We are about to open a new business account with our bank who have known us for 13 years, they are asking for the usual utility bills, siret numbers and our previous years tax bills. We understand the first 2 requests, but really, can't understand why they would need to see our tax bills, and think its none of thier business, can anyone shed any light on to this, do we have to dislclose them?


My question on the topic of "French banks" goes to a little different angle. I (, a SARL) would need an online business account, which does not require personal presence (ok, maybe once at opening). My current bank is about 4 hours away and the closest altogether is about an hour drive from metropolitan Sigale. So it is a pain in the ass (Catharine approves?) that for every little Mandat and a thousand other things they require personal presence - it is not enough to sign a piece of cellulose but it has to be in the branch.

A Canadian bank could do it but the comptable did not think it was a good idea in the French system to have a foreign account for a company.

Anyone knows of a good online bank? Personal accounts are easy, but for a business?


Thank you, Howard. That's very practical. I hope they are impressed by my meager earnings in 2014!


I think you could assume that they want the info so they can be of service and the language of money and tax returns is international. So, start with your foreign returns and don't be concerned about your husbands' unless he is involved in the business. My experience with my French bank was that, since I couldn't give them what normally expected, they accepted the nearest thing I could give them.

Here's a related question if anyone knows the answer. I have to open a new account for my newly registered micro. Do I submit my husband's tax return? I had no tax return as this is my first year as resident! Or will they want to see my foreign returns (with translations and all that rot!)?

We send our annual business accounts to the bank each year and our avis d'impôt. Apart from money laundering it seems sensible if you're opening a professional account. With Credit Agricole we are given a specific "conseiller des professionels" who deals with our account, they have always been incredibly helpful. How can they help you deal with any business finance problems or issues you may have if they don't know your income? As an architect I expect to see any previous soil studies etc if I am advising a client on their house. Same story.

That is, of course, the paradox of the obsession with preventing laundering. At the same time as that is happening, tax evaders and avoiders (there is apparently a difference) are often accumulating vast amounts of money in the same banks we use. The difference is that they use branches in the Cayman or Virgin Isles, Hong Kong, Malta, Jersey and so on. The majority of banks are party to hypocrisy beyond the belief of any normal person the way they treat ordinary people who really have nothing to hide and in most cases no immense fortune anyway.

Oh yes! I would have thought that anybody with half a brain could figure out that if you have lots of money, you have the means to hide and protect it, and pay an assistant to take care of all the red tape! Those who turn up in person should be trusted on sight, especially if they can't find all the documents, it shows they have to look for the stuff themselves, not delegate the degrading task to an army of slaves!

The silly thing is, they can see what we spend our money on by going through our bank statements, including how much we pay every quarter to the tax man. I hate this big brother is watching you, but I guess we just have to conform yet again. Thanks for responding.

This is another piece of stupidity foisted on the French by the Yanks. A few years ago I had a very frank speaking business manager (UK based) who explained all the hoops that they had to jump through after 911. As she explained, it wont stop money laundering, it just makes life harder for ordinary paople going about their lawful business.

Thanks everyone, had better take them in then.

I meant the amount of legitimately paid taxes are between tax payer and the state. As for the rest of it, that is exactly why banks are so 'sensitive'.

Unfortunately this is not between the State and the individual, bank employees, solicitors, relators, insurers can be prosecuted for dissimulating funds they suspect not having been declared to the authorities.

it's normal practice for the reasons given. once you're up and running they'll also want to see and keep a copy of each year's accounts.

Ha ha, I will have to stash the millions somewhere else then, maybe under the mattress. If only!

Money laundering. They look at what you have paid in and paid as tax and then the millions you have stashed away undeclared... At least, that is what I understand my OH was told.

Complete nonsense whatever! That is between the French state and the individual, or are they now playing policeman for them?