Having a French bank account is an essential part of owning a property in France – you will need one in order to pay utility bills and it can be of great help with aspects of life in France. Ideally you should have this set up before the completion on your purchase and Charente Immobilier can help you with this.

A foreigner moving to France may open a bank account. Most banks have a variety of account types, with day-to-day banking usually being handled through a current account (compte courant).

These documents are needed to open an account:

  • EU citizens: Proof of identity (a valid passport or ID card)
  • Non-EU citizens: Proof of residence (carte de séjour)
  • Proof of a French address: a utility bill, rental agreement or property deeds (acte de propriété)
  • Proof of earnings or status: Contract of employment/proof of earnings/proof of status (e.g: a student card)
  • Reference: from other banks where accounts are held (usually only required for loans and overdrafts)
  • In some cases, a birth certificate

Accounts can usually be held in joint names.

You should note that French banking is generally not free banking. French banks will charge for certain items: a bank card, Internet banking etc – you should check with the bank and ask for their terms and conditions.