Types of account
Depending on your status and purposes, there are three types of accounts that you can open in France.
- Current account (compte courente): If you hold a residency permit
and a proof of residency and stay in France for more than three months, you can open a current account as a resident with a residency permit. You may need following documents to apply:
- A passport
- A residency permit
- A proof of address (e.g. your telephone bill, electricity/gas bill, rent contract/receipt, etc.) including your name and address.
- Non-resident account (compte non-résident): In the event of not owing a residency permit, you can open a non-resident account instead. In France, the main thing differs non-resident account from current account as a resident is that the bank does not offer the credit bank and overdraft to you.
- Saving account (compte d'épargne): You can opt for a savings account without credit card and overdraft.
Choosing a bank
There are four main banks in France :
Société Générale: www.societegenerale.fr
Crédit Agricole: www.credit-agricole.fr
Caisse d'Epargne: www.caisse-epargne.fr
In France, the advantage of opening an account in main banks is their wildly distributed branches for your convenience of banking.
Post Office (La Poste, www.laposte.fr) is a good option for those who want to do banking everywhere since they even have branches in the countryside, while queuing time may be longer than other banks.
AXA Banque (www.axabanque.fr) or ING Direct (www.ingdirect.fr) is for applicants who only do online banking. Choosing these banks means that you can save money because of less charges of banking services,