How do the readers survive the rigid bureaucracy which seems to pervade business life? After enormous efforts I have managed to work the on-line system for my BNP Paribas account - far more difficult than a comparable UK account - and requested - through the secure electronic message system - a new 'Carte Bleu, for which I pay an annual fee. I have had the card for several years as I understand UK credit cards are not always accepted by, for example, service stations for petrol. But the French branch - who know where I live as I have had this account for many years - won’t send me this year’s replacement through the post to the UK, where I live, and for which I shall also pay handsomely, until I send them a written request. Presumably they think any imposter can break into their secure electronic banking system!

I can only admire all you expatriates/emigrants. I would burst a blood vessel.

Banks - that's a piece of pi$$, you should try running a business here :-O

ps - there are free carte bleue here in France, you just need to know where to look and don't accept the one your bank wants to sell you ;-)

Thanks for interesting comment. Clearly one should shop around a bit. Roger

Hi Roger, I get you! We have a french business account with a HSBC. The internet banking is linked to our personal internet set up which works ok but we had to pay a fee for the card & a fee for them to post out the company cheque book.

BUT don’t get me started on their service, especially regarding a mortgage application…just awful. They also moved our accounts from Montpellier to Paris as recommended by them, then less than 12m later moved them back to Montpellier without saying why. Very strange behaviour.

We are really only with them for the Global internet banking service which is excellent, in all other aspects we’ve not seen good service. I used to have a Credit Agricole account which was ok but the internet banking service was a bit backwards compared to HSBC & didn’t meet our needs.