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How to open a bank account in France?

If you have a move to France ahead of you, you need to know that the law in this country is quite intricate on every level. A lot of paperwork is something that is a hallmark of France. It’s also no different when it comes to banks – without prior preparation you can’t get too much done. So, how do open an account in a French bank, and what documents are necessary for this?

France – How to open a bank account?

The process of opening a bank account in France is a bit more intricate than in our country. First of all, you need to equip yourself with the right set of documents. These include:

  • Passport or identity card
  • Visa (in the case of people from outside the European Union)
  • Employment contract or certificate of income in France
  • Documentary proof of address of residence (electricity invoice or rent bill)

All of the above documents will, in most cases, require a translation into French, along with a certification from a notary or certified translator of the veracity of the contents provided. In addition, the selected bank may also require other documents, such as an opinion from a bank in your home country or current utility bills.

Be prepared that opening an account with a French bank does not always go quickly and easily. An increasing number of banks are preventing non-residents from opening a bank account and require proof of your ability to cover all of your expenses while in France.

France – Can you open a bank account online?

Unfortunately, the answer to the above question is no. At the moment, no French bank offers online applications, so to open an account based in France, it is necessary to go to a physical establishment in this country. 

So what can be done in such a situation? If we do not have the opportunity to appear in a French bank branch, there is an alternative that allows us to open a bank account online, which can be used in France without any problems. We are talking about a foreign currency account.

A foreign currency account is an account in the currency of your choice. In the case of France – the euro (€). It generally takes a few minutes to set up and got an online currency account, and it opens many gateways both in France and in other countries using the currency.

How to open a French bank account? – Summary

Opening a bank account in France is a feasible, albeit somewhat complicated, undertaking. Sometimes, even despite having the appropriate documents, our application is rejected. In this case, do not give up and look for another way – opening a currency account in euros. A currency account opened in another country allows us to use it throughout France, and you can easily give the account number to your employer. So if you don’t have the opportunity to open a French bank account, be sure to try a currency account.