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Opening a bank account in France is a crucial part of obtaining your French mortgage. The point at which you have to do this is normally three or four weeks after you’ve started the French mortgage application process.

Whether you plan to live in France or have a second home here it will all be easier if you have a French bank account.


The process for opening a bank account in France is very quick and simple. Firstly you need to fill in and sign the appropriate forms. They will be in French but we provide English translations of them so that a comparison can be made.

In addition to a scanned and completed form, there are also a number of other documents required in order to open a bank account in France:

  • Signed application form
  • Copy of valid Passport
  • Marriage certificate (copy)
  • Recent Utility Bill (copy) – less than 3 months old
  • Proof of income (Tax document, accountants letter or last two payslips)
  • The reservation contract/title of the property in France

Once these items have been provided normally we just need 48 hours to open an account.


  • If you wish to open a joint bank account you have the option of the account being held as M. et MME. SMITH or M. ou MME. SMITH.
  • In the former case both partners must sign and in the event of one partner dying the account is frozen until the ‘Will/Testament’ has been proven.
  • If you wish to have a joint account where either partner can sign and draw on the account then you must have the second option.


  • French bank opening hours are quite variable, depending on the location, size of branch etc.
  • In general, they are open from 09:00 to 17:00 Mondays to Fridays.
  • Some banks will open on Saturday’s mornings and late on certain evenings though this is more likely in larger towns.
  • Lunchtime closing is the norm in smaller towns.