Do I need to be a resident in France to open a French bank account?

In France, you can still open a bank account even if you do not live in the country. This article will guide you on how to open a French bank account, including which documents you will need. 

Why is opening a French bank account is useful?

A French bank account is essential if you plan to buy a property or take out a mortgage in France. It’s also useful for everyday living in France if you want to make your purchases in euros, even if you are just on holiday. 

If you are not resident in France it can be more complex, which is why it pays to choose a bank with the right expertise to help you with your banking needs. For example, some banks such as CA Britline offer online banking without the need to make an appointment in person to open your account.

Different types of bank accounts for residents and non-residents

You will often see references to French “residents” and “non-residents”. If a person is resident it means that they live in France, pay French taxes, work or study in France or have a long-stay visa. It’s an important distinction because your Country of fiscal residence may determine the services over and above your standard bank account that you are eligible for such as loans or investments. 
For example, CA Britline can offer a full range of bank accounts, currency services and certain savings accounts to UK residents. However, it cannot offer personal loans or investments to UK residents.

Useful information

Your bank account, whether you are French or UK resident, will function in exactly the same way. So, you can make cash withdrawals, online payments, transfer money and use many other services.

How to open a French bank account

Opening a French bank account with CA Britline is a simple, four step process to check eligibility, provide your supporting documents, complete the documentation online and finally a telephone interview in English. 

To open an account, you must be:

  1. A tax resident in either the UK, Ireland or France 
  2. A current account holder with a Bank registered in the UK or EEA

What documents do you need to open a French bank account?

Banks may vary in terms of the documents they require to open a French bank account. Documentation includes proof of identity, proof of address and proof of tax status for each applicant. Click here to read the list of documentation required by CA Britline. 
Tip: It is useful to have your supporting documents to hand before you start the account opening application process.

Why choose CA Britline?

If you wish to open a French bank account with CA Britline, we’d love to hear from you. 

CA Britline’s application process has not changed post-Brexit and it is still not necessary to have an address in France to open an account with us. Our friendly team of bilingual English-speaking advisors can help you choose the right bank account as well as assist you with your daily banking needs in France. 

Some French banks will no longer provide accounts for UK residents and some may apply additional charges. CA Britline has expert knowledge of the rules and regulations following Brexit for the management of accounts and can help most UK residents with their banking requirements.

We look forward to hearing from you!


First published: 20th December 2023
Image used is provided by Getty Images/iStock.