Saturday, 4 July 2015

A visit to the bank

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.


  1. Hi! I stumbled completely by chance onto your blog via the expat blog website. Just wanted to say that reading your posts completely cracked me up. I've been living in France for the past three years, and if you can't find the humor in things, you'll go nuts.

    1. Thanks Julia, I love the French but they are funny.