Banks in France

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How to open a bank account? 

With most banks in France, you can open up an account in person at a local branch or online via the bank website. Branches are typically open around 9am–5pm Monday to Friday and close over lunch hours.

To open an account you will need:

  • An ID card or passport

  • Your residence permit (except for European people)

  • The proof of residence in France (electricity bill, rent slip, certificate of accommodation, etc.)

  • If you are a student: the photocopy of your student card 

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Which type of bank account should you choose?

There are three main types of bank accounts at traditional French banks. Here's a quick overview of each of them. 

  • Current account: most likely, this is the account you're looking for. It's a basic bank account for everyday use. This allows you to withdraw money from the ATM, pay bills, and make purchases with a debit card.  

  • General savings account (Passbook): this is a savings account that also allows you to easily transfer money in and out of your current account.

  • Long-term savings account (Compte à Terme or Compte d'Epargne Logement):  this savings account offers higher interest for those saving money for a house or another large purchase.  

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National French banks

There are several banks in France that have branches across the country.  Here are the biggest and most well-known national French banks:

 
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Banks with Spanish speakers 

El CIC Iberbanco apoya to the Iberian and Latin communities of Francia. The employees of the CIC Iberbanco are trilingual (French, Spanish and Portuguese). In Lyon there are 3 CIC Iberbanco agencies:  

  • CIC Iberbanco Lyon Saxe,   6 Avenue Jean Jaures, 69007 Lyon

  • CIC Iberbanco Lyon Bellecour , 25 Place Bellecour; 69002 Lyons

  • CIC Iberbanco Villeurbanne ,   52 Cours Emile Zola, 69100 Villeurbanne

 
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Banks with English speakers

​Here is a list of French bank with English-speaking customer service:

You also can have a look of   N26 : a neobank easy and quick to set up, with English-speaking customer service.

 
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If the bank denies your application

If the bank denies your application once you are a resident in France, you can ask for a "letter of refusal" (the bank has to provide the letter by law).

If your financial history is respectable you can contact the " Banque de France " (with your letter of refusal,  your ID and proof of residence). The bank of France will ask you to complete a "right to account" and will designate a bank that is obliged to accept you.

 
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International money transfer

For international money transfers, there are alternative solutions to banks: