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looking for info on best French banks

Posted by gillian.crossley-179878 - Created: 17 years ago
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5 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 5)

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Posted by MikeP-180526 - 17 years ago

I've crossed swords with BNP (heavy artillery there) and Societe Generale, and switched to Banque Directe (they are now AXA Bank by the way) about 5 years ago.  My only regret is that I didn't change to them earlier. 

I cannot fault any aspect of their service, nor their pricing which is more favourable than the ripoff 'high street' banks.  I do a lot of international transfers (outbound), some of them to some pretty unusual places,  and have only ever had one minor problem, which turned out to the fault of the intermediary bank,  and was soon rectified.

The minor 'disadvantage' is that if you have large (or even small) wads of cash to pay in (yeah, I know ......) you can't, because they don't have branches.  I believe there is an arrangement with La Poste to accept cash deposits on behalf of Banque Directe.  (I will also accept cash deposits from anyone who may need this service.)




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Posted by Eric318 - 17 years ago

For the average user, you will find that French banks are in general pretty identical and a lot easier to deal with than UK banks. Problems start when you have special needs (international transfers, funny savings accounts, etc...).


The best "normal" bank will probably be the one that has a branch nearest to where you live and with firndly staff.

I found Banque Populaire de la Côte d'Azur (BPCA) excellent.

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Posted by Andrew.Wilk - 17 years ago

Great minds... I am also with CCF (HSBC)... the service is excellent, their carte bleu runs like clockwork, lots of cash machines (well, in Nice)  I have access to my French Euro account 24 hours a day from the UK via the internet, cash transfers are a doddle if you have a UK HSBC account in parallel, and the exchange rate for chunky volumes is a lot closer to the interbank rate than your average offering. I have a "personal account manager" in Nice who I have dropped in to see for advice who is friendly and speaks passable English. They are quite happy operating across frontiers.

  Having crossed swords with a number of banks in other European countries, a lot of them are like the worst of British banks in the early seventies, before they  discovered "marketing, competition and customer service" CCF are a solid good operator, you could do a lot worse...

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Posted by stgeorge-182529 - 17 years ago

I'm also with CCF (HSBC ) , and the service, advice, and general efficiency , even in the affiliated Banks abroad (UK , Spain, Italy, Turkey etc ) is , in my opinion a hard act to beat ! I would not consider changing under any circumstances for these reasons and that they were also one of the first French Banks to realise they would be eventually dealing with foreigners !



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Posted by harvster-181676 - 17 years ago

I would be interested in looking at this too, if you find anything.

I'm currently with CCF - who usefully don't charge me when making cash withdrawls (even at other banks) or abroad. But they do charge for making an automatic transfer, unless you set this up yourself via the website. Overall, compared to my friends who are with other banks, I'm happy with them.

I'm looking into an account with Banque Directe (www.banquedirecte.fr) and also Egg (www.egg.fr) but am having problems opening one because I haven't lived in France for over a year and guess I don't have a credit file.