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French Bank Accounts

Posted by AQ-417490 - Created: 4 years ago
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10 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 10)

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Posted by yorkie2-406437 - 4 years ago

I've been with CMB since 1991 with no problems whatsoever.

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Posted by Jasnil-793008 - 4 years ago

I've tried CA, CMB ad La Poste over the years. All have a variety of charges and aimiability of staff changes as staff turnover is high. Also they are very keen on selling you all sorts of insurance, which I prefer to use an insurance agent for..

Eventually, after 15 years of this, I researched the Internet banks. They all offer similar services - free banking as long as you stay in credit, free debit Mastercard, you can withjdraw cash at any machine. Handle everything via internet with easy to use website.They do standing orders, one off transfers here and abroad, etc. Only issue is you can't pay cash in yet.

I chose IngDirect because they require the lowest monthly income.

6 years and no problems at all. Very easy to use and NO CHARGES!

They offer me a small sum for introducing people who also get a welcome monetry "gift" so do get in touch if you want any more info.

I didn't read every post on this topic, so I apologise if this option has already been suggested.

Good luck!


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Posted by winda1 - 4 years ago

If you do decide to go with credit agricole, €6.50 per month for a mastercard, with no problems i might add, you will receive a monthly magazine called ' dossier familialle', which can be a useful read of all the latest legislations, medical help, family matters. But be aware ......after 1 year they will charge you €36 per year to be sent this, hidden in their annual debit charges taken automatically from your account,  in January.   So if you don't want it, make sure you cancel it before the years up.  We had 3 being delivered  every month unbeknown of these charges to our address with my kids accounts,, thinking it was a freebie, for 12 years....so take heed!!!!!

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Posted by Dibbyspot - 4 years ago

Basically you pay your money and takes your choice. Banks in France are similar to UK - businesses that make money by charging customers.

On the point of exchanging/transferring money all banks deliver poor Forex exchange rates and high fees. Use a specialist that is FCA registered to protect your money and shop around eg: Transferwise, TorFX etc. We used a specialist and it worked well for us - other will have different views experiences etc.

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Posted by LRV24 - 4 years ago

Just to prove that what granny dot says is true, I use my local Banque Populaire and they are great.

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Posted by grannydot-403561 - 4 years ago

Everyone has their own opinion as you see. We have been with CA for 5 yrs in Rostrenen, many of the staff speak English, their sub branch in Guarac have an English, girl working there so perfect English there. I have not noticed any excessive charges on the account except the charge per year for a card, and setting up a direct debit. 

Wouldnt touch bank populaire with a barge pole. They promise the earth, and then say oh no can't do that. Did we say that? Even when you have it on paper from them. 

Every bank in every town varies so, as they say, suck it and see.

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Posted by Older Punk - 4 years ago

The French don't use overdrafts like we do- i.e. almost without thinking.

If you go inadvertantly overdrawn you will get charged for it. I started with having a bank card, which you pay a small fee for, (5/6 euros a month), but got rid of it after I realised that I'd only used it about twice in 5 years.

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Posted by Jet Lag - 4 years ago

Depends on what bank is available to you in your local town. Go in, introduce yourself, ask about their service and charges.

There is nothing quite like having something local. Get to know them, they are wanting your business, but don't expect free banking!

As you can see from the postings above there are people with good and bad experiences with their banks here in France. Probably similar to the UK!! Good luck.

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Posted by No longer Online - 4 years ago

We are with CMB have two debit cards cheque book and pay 7.23 a month. Also use them for our insurance. In our opinion a very good bank.

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Posted by Emu-408495 - 4 years ago

It would help the op if the people who complain about high charges could explain what they are and which banks are involved.  I dont know of any charges at Credit Agricole other than the monthly service fee of 7 euros And a charge per year of 16 euros for a 2nd debit card.