Best French Bank - with online facilities

There is no need to have a physical address in the USA to open a bank account. A post office box is sufficent.

Christopher, I would think that one would have to have an address in the US to open an account with a bank. I was thinking of opening an account with the Schwab Bank but they refused me even thought I have had my investment accounts with Charles Schwab for 20 years. The reason is that I don’t live there anymore. I’m still able to keep my investment accounts and by Wachovia checking account open which does seem strange but no new account can be opened because I had them before I left.

How about opening an account from the USA? Any banks or ideas? OPening Bank Accounts seems to be difficult in the EU. I see most of the suggestions are for the British. Thanks for the imput.

Hi All
We havent chosen yet, the information you have all been giving is emormously helpful - THANKYOU EVERYONE!!!
Keep it coming :slight_smile:

Hi Suzie,

You’ve probably chosen a bank account by now but just to put my 2 pence worth in; I’ve had two bank accounts, one with Caisse d’epargne and one with HSBC. I found that if i was transferring/recieving cheques from abroad HSBC was MUCH better with respect to banking charges incurred. For me, they are more service orientated and their onling banking system is LOGICAL. You can also speak to a real person on the helpline number and it doesn’t cost you the earth either! I’m now in the process of closing my Caisse d’epargne account as in my eyes HSBC is much better.
Hope this helps.
PS:negociate on the amount you pay for your cards etc, I got mine down to half price!


I think this might be the only bank which doesn’t have bank charges…well it was until recently.
Visa card free too!
I’ve since cancelled mine with my previous bank…LCL

Hi Finn,

To be precise, I visited all the 4 banks mentioned on Wednesday in the capacity of autoentrepreneur, mentioning that I had been given a cheque in the name of Burgundy by Request and believed it was necessary to open a business account in that name if I wished to cash the cheque.
However, ALL 4 banks confirmed to me that there was no problem, as an official AE (they all asked for my registration details) to open a personal account, in my name, with the commercial name underneath. I could then bank cheques into that account in either my name or my commercial name.
Obviously the commercial name is not a legal entity, that is an entirely a different ball game but as far as a bank account goes, all 4 banks can not have got it wrong.

gives some information but at the time I did find the official text, I would not have done it if I hadn’t checked it out first, I have been in France far too long to not double check everything.

Hi Wendy,
It’s not a legal requirement but it is handy to have a separate account from your personal one in case you are audited. If you look at my post earlier about the cost of bank accounts, these are all personal accounts that allow an AE to have a business name on them, mine is ‘Mme Tracy Thurling, - Burgundy by Request’, the only stipulation is that your CA rests below 30,000€ which is the limit for an AE anyway.

Have discovered that a separate business bank account is not a legal requirement for an Autoentrepreur, so have closed it down and saved myself over 15 Euros per month. Credit Mutuel are useless, but I supect the others are no better.

We’ve got both personal and business accounts with Credit Agricole and I’ve found them to be truly useless when it comes to anything more complicated than a straightforward personal banking. I’m in the process of changing accounts. Also have a savings account with Credit Mutuel, but found only yesterday that I couldn’t withdraw cash from it in Normandy - I had to drive back over the border to Brittany before I could do so.

The major problem with banking at La Poste is that it means you actually have to go into La Poste more often, which is something I try and avoid at all costs! Catharine wrote an excellent blog about it but I can’t find it, maybe someone else can.

Hi there
We have switched from LaPoste as they are in the dark ages to ING Direct, who are really good and don’t charge for a debit card, the only problem is you can’t put cash in the bank as it is all done by post…as if???

Haven’t got my notes with me but from memory,
LCL - minimum of 20€ per month to have the account the 48€ pa for a card, cheques are free.
Soc Gen offer a private account with my company name on it as well for 8€ a month, this includes cheques, card (including insurance) and internet including facility to do national virements. Max CA is 30,000€
Banque Pop, free account but 48€ for card not inclu. insurance which is 25€ extra, internet access is 3€ per month
La Poste is 5€ per month for cheque, card and internet plus 4€ per trimestre although this is free on (promo) till June for AE’s. My husband has an account with La Poste and is possible to do virements to the UK on the internet, which is very handy.
BP want everything under the sun to open an account, Soc Gen very little so on balance will probably go with them. All the above are to run an AE in my name and my company name, Burgundy by Request!
Hope that helps a little!

Try Banque Populaire. Only problem with them that they aren’t nationalized. You have Banque populaire of each region. I bank with Banque Populaire du Massif Central. When there was a problem, I always have good service and my questions promptly answered and politely answered. Good luck.

I use Banque Populaire and their online services are great. I can transfer money and manage my account online. it isn’t like it is in the US but it is good. It also isn’t expensive. Credit Lyonnaise doesn’t make you pay for the online services. I’m thinking about changing for that reason.

I think it has a lot of do with your local branch. I started off with Societé Generale in Ferney-Voltaire where the service was impecible but when we came to the Orléans area, the branch here was really disorganized and inefficient. I quit them and went to Credit Mutuel where the service is very good.

We use Barclays too (Biarritz) and have found them to be excellent and much more “Anglo-Saxon” in their approach to banking than many others including HSBC.

We use the Barclays bank in Toulouse. Been with them for 3 years and the experience has been trouble free although they do charge around 14 euros a month. For that we get a current account, credit cards for myself and my wife and a savings account. They automatically clear the credit card bills at the end of the month and their English version of the online banking pages are mostly in French, don’t know what happened there.

They send letters that have both French and English versions of the content, and you get assigned an English speaking account manager to answer any enquiries and discuss any requirements you may have. Just depends on whether you want a free account or not really, the charges do add up.

We set that up from the UK but can’t remember how now.

Hi everyone. I sent off my Credit Agricole Britline application (with the Mountain of Paperwork) on Tuesday by registered post (Dublin). Got email on Thursday, saying my application had been received. Got further email on Friday, saying it had been approved, and requesting appointment for “telephone interview”. Did that yesterday. Spoke to a very nice English lady who did warn me about fees, etc. She pointed out that the maximum withdrawal per 7 day period is €450 or €2300 pm but you are provided with a cheque book and Eurocard - the annual fee for the Eurocard is €36.50 which is cheaper than my Irish bank. She said contracts would be sent out this week. So, CA Britline: - So far so good. However, having read everyone else’s posts on this Discussion, I might consider opening a “normal” account with one of the other banks when we get there next month.

We too use Credit Mutuel and have all our business with them including mortgage, insurances, and have all our bills paid automatically through this account. As Jacquiline said, it’s free and the people there have been quite nice to deal with.