What Non-Residents Should Expect from a French Bank Account
As a foreigner living in France your money management will be a lot easier if you have a French bank account. You can choose from a wide range of banking services including international banks operating in France. As France is a member of the EU it is possible to transfer funds between France and other EU countries without paying international transfer fees (where SEPA applies).
You will find that banking in France is more regionalized than in other countries like the UK. This means that services and fees vary from bank to bank and region to region. If you are not in one of the major cities then confirm your charges and fees as these can vary by region. Banking hours also vary according to their location; some rural bank branches close for lunch other banks in larger cities open on Saturday mornings.
Foreigners will also notice that French banks do not provide consultation and financial advisory services as in many other countries. The charging structures in French banks are also different to what you may be used to. French banks may offer “free” basic accounts but these often come with restrictions like a minimum deposit, charges for bank cards etc. Monthly “handling fees” are usually low in France unless your account is left inactive for an extended period. Many French banks have strict policies on dormant accounts.