Opening a bank account

Firstly, when opening accounts, banks in France must strictly adhere to French and European anti-money laundering regulations, which are based on European Union directives and FATF recommendations (Financial Action Task Force on money laundering).

Opening a French bank account is a pre-requisite to carrying out everyday transactions (receiving salary, paying rent and bills, shopping, etc.).

To open an individual or joint bank account, you will need to present valid photo identification and proof of address.

As a guide, you may be asked to provide any of the following documents:

  • Photo ID (passport)
  • Residence permit
  • Proof of address: an electricity, gas, water or landline bill, or a declaration that you are being housed free of charge signed by the person providing you with accommodation, together with a copy of one of their bills and their photo ID. Some banks may accept proof of address from the country where you lived previously.
  • Proof of income: pay slip or tax notice
  • Three most recent bank statements
  • Foreign tax identification number

Once the bank you have chosen agrees to open an account in your name, you will need to sign an account agreement specifying its terms and conditions of use and operation.

If a bank rejects your application to open an account, it must provide grounds for its decision.