Opening Bank Account

Have long term visa to spend 6 months in our recently purchased home in Charente Maritime. Need to set up internet, TV service, mobile service etc. but to enter into a contract I need a French bank account. Cant get bank account as non resident, catch 22. Any ideas? I have Starling Euro bank account which great for day to day transactions.

Help please

Revolut have recently introduced French local euro accounts - would this help?

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CA Britline is another option if you prefer a more traditional French bank. You do not need to be resident.

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Think Starling do that for me. Need to be able to sign direct debits

The new Revolut French euro accounts do support Direct Débits, previously Revolut Euro accounts did not support DDs, but the French accounts do.

IIRC Starling do not have a French IBAN whereas Revolut now do, but for French residents. I’m not sure that you could obtain a French IBAN from Revolut in your case at this time - you would need to ask them but as a UK resident, likelihood is that you will provided with a GB IBAN by default so no change to what you already have in that respect.

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Thanks all. You all appreciate my situation perfectly. Will explore Britline. My wife had a BNP account back in the 1990s which she never closed, so maybe we could resurrect that, but details sketchy after all that time

We are non-residents and set up a Britline account earlier this year. You get to talk to an English-speaking agent at the bank, but all the paperwork is in French. Britline is a part of the Normandie regional CA group, so your account will be based there, regardless of where you plan to live. We have been told that we can use any branch of CA to pay cheques in etc, although we’ve not actually tested this yet.

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What makes you think you can’t get a Bank Account as a non-resident???

American friends with a holiday home in our village, have an account with the local Credit Agricole for paying bills etc…
and that is surely not an isolated incident.

(as a non-resident there are some savings accounts you can’t have, but the rest is ok)

We got our first French Bank Account with Credit Agricole… the account was simply designated “non-resident”… but worked just like everyone else’s… cheque book and all…

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I’ve never tried but don’t forget that CA is a franchised bank so branches outside Normandie will not be able to offer a full range of services.

Getting cash out from a CA branch in Naples was painless though.

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Just reading various forums Stella, the impression was that it was not allowed or virtually impossible to open an account as a non resident. Will try local CA.

Thanks

There are strong checks going-on to reduce money laundering etc. but there is no reason why an owner of a French property (albeit non-resident) should be refused an ordinary French bank account.

EDIT: you might need a bag of documents covering all sorts… eg identity, proof of UK address, proof of funds, proof/details of French property… that sort of stuff… but nothing insurmountable. Go and talk it over.
Best of luck

You definitely can get an account with CA Britline. We have just opened a joint ‘ou’ account in our CA branch in Lot et Garonne, using Britline. You must make an appointment.

At your appointment you will go into the local CA branch and sit down with the local CA advisor, but they will have an audio line open to the English speaking Britline advisor in Brittany. In effect it is the English speaking advisor who takes you through the whole process.

It took us 2.5 hours to finish, after at least 20 signatures.

You need to take evidence of UK address for each party (Utility bills), marriage certificate, passports, proof of tax status (we took P60’s), driving licences.

Within 3 days we have access to internet banking

Graeme

(You dont need proof of french property, unless you want all mail to go there)
(and we have Starling euro account. Free transfers of euros from Starling to CA)

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So everything but a pint of blood then🤞

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This sort of package of documents will see you through many a situation… it’s all part of the charm of life in a different country. :+1:

I have everything connected to my Starling Euro account for direct debits etc aside from the CPAM for health payments, which was connected to my french CA account and it now with Revolut. Everything else goes via the Starling Euro account so as long as you don’t need a carte vitale you should be able to exist with just that. Whether you want to or would prefer to have a local account to visit branches or get a chequebook is another issue that everyone here will chime in with, but from a procedural perspective the Starling, perhaps with a Revolut, should work.

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I opened our account with CA Britline entirely online…from the UK. We’ve never needed to visit what is technically our branch. Emails are answered in English by return. Phone calls are dealt with by bilingual branch staff. We even have a Yorkshireman as our relationship manager, who is excellent and responsive. He takes us by the hand through the complicated forms needed to open up investments, open additional accounts etc. Thoroughly recommended.

Wow, spoilt for choice now. So it would appear that both Starling and Britline will administer direct debits for me for the likes of internet, mobile etc. Dont need healthcare in the short term.

Thanks for all your advise

Buzz

You would be advised to have some sort of Health Insurance/Repatriation in place, for your visit.

Health is not Free in France… there is nearly always something to be paid and the figures can mount up alarmingly.

Thanks Stella, I already have health insurance to cover the 6 months and the Global Health card.

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