Best Bank in France in 2022

Sorry if there is a recent thread for this already. My partner and I have had a Credit Agricole account for five years. They are not the easiest to deal with. We have now come up against the dreaded plafond even though we keep plenty in the account. Online payment for boiler fuel refused.
We have retained a Nationwide UK account for our pensions and then transfer money as and when using Wise - no problems there.

We really need to change to another French bank with no ridiculous plafond. Any suggestions would really be appreciated.

Have you contacted CA?

I generally pay by DD or cheque… but on rare occasions I do use virements… and I was horrified to discover I couldn’t send a particular virement as I’d moved too much money around on that particular day (or something like that).

I phoned my CA Branch and talked it through with a very helpful person (who slowed down nicely when she noted my accent). I explained my problem… she looked on her own screen (presumably) and came back with a few questions… then she more or less said “OK that’s sorted” and the virement was done there and then.
Phew !

Not saying that’ll work every time… but it was a relief as I needed the order fulfilled immediately and they were waiting for the money to hit their bank…

I think in honesty, what @stella describes is the same no matter what French bank is involved so if you are looking for “the best bank in France which won’t disrespect your instructions”, I think you are in for bitter disappointment.
I don’t know for sure but perhaps some other member with a Wise account can confirm, but might it be possible to retain a Euro balance in your Wise account to meet such payments when they likely fall due and to pay in the manner you seek?

As you have been with them 5 years I recommend you talk to them about raising your plafond. Like Stella, I have always found the branch staff very accommodating. Several times over the years I have needed them to raise the plafond for a few days - never a problem. This last time, she has put it up to the maximum and has left it there.

We too have not had a problem once we talked to CA. They have raised and lowered our ceilings. Which I prefer to my UK NatWest card which is unlimited - terrifying if I lost it! Natwest refuse to cap it…

We been with CA for 30 years and had no problems that can’t be solved by contacting a conseiller.

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Ditto @fleur!

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Thanks Stella. I will certainly try and communicate better with my branch!

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Thanks for your opinion graham. I think a better use of my wise account plus CA might work.

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Thank you SuePJ. I think my lack of understanding of how the plafond really works is part of my problem.

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I will speak directly to advisor. Thanks JaneJones

Certainly worth investigating further.
Hope you manage to find a solution the works for you.

I have just moved from La Poste to CA so far so good, the ser vice has been impeccable unlike at la poste where it is inexistant.

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Excuse my ignorance, but what’s a plafond in French banking jargon?

= a Limit.
Eg max daily amount out in day, month, week, rolling x days.
Ditto separate limits for cash.
Limits are ridiculously low in some cases, rather low by default, and even my neighbours have moaned about them.

My neighbour said his bank flatly refused to give him cash - nothing flaky, he was giving a lot of notice, the bank manager (CIC I think) said something like I might be able to let you have it next month, but not this month (this was up to 7 weeks and in the end it was nearly that). This was stated as a matter of the bank manager being able/willing to do it, not in terms of any problem with the account. Plenty of money in the account, many years with them, etc. The neighbour commented they want to give you everything except your money, or something similar.

I did see a paragraph about plafonds in account ts and cs recently. Didn’t use to be anything there on this but plafonds have always been applied I think.

I will take a guess the Banque de France likes to keep tight hold of the money supply. Unlike Boris who just prints some more.

French banks don’t seem to like taking cash either - mine doesn’t except when you prearrange, or only on a Tuesday or a Wednesday when there’s a full moon, and you still have to prearrange. I’ve encountered this phenomenon of banks not having and not able to take any cash in the South of Italy before but the reasons there are surely different!

I once wanted to change quite a small amount of sterling cash I had on me into Euros and credit it to my account. They said they could only take cash on a certain day of the week So they couldn’t do it. And changing foreign currency was another matter (requiring notice). I had just missed the day of the week when they could take cash. They kindly agreed to lock the money in a safe untouched (so they were not actually taking the cash) until that day next week. Then they would take it out on the cash day, change it (they were not sure this would be the same day) and then credit the resulting Euros to the account. I think I saw the credit about 10 days later. I was lucky they agreed to put it in the safe really as I had a long journey back.

I reckon there’s room for a topic “funny experience with my bank”

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On the other hand, I wouldn’t touch CA with a barge pole, after they lied and swindled me, crossed the street to La Poste many years ago and have been very happy ever since. 6 half days open in a tiny village and a national network available everywhere in France. Unlike CA, and others I believe, which are regional and mutually independent of each other which means money paid in 100km away can take days to reach your account.

I didn’t know about that Karen and I wouldn’t accept it really. I accept the time required to unwind investments but any cash I have I want to be able to withdraw, whenever I want. That’s what the current in a “current” account means to me. Otherwise it’s a pain planning stuff. I normally don’t withdraw too much cash from my French bank account but they did get bit flustered last year when I needed to withdraw a large sum without notice, but they sorted it out internally. I thought it was money laundering rubbish (because we all know the real money launders don’t have these problems) but if I’ll be checking if it was Bank rubbish and if so we’ll be modifying that :slightly_smiling_face:

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One can’t vote for a favourite bank in France only a favourite branch. CA, amongst others, gets a lot of stick but I have found them to be brilliant with us over he years at our local branch.

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I just phoned CA and they upped the plafond.

A ceiling, above which you cannot wander. Even though it’s your own money. But they will increase it, in my experience. Just another example of security caution.