When attempting to open a bank account in any country, the first question one must always ask oneself is: if I was a bank manager, would I give a bank account to a man who has only done his shirt up to his navel?
On the one hand he's confident. He's got something about him. He's going places, a game changer, a man who makes things happen. On the other hand, although he's clearly the kind of guy all men want to be, is he too much of a loose cannon? Will he write cheques his butt can't cash?
I decided to go with the 'shirt done up to below the navel' option, revealing a tantalising glimpse of what I had to offer as a new client – a gamble that I felt sure would pay off with the offer of a huge overdraft and several credit cards, but then Rose said she'd refuse to leave the house with me unless I buttoned up my shirt so I did that instead.
To open a french bank account you need proof of identity (passport/ driving license) and proof of address (utility bills). This can be a problem as often to rent properly (and thus get utility bills in your name) you will be required to have a French bank account. In our case we are in a long term holiday let, so we didn't have any bills. Our landlord wrote us a letter instead, which did the trick.
Opening a French bank account is like opening an English bank account in that they ask you lots of questions you don't understand and you sign a load of papers that you haven't read. After half an hour of watching our bank manager fill in forms on the computer he handed us a wad of print outs and shook our hands so I think we opened an account, but for all I know we might have just signed up to the French foreign legion. It will be interesting to see what arrives in the mail, a bank card or orders to depart to the Sahara for basic training.