French Banks

Written by on December 8, 2011 in Banks and Banking

French banksTheoretically it is possible to live in France without an account in any of the French banks that will offer a service to resident or non resident foreigners. Indeed, we know a couple who have had a second home in France for 10 years and they have managed without one, by paying all their bills in cash – they don’t have a mortgage though.   However, we would recommend that if you live or have a second home in France a French bank account is not only convenient it’s pretty much a necessity, especially if you have a French mortgage.


French Bank payment limits

Banks in France may limit the amount of money you can withdraw from your account either by cash/cheque/bill payment or all three on a monthly basis and they may not make you aware of the limit that they have set.  You could find that you try to pay for something in a shop only to be told that your card has been declined.  If you know that you have money in the bank and this happens – call your bank and make sure that you haven’t gone over the pre-set limit and ask them to increase it with immediate effect. Avoid any unpleasant surprises by checking with the bank in the first place, ask them about limits on your account and make sure they are sufficient for your purposes.

Useful words and phrases in banking:

English French
Bank Une banque
ATM machine, cash dispenser Distributeur automatique
Money Argent
Currency Monnaie
Currency Exchange Bureau de change
Withdraw (cash) Retirer
Bank statement Relevé de compte
Transfer (cash) Virement
Bill Billet
Amount Montant
Write a cheque Faire un chèque
Cheque book Carnet de chèques
Receipt Un reçu
Bank card Carte bancaire
Coin Pièce de monnaie

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