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Marty asked in TravelFranceOther - France · 10 years ago

Foreign student wants to open a bank account in France. Which bank should I choose?

I am 21 years old and I will probably end up staying in France for the rest of my life once I finish university there. I will be living in Paris.

I've been looking at LCL, Crédit Agricole, Banque Populaire, BNP Paribas and Caisse d'Epargne. Can anyone recommend a good account for a student to open at one of these banks?

However, the bank system in France confuses the hell out of me. I live in Australia and we have like.. 4 major banks, and each are completely separate. Some banks in France seem to be connected and it's really confusing! Especially everything being in all French, I can handle it with most websites that I've been consulting for when I move there but banks are on a whole new level.


@Zafir: I already know all of this, I want to know what account to open once I'm there so I don't have to make 100 decisions in a week.

Update 2:

and I don't need a work visa to work there while I'm on a student visa.

5 Answers

  • David
    Lv 7
    10 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    While I'm not especially knowledgeable about banks - I had a Crédit du Nord account for a while, followed by BNP Paribas, but wouldn't particularly recommend either - if you're 21 and a student, I'm assuming you're probably not loaded with cash. If that's indeed the case, you might consider opening an account with the postal service, "La Banque Postale", because from what I gather it's a little bit like a credit union, i.e. the penalties aren't as severe if you mess up by writing a bad check or overdrafting your account for any reason. Then again... I just checked the Wikipedia blurb, which says "In 2010 the French government's Autorité de la concurrence (the department in charge of regulating competition) fined eleven banks, including La Banque Postale, the sum of 384,900,000 Euros for colluding to charge unjustified fees on check processing, especially for extra fees charged during the transition from paper check transfer to 'Exchanges Check-Image' electronic transfer." So you might want to proceed with caution there after all... Anyway, here's the information if you're interested:

    Wikipedia blurb:

    Banque Postale website:

    Source(s): Born and used to live in Paris.
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  • 4 years ago

    what bank is most convenient to you as to location, atm machines, etc? that would be the best for you. If location is not as important you would do better with a credit union account. Just google your city name and credit union and see what pops up. Many let you join because you are in public school or because of where you live,we have an excellent schools credit union here and since credit unions are owned by the members/depositors you will get better rates all the way around.

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  • 10 years ago

    Opening a French bank account may presents obstacles for those not already established as residents in France. One solution is to open an on line account with a French banking entity.

    Opening an account with one of the above banks is much easier than trying to walk into a bank and perform the same task. For example, you can open an account on line with Boursorama for as little as a 300€ initial deposit.

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  • zafir
    Lv 7
    10 years ago

    To be able to open a French bank account you'll need a Carte de Sejour, and you apply for this once you're in France. So at the moment you cannot open a French bank account. You'll find some useful information on banks and the type of account available to you on this website:

    As an Australian you are not entitled to move permanently to France, unless of course you're entitled to a passport from an EU country. Otherwise, you'll need to return to Australia once your student visa expires.

    You could look for work while your there, but be aware that French employers will need to prove that there are no French or other EU citizens available to fill the position. And, I understand, if you are lucky enough to find permanent work you'll need to be in Australia while your work visa is processed.

    EDIT: I'm aware that you don't need a work visa with a student visa, but your question refers to living in France permanently, presumably one you've finished your study. This is impossible for an Australian citizen unless you first get a work visa - that's slightly less impossible than permanent residency - or you get married to an EU citizen!

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  • 6 years ago

    Natixis, HSBS SA, La Poste, Calyon, Banque Populaire, Credit Mutuel etc are the bank of france from where any foreign student open their bank account in it. More info -

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