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Setting up a bank account in France


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Hi there

I'm new to the forum and wondered if I could get some advice.

When I go to France in December for my vacation I would like to open a bank account. The reason is that at some point in the next couple of years I would like to live and work in France.

The questions that I need to ask seem to be difficult to get an answer to.

1) do I have to have an address in france to open an account? Could my address be in the UK

2) does it cost anything to open an account?

3) what documentation do I need to open an account?

4) I need to be able to transfer money from the account in France back to the UK. Is this possible?

5) Any ideas as to how much it costs to transfer money back to the UK?

Before I go I would like to have an idea of what documentation that I need so I can just, hopefully, open an account

Any and all help is greatly appreciated



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I can answer a couple of your questions but only as generalisations as every bank in different (even if it is the same bank but different branch). 

1. We opened an account with Credite Agricole without a French address but told them we would be buying in the future and needed the account for when things started to happen.  No problem. 

2.  It didnt cost anything to open the account but we had to put in a small amount to open it, I think we put in 100 euros. 

3.  Any documents that prove who you are and where you live, we only had our passports as we had not planned the visit to the bank, as you know you will be doing this also bring birth/ marriage certificates and a utility bill (or 3) from your UK address.

I dont have any experience of moving money from France but it is simple to do it the other way around so I would assume it is easy enough vice versa.  It might be an idea to set up an account with a couple of currency brokers in the UK and make sure you have a french bank that does internet banking.

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