How to open a bank account in France?
French authorities continue to help refugees from Ukraine who have been forced to leave the country due to Russia's military aggression.
Ukrainians have the opportunity to open a bank account with a French bank for free. It will be needed to facilitate the integration of refugees into life in the country. With the help of such an account you can easily send money to Ukraine or receive money on the account - for work, services or financial assistance.
Who can open an account
Every citizen of Ukraine can open an account. To do this, you must provide supporting documents.
Documents to be provided:
• application form for opening an account provided by the bank and filled in by you;
• an official identity document with a photograph: a passport of a citizen of Ukraine or a valid ID-card of a citizen of Ukraine. At the same time, Ukrainian citizens who have already received a temporary residence permit in France (APS) for a period of six months will only need to present it, and not a foreign passport or ID card of a citizen of Ukraine. The bank may ask you for other documents: proof of address, proof of your income, etc .;
• letter of request to open an account.
How to open a bank account
To do this, contact the nearest branch of the bank. At the customer service desk, you can request an account opening form, which will allow you to collect dossiers and request an account opening.
How to make an appointment at the bank
You need to choose the desired bank branch and use:
• online form on the bank's website
• the telephone number of the desired branch, which is listed on the website of the Banque de France (National Bank of France). Addresses and telephone numbers of branches on the site.
What is the deadline for opening an account
The average account opening time is 15 days.
If the bank refuses to open an account for you
Every French bank has the right to deny you an account. In this case, the bank must immediately issue you a certificate of refusal to open an account. You should then contact a Banque de France specialist at the telephone numbers listed on the website to use the free account entitlement procedure.
Starting from 13.06.2022, according to Decree № 2022-347 from 11.03.2022 on reforming the procedure for granting the right to account, no response from the bank within 15 days from the request will be considered equivalent to a refusal and will allow the applicant to apply to the Banque de France, even if the bank did not you a certificate of refusal.
How to get the right to an account
To do this, you need to collect a dossier that will contain the following documents:
- Certificate in your name about the refusal to open an account, provided by your bank;
- Completed application form for the right to an account (you can fill in online on the website or get in the branches of the Banque de France);
- Official identity document (for example, a residence permit or a declaration of residence);
- A document confirming the place of residence for the last three months (for example, a certificate of residence, electricity bill or receipt for rent).
Where to get a residence certificate
Confirmation of the address is not required to open an account. The bank has no legal obligation to verify your address before opening an account. If you live in a temporary reception facility run by an association authorized by the state, a personal written statement may be sufficient to confirm your residence.
- Certificates of residence are issued by humanitarian organizations that provide official assistance and are approved by the prefect (lists are available at the mayor's office) and municipal or inter-municipal centers of social activities (CCAS or CIAS);
- Declarations of residence provided to asylum seekers by approved bodies are suitable (example: France Terre d'Asile).
The seized dossier must then be sent to the Banque de France:
- by post to: Banque de France; TSA 50120; 75035 PARIS CEDEX 01
- online on the bank's website;
- in person at the department, pre-registering for an appointment. Addresses and telephone numbers of branches are available on the site.
How long does the account opening procedure take?
The Banque de France must appoint a bank within one working day, which will be obliged to open an account for you. The bank may ask you to provide additional information. If all the data is available, the account will be opened within 3 working days.
Detailed information on the terms of account opening and answers to additional questions about account transactions can be found on the official website of the Banque de France.
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