Looking for a decent bank

Tell me of good experiences relating to good banks with a head office which you can reach and talk

to someone poss in English ....Finance is not everyday English...It is another manguage.

we've been using Britline for the last year and have organised a house purchase, insurance, saving accounts and utilities and they have been fantastique!

We have a personal contact (Mathew) who is actually English and speaks English well lol ( his French and Spanish are pretty good too) and when there have been any issues he has explained and sorted them out.

The only downside is that like all French banks they produce a mountain of documentation on all there products which of course is in what I call 'administrative' French which is difficult to understand and impossible to translate unless you spend hours on GOOGLE translate.

We too are with Banque Populaire (sud ouest) as we are in 64. No problems and one of the office staff speaks very good English. They have been very helpful in filling out tax forms.
Account fee is 8 euros a month.

I am with Barclays. I walk into the branch perhaps every three or four months, my account manager greets me by name. We can chat a moment, as one does. It is usually a payment in in the form of a cheque, it appears in my account in around 48 hours. If I compare that to OH's CA account and the local branch, bearing in mind she is in at least weekly, then it is human banking at Barclays no matter what their behaviour as a big international bank may be. But then aren't all banks more or less playing the same games, so why worry about that. The online service is good.

We tried HSBC for the very same reasons, they were an absolute joke, we moved across the road to Barclays in Bayonne who were excellent until recently when they moved our account to Paris. We are looking at alternatives now, Banque Populaire looks like a possibility.

get a hsbc premier account if you can, the rates I got for inter-account transfers was as good or better than HiFX Moneycorp etc

We opened an account with Credit Agricole, not Britline, at our local branch in Olonzac, Herault. The young Manager speaks good English and is very helpful, as is one of the older (male) assistants - laughs with us (at us) at our inabilty to speak French properly or fill in the various paperwork. One young girl on the desk is quite surly and unhelpful to say the least, but 2 out of 3 ain't bad!!

We were also with the RBS group at home (Isle of Man Bank) but did not need to use them to open an account with CA, just took in our passports, utility bills with home address and we were good to go. A rebate check from the Notaire (yes, we got some fees back!!) went missing for 2 weeks after paying in, but the Manager allowed us to draw on the account until the cheque was eventually found and cleared, at no overdraft cost!

We are well impressed with our branch, I have to say.

I found it impossible to open a Credit Agricole Britline account, as staff at my Royal Bank of Scotland refused to verify passport, utility bill etc., without which CABritline refused to accept application. Thanks to this site, I moved my current account to HSBC on the 5th October - took 45 mins, then phoned their International Banking Centre last Saturday, filled in details over the phone - 30 mins, which were then emailed to me, to take to an appointment, which they arranged, at my local HSBC branch on the 9th October - 15 mins. I now have a french bank account at the Montpellier branch of HSBC. Painless. They also didn't ask me to prove that I had been in France in the past 6 months, which was another bizarre request of CABritline. As I am moving permanently to France in February 2013, a french bank account is a necessity. My worry now is how to have pensions transferred without losing money on both transfer fees and currency exchange - HSBC exchange rate this week has been 1.17Euro to the £. Currency exchangers are quoting 1.24E. Quite a difference. What do others do?

With everything explained in black and white I feel happy to join CA and then say bon Voyage to my cheeky

bank manager.

I have had la poste, banque poulaire, cred ag and soc gen accounts, plus ing savings. They are all rubbish to some degree or another.

La poste are cheap, but if you want to make say a transfer to a german euro account for something you bought on ebay, you cannot do it at the counter, you have to arrange an appointment with a financial advisor. howevere they are very good if you want stamps, or to post a box somewhere.

banque populaire, the service was poor, so i closed my account. I opened it with 100 euros, and I received 12.80 back, after no transactions after they charged me for letters, and transfering the balance to another account.

The Soc gen manager wouldnt authorise a photocopy of my passport for me, he said it wasnt his job, although you can do bank transfers easily.

Cred agg is a bit like a shop, people rushing around without a reception desk, I always feel a bit lost there!

believe me it is really easy if you have a uk bank account just give them a call

Thanks all... I'm not in Britian so it may be difficult to open this account. Argh... nothing is easy.

Go CA...ra ra ra

Not impressed with CA either for personal or business accounts.
Banque Populaire have been helpful, even came to the house to get the account set up and in Limousin have a guy who deals with English-speaking customers and will attend meetings with account manager if we want.

Hi Al,l Just spoken to Rhona Booth, who confirms that the English speaking Service is available in Languedoc

We are as I mentioned before, most pleased with the rates, charges and excellent service offer by Rhona and her department. Nothing is too much trouble, and they are always happy to discuss en Anglais options....


Crédit Agricole du LANGUEDOC
CA KeyFinance / CA Direct
408 chemin du Mas de Cheylon
30935 Nimes cedex 9


tel 00 33 (0) 466 703 096
fax 00 33 (0) 466 703 071

Caisse Régionale de Crédit Agricole Mutuel du Languedoc, société coopérative
à capital variable, agréée en tant qu'établissement de crédit
et immatriculée sous le n° 492.826.417 au R.C.S. de Montpellier
Société de Courtage d'assurances N° ORIAS 07 025 828. Siège social : Avenue de Montpelliéret
à Maurin, 34977-LATTES CEDEX.
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yes we opened our britline account from the uk and still run via the internet when not in france

Chris, Credit Agricole "Britline" used to offer this facility. I did it before we left for France, so our account was up and running, with Carte Bleu when we got here. I think it is still available as an option, but be warned - there is a lot of paperwork involved! http://www.britline.com/

Would anyone know if it were possible to open an account from overseas and by mail?

Hi, please change your profile to use your real name before posting again.



Mr Oelschlager at Credit Agricole in Antrain is our guy. It never occurred to me to look for a less expensive bank, we are very happy with the service they provide