopefully our toolkit will help you suss it all out.

When you’re opening a bank account, you should always check what your needs are first: Do you need a French bank account for your company to pay you? Will you need to exchange between foreign currencies often? Will online banking be enough or do you think you’ll need to go into the branch often? Maybe make a list of needs and things that you would use the account for to know what would be best for you.

In France there’s quite a selection of banks: Société Générale, La Banque Postale, Crédit Agricole, the list goes on and on. It’s generally easiest to open an account once you have arrived in France (especially since you will need to provide proof of a French address). There’s lots of factors that might decide which bank to go for. For example, account opening fees, how easy it is to move money into and out of the account (maybe from other countries too) etc. If you’re going into the branch to open an account, it may even be best to take a French person along (financial lingo can be hard).

In terms of documents you’ll need a form of identification (a passport or national identity card), a proof of revenue (your last payslip for example) and a proof of residence. If you’re from outside the EU or are a student/not earning in France, you may need to provide extra documents, so just check with your chosen bank too. And make sure your postbox at home has your name on it too so that you can receive documents they send you. A French bank account is really important for applying for things like Social Security or CAF and it could take some time to set up, but it should be worth it in the end!

Click HERE for more handy language toolkits to help you with life in France.

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