Has anyone else had these issues with their French bank(s) ... or is it me?

Ok, this is driving me nuts! I pay cash into my French bank yet a week later the amount still is not showing up on my online account or on the system? I go into the bank personally to find out why and they check their system, agree with me, speak to their branch manager who simply tells them it’s because the person responsible for updating the system is off sick!!! So each time I check my account online it is NEVER completely up to date with credits or debits and I worry that payments may be refused because, although I have made more than sufficient payments into the bank they have not been processed because someone is off sick. On another note the machine for paying into the bank is so regularly out of order and we have to drive another 8km to get to another branch with (hopefully) a working ATM because there are no means for the staff to accept a payment into our account! You couldn’t make it up … a bank that doesn’t wish to accept money?

On top of that, today I tried to withdraw cash from my OTHER French bank account (I only have two by the way - couldn’t cope with any more!) but I was told I had insufficient funds in this account when I clearly have more than enough sitting there. Arrgh!!!

A whole afternoon wasted liaising with banks and for absolutely no sensible reason … or is it me???

Get me outta here - it’s been one of those days!

1 Like

I agree they don’t like handling cash these days and their policies seem to discourage it - although to what extent they make it more difficult than it need be on purpose, I wouldn’t like to speculate! At my bank the cashiers only have access to the safe on 3 half days per week and they have no flexibility, the safe is on an automatic timer and even if they wanted to open it at 10 seconds past twelve, they couldn’t.

However, last time I paid a cheque in, I checked online as soon as I got home, which is a five minute walk away, and it had already been credited to my account.

Elaine… can you tell us which Banks you are using ?

Personally, I have no problems with Credit Agricole… always very helpful and promptly crediting (and debiting) my accounts.

1 Like

Hi Stella,

The bank causing me the ‘update’ problem is Crédit Mutuel de Bretagne and the other bank not allowing me to draw out when the funds were obviously there is Banque Populaire Atlantique. I have to say that the staff are fine and I have no issue with them but it’s just the systems that seem to fail (as well as the ATMs). I find it so hard to understand that because a person is off sick, the systems aren’t updated? Again, is it me… maybe it is ha ha?

Thank you for responding Anna. Maybe I’m just unlucky with our local branch. It happens so often and the staff are fine but I just wonder why the system/equipment seems so inept? I have thought of changing banks many times but cannot face the hassle. Just a bad day at the office ha ha!

Can you not cut down on the cash transactions? Or if it has to be a regular thing, talk to them and make special arrangements? In one of my jobs I was responsible for getting cash out on a Friday and paying takings in on a Monday and we arranged a set time each week for me to arrive, they were expecting me, I toddled along on a Friday with a list of what denominations of notes and coins I needed and I toddled back on a Monday with all the takings bagged up, I saw the same person every week and once we got into a routine it worked like clockwork.

1 Like

Hi Anna, the laughable thing is I rarely make cash deposits, they are very few and far between. This particular one was only 200 euros. Cheques are the same or even worse. The other year, because a cash deposit took so long to show up on my account, my RSI payment was refused by the bank! That caused me no end of problems. I just find it really hard to understand how they can think this is acceptable and especially in a world that is so technically advanced elsewhere. The bank, of course, never, ever apologise.

OK - my bad, from your first post it sounded like it was a regular problem. But I totally understand your frustration. The system at my bank seems to work well as it happens but it does seem very informal - you deposit cheques into a box, and whenever one of the cashiers gets a spare minute they come and take out whatever’s in and start processing them. Since most things are automated they don’t have a lot of clients at the desk and they seem to keep on top of it, they’re almost waiting for the next one to land so they can pounce on it, but I do wonder what would happen if suddenly there was a queue of customers with queries. The cheques would probably pile up and be left to sit there until the next day.

No worries Anna it would seem the branches vary from one to another. I think my main issue is that, seeing as our branch is all automated therefore ALL transactions, deposits of cheques or cash must be fed into the machine (when it is in working order :wink:!). The machine cleverly produces a receipt or even a copy of your cheque so I just naturally assume everything is being processed and therefore visible on the banking system (just as in the UK). However, for some strange reason the intelligence stops there! The deposits (I assume) sit in ‘Limbo’ until someone (human I guess) presses a button or manually uploads the information! I have never experienced anything like it and there are simply no guarantees it will work as you expect it to or how the bank tell you it should. I am at a loss to understand it and so fed up with the time lapses that cause so much unnecessary stress argh!


If I were you… I would be going to another Bank… life is too short for this sort of stupid hassle…


I agree, it does sound as if this branch is particularly laid back. Have a large G&T and move your account. And tell them why!


Ha ha, yes a large G&T would be nice and yes, perhaps I really should think of moving my account. I shall just have to brace myself :wink::disappointed_relieved:. Thank you for the feedback.

1 Like

Elaine… it is now easier than ever to change Banks in France…

1 Like

Classic French approach to banking. Some days it’s hilarious, some days not so much!

1 Like

Thank you Stella, I shall definitely look into it. Again, thank you for your feedback. It really helps​:blush::+1:

1 Like

It’s true James and I do resign myself to the fact THAT is how it is but some days … some days I truly despair ha ha!

1 Like

All banks have their unbelieveable moments. Last time I tried paying cash into a Barclays Bank in the UK I had a bit of a shock. Out of date now probably with fx firms and the like but not so long ago I needed some funds in my UK bank account and had been warned (when trying to pay one in) that a building society cheque would take about a week to clear. In the end I went into my building society and persuaded them to issue me two thousand pounds in cash. As I was reluctant to carry that much on me as I toured the delights of south east Essex I went into my branch of Barclays literally next door to pay the cash into my account to allow me to use my debit card for my purchases. As I was paying in the cash I asked when it would appear in my account. A week on Tuesday, was the reply? Exactly what I had been told for the cheque. I asked why and was told it would take five working days to clear and as the following Monday was a Bank Holiday that meant 10 days. I asked the cashier for my money back and was told that they didn’t like their customers having that much in cash! The manager was called and after a few minutes my cash payment was securely in my Barclays Bank account and I could buy the things on my shopping list using my Debit card.
I don’t think I’ve ever had to pay cash into my French bank but occasionally pay cheques in. I have always been surprised how quickly they appear on my online banking App, once my tax rebate of €8 was showing in my account in the time it had taken me to walk home.

We were finding my wife’s bank (Soc Gen, Villeneuve sur Lot) to be painful. Everytime we arrived to do something we had to set an appointment and return xx days later, get to the appointment only to be asked for document x, set new appointment, turn up with doc x and be asked for doc y etc) We went to local CA agency in Monflanquin and (touch wood ) everything has been simple and painless ever since.
My wife still has the CA Account but only because
a) they would charge to close the account so it’s been left open with 1 cent in it, &,
b) we wanted to make sure that the new account would be up and running smoothly before closing off our only banking facility in France.
I’d strongly recommend setting up your new account and letting it run a little before closing the old.

1 Like

Maybe I’ve been unlucky David but I can honestly say I have never experienced the like in the UK.

Thank you Ray, I shall take that advice on board.