Jump to content
Complete France Forum

Catch 22--Long term Let and French Bank Account


Recommended Posts


We are looking for a long term rent around the Limoges area to settle the kids in school before a permanent move, post summer 2010.

This will also provide a base of operations for property searching hopefully bypassing the need try and cram in viewings over long weekends!

I will still be working in the UK and travelling back probably every other w/e.

We are currently renting in the UK, after having downsized quite massively!

Been a subsriber to the mag for over a year now and unfortunatley i`ve not seen anything about how we actually open a french bank account from the UK!

I may have course of missed it.... :P

I`m under the impression that we need a bank account to rent, but we can't open a bank account unless we have an address in FRance--hence the catch 22.

I`m almost fearful of the answer, but i`d appreciate some help, a magazine feature or pointing in the right direction!

Thanks in advance

Link to comment
Share on other sites

You do not need to have an address in France to open a French Bank account: however you will need proof of AN address, (eg in the UK) by means of utility bills etc.

You can walk into a bank in France and open an account, so long as you have ID and proof of address, inside leg measurement, etc. It would be a good idea to have the account in a bank branch that is local to where you intend to buy - SocGen for example charges you if you pay money into the account at a branch which is not the home branch of the account..



Link to comment
Share on other sites

MAny thnaks for the advice and the welcome.

I`ve seen the CA branches in places like La Chatre in Indre, so they seem to be very widespread.

Given that banking in France has a lot more charges than the UK, i have another question.

I`m under the impression that banks like "history", but i`m wondering whether it is worth opening an online account now and suffering a few charges for, say, a year, or whether there is no benefit in that and simply opening up one just before we "set sail" would be just as good?

Thanks again.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a Britline account, and it has worked well for us for 5 years. No complaints. The only disadvantage is that the bank is based in Normandy. This isn't normally a problem as the online banking service works well, the helpdesk is English-speaking, and you can pay by "carte-bancaire" or by cheque, but when you need to pay money in (not often in my case  [:-))]) you have to post the cheques to Normandy. You can of course arrange transfers. CA has branches all over France but they're not simply branches of a nationwide bank, they're more like autonomous companies in each region, and don't seem to "talk" to each other. If you wanted mortgage help etc you'd be better off with a local bank perhaps, although Britline offer all the usual services.

You can open the account by post.


Link to comment
Share on other sites


We had long term - 3 month stay - guests in last year who wanted to open a bank account whilst they were here househunting.

I asked at our branch of Credit Agricole, explained their situation and was told that they could open a bank account using our address as long as we asked our marie for an attestation stating that they were staying with us. I would think most branches would offer the same service. They could of course change the address when they moved into their own place.

Hope this helps.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

I use Britline, for about 10 years now, and the charges are very minimal(I do not have a card though just a cheque book).

To pay in, I either use Bank transfer (£20 at Barclays) or an FX company for large amounts (free). Other than that I either send them travelers cheques with an RIB or call in at my local CA branch in Brittany with euros, RIB and passport (no charge either).

Never had a problem with them at all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

  • Create New...