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French bank account or UK euro offshore account?


Stan Streason

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Just in the process of purchasing a holiday home in France.  I am using my own funds and do not need a mortgage.

I currently have an "offshore" euro account with LloydsTSB which gives me a euro debit and credit card.  I currently use these on various trips to Eurozone and top the account up from time to time using a forex broker when the rate looks OK.  (Fat chance of that at the moment).

Is there any requirement for me to have an account with a French bank when I have the house or can I continue with my current arrangement?

Thanks in advance

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Hi!

You do not necessarily need to have a French account. It is not an obligation.

But how do you suggest paying taxes and utility bills?

You will hardly find these are prepared to collect from foreign accounts. And money transfers can generate costs at the receiver end, unless you can provide for this, by making a special transfer ( if your bank does it ).

Yours,

giantpanda

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Hi,

I had an offshore EURO account, but changed to an onshore account for more flexibility. I couldn't get cheque books (which are far more widely used in France) for the offshore account, and the charges for each electronic payment were prohibitive. I have found BNP Paribas very efficient for account control and e-banking too.

One gripe is that ATM cards have very strict weekly and monthly limits applied, regardless of the account balance. I have moved to a gold card so that I can take more than EUR 2,000 per month from cash machines.

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[quote user="baypond"]

One gripe is that ATM cards have very strict weekly and monthly limits applied, regardless of the account balance. I have moved to a gold card so that I can take more than EUR 2,000 per month from cash machines.  [/quote]

But our very ordinary 'carte bleue' lets me withdraw 760€ per week from our bank account; and as it's a joint account my other half - using his card - can withdraw an equal amount so that is 1520€ a week - if ever we needed that much.

Mind you Gold cards do come into their own with regards to inclusive travel assurance.

Sue

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[quote user="baypond"]

One gripe is that ATM cards have very strict weekly and monthly limits applied, regardless of the account balance. I have moved to a gold card so that I can take more than EUR 2,000 per month from cash machines.

[/quote]

We have this problem - extremely frustrating when you want to buy larger items for the house.  I've never understood the French preference for cheques over a debit card with chip and pin.

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I think the cheque has more credibility in France because you are not allowed to write a cheque if you have insufficient funds in your bank account. I think it is still illegal. On that note, there seems to be no concept of post-dated cheques. I paid an english architect working in France by post-dated cheque and asked them not to pay it in for 3 or 4 days because I needed to transfer funds. They ignored my request because the needed the cash, and knew the bank wouldn't look at the date on the cheque, and paid it in.
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well done .. remember that they do not send cards through the post. They have to be collected from the branch where you hold the account. For that reason, it is worth contacting the bank so that you can get all the documentation in order, and account set up before your next visit. That way, your cards should be ready to collect when you first visit your bank to finalise opening.
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Hi!

Here the details from!

http://www.pratique.fr/argent/banque/daf1201.htm

chèque postdaté : il est interdit de faire un chèque en y portant une

fausse date. De plus, si le chèque est présenté avant la date indiquée,

il sera quand même payé par la banque (ou si c'est impossible,

considéré comme un chèque sans provision) ;

So:

- not allowed ( with any wrong date )

- such a cheque can be presented immediately

- if no money on the account, it will be considered as not covered ( with all the consequences)

Yours,

giantpanda

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[quote user="baypond"].. remember that they do not send cards through the post. They have to be collected from the branch where you hold the account. [/quote]

Depends on the bank.  Our new cards arrived yesterday, by post.  They asked if we wanted them to be collected or posted when we opened the account.

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