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French Bank Accounts


French banking 

Bank accounts in France can be areas for concern amongst anglophones, especially when it comes to the rules and regulations which apply. This is the main benefit of finding an English language banking service.

Normally you can expect a current account, with a cheque book (still used in France) and the debit card of your choice.  Note that credit cards are quite rare in Europe although debit cards are sometimes paid at the end of the month.

The basic Visa or Mastercard allows access to the account via cash machines and acts as a payment card for use in shops, restaurants, petrol stations and motorway tolls. There will be a small monthly charge. A Gold Mastercard, which has a higher monthly charge, may have built-in hire car insurance, travel insurance, higher cash withdrawal and transaction limits and other benefits. 

Normally accounts offer a pre-authorised overdraft limit, coupled with internet access and bill payment facilities, giving you control of your accounts on-line through a fairly crude internet banking service. 

Accounts are usually available for French residents and those not yet resident, but needing bank services. All banks can offer tax free (and low interest !) savings accounts up to certain limits.

There are also savings account with no maximum balance, offering a better interest rate. 

Banks often offer insurance, but premiums are often undercut by good insurance brokers.



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