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Open a Euro Account

How to open a euro account in UK, France, Spain or Germany.
Advice and links to major Foreign banks their (English) websites, Saves you trawling the internet.

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French Banking
 
French Banking Explained

If you are thinking of buying a house in France you will need to open a French bank account. With this euro account you can easily pay utility bills, local builders and other services in France with a cheque or debit card. Most banks give you access to you accounts via online banking allowing you to easily manage your money. one drawback with French banking is nots normally free, there is usually a monthly charges current accounts, but it depends on what your needs are, it is possible to bank free but you have to pay for your Debit cards


 
Opening a Bank Account

Firstly things you need to take with you to open an account:

1 Passport for identification.
2 Utility bill (EDF, France telecom, etc.) for proof of your address.
3 You may also be ask for a reference from your native bank.

Its fairly easy to open an account in France, but be prepared to have to make a appointment for a later date.


 
French Bank Cards

Debit cards in France are called Cart Bleu and will have the CB symbol on them, credit cards have the MasterCard or Visa symbol. Take Note, Credit cards in France are not used in the same way as we use them in the UK and are more like a debit card with purchases being deducted either immediately or at the end of the month, It not normally possible in France to pay of credit card purchases via a monthly minimum payment. If you hold a joint account a card is issued to the first account holder, If both want a card, you must ask for the second account holders card. French cards are not free and cost for each card is around 35 euros per year for a basic debit card and can be as much as 150 euros if you opt for additional packages, if the card is lost you be charged for a new one. All card payments in France use the chip & pin method,(which is now in full force in the UK.) when purchasing goods or services you will be asked to enter your 4 digit pin number into the card machine.


 
French Bank Cheques

When you pay by cheque in France you will be asked for proof of identity, a valid passport or ID card will do fine. French cheques unlike UK cheques are seen as good as a cash payment, NOTE ! it's illegal to write out a French cheque if you do not have sufficient funds in your account to cover it, going overdrawn by even a small amount is not allowed unless you have arranged an overdraft facility with your bank and could result in you being blacklisted and your account being frozen, Which is a nightmare to sort out.


 
French Banking Direct Debits (prelevement automatique)

In the back of your French cheque book you will find several printed slips called RIB's these have all the relevant information needed to set up regular direct debit payments from your account. Most utility bills offer the option to pay by direct debit and will ask for an RIB slip to set this up.


 
French Banking Titre Interbancaire de Paiement (TIP)

TIP is another form of payment You can use to pay for some regular bills, this authorizes the full payment to be deducted from your account like a cheque. To set this up look for the TIP slip on your utility bill and fill out and return with an RIB slip, when you receive your next bill (facture) all your relevant bank details will be printed on the TIP and you will just have to sign it and return it for the payment to be taken direct from your account.


 
French Banking Translated

  Form Filling
French English
Nom Name
Prenom First Name
Nom de jeune fille Maiden Name
Adresse de correspondance Correspondance Address
Ville Town or City
Pays Country
Nationalite Nationality
Celibataire Single
Marie (e) Married (add for female version)
Veuf (ve) Widowed
Divorcee Divorced
Separe(e) Seperated
Devis Estimate
Factures Invoices
Proprietaire Owner
Locataire Tenant
Maison House
Apartement Flat
Residence princiale Main residence
Residence secondaire Holiday home
Residence locatice Rented property
Travaux Work
Permis de conduire Driving License
Carte grise Vehicle Registration document


  Banking Terms
French English
Compte (courant) Current Account
Titulaire Holder
Releve de compte Bank Statement
Releve d indentite bancaire RIB Bank ID slip for direct debit
Prelevement automatique Direct Debit
Debit Debit
Credit Credit
Virement Transfer
Depôt Deposit
Monnaie Currency
Retirer To withdraw
Deposer To Deposit
Cheque Cheque
Chequier Cheque book
DAB (Distributeur Automatique de billets) ATM (Cash Point)
Solde Balance
Carte bancaire Debit card
Carte de credit /carte bleu Credit card
Code confidential PIN number
Mensualite Monthly payment