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Frequently Asked Questions


General Banking

I have an account with a local Credit Agricole branch; can CA Britline help me with my account?

The banking system in France can be regionalised. A local branch can only see the accounts within their region, for example a branch in Brittany cannot access an account held by a branch in Normandy. CA Britline can only access accounts held with CA Britline and accounts held in branches within Lower Normandy. If you are not a customer of CA Britline, then you will need to contact your local branch directly.

What are the options when sending official documents to you?

You can send documents to us by post, fax or as a scanned document attached to an email. All new account contracts must be sent by post because an original signature is required.

I am having problems accessing my online account

Crédit Agricole pays particular attention to the security of your internet banking. We are aware that many of our customers do use “Google Translate” to make the site easier to use. This may restrict some of the things that you can do and see. We would suggest you turn off the “Google translate”, as this may well solve the problem.

I have moved house and need to let you know – what do I do?

You need to send a signed confirmation of your new address. These documents can be forwarded to us by post, fax or as a scanned email attachment. Click here to "change of address" form.

NB: If you were a French property owner on the 1st January you will be responsible for paying the taxe d’habitation bill for that year, even if you have sold your property part way through the year.

Therefore, if you have a direct debit in place for the Trésor Public to pay this bill, it is important that you do not cancel it as soon as your property has been sold.

Unpaid taxes can result in an ‘Avis à Tiers Detenteur’ – this is where the Trésor contact the bank and request that funds on your account are blocked in order to settle the bill. You will also incur bank charges if this happens.

What is a RIB (Relevé d’Identité Bancaire)?

This is a Bank slip that contains all the information needed to set up direct debits (bank code, branch code, account number, clé RIB). If you are working in France, your employer will need your RIB information in order to pay you. It also contains the IBAN and SWIFT/BIC numbers necessary for making International Transfers to the account.

Understand the French message on my statement

The message in French which has the title 'Vos conditions de depassement d'authorisation de decouvert ou de solde de compte' is translated as follows:
Terms and conditions related to exceeding your authorised overdraft limit or negative balance without an authorised overdraft limit.
Mr/Mrs/Miss XXXX, the rate of debit interest applied to your account is XX%. The benchmark index used when calculating the rate of debit interest is that published by the Bank of France : the upper limit rate permitted for overdrafts < 3000€ is xx% as of XX.XX.XXXX.
The message that appears each month on your statement is for information purposes and therefore may not be applicable to you at this specific moment in time. It indicates the rate of debit interest that will be applied to your account should you become overdrawn or exceed your authorised overdraft limit.

Means of Payment

How do I pay my bills in France?

By direct debit/prélèvement (with a RIB). You should request an ‘Autorisation de Prélèvement’ form from the service provider. A TIP is another way to pay your bills. Similar to the UK Giro system, you have a tear off slip with each bill to sign/date and return to the service provider with your bank details (RIB), to enable them to debit your account. You may also send a cheque in Euros drawn on your French bank account. Some companies accept payment of bills in cash at the Post Office – check with the service provider.

My card is lost / stolen – what should I do?

You may only put a stop on your card in the case of loss or theft. In the first instance, call CA Britline within office hours on our normal contact numbers. Out of hours call 0969399291, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. From abroad, call +33 969399291. Please call CA Britline the next available working day to reorder a replacement card.

I recently issued a post dated cheque to pay my builder for completion of some work whilst awaiting the arrival of a money transfer to my French account. He decided to bank the cheque before the due date which was presented to my account causing me to go seriously overdrawn. How can this happen?

Banking rules state that you cannot issue a post-dated cheque in France. If you have done so, the beneficiary has no obligation to wait for the date before paying it into their account. You should also be aware that it is illegal to issue a cheque if you do not have sufficient funds in your account on that day to cover it.

Going into an unauthorised overdraft is one thing, but the situation can be much worse if the bank subsequently rejects the cheque payment for the reason ‘sans provision’ (insufficient funds).

This cheque rejection will be registered with the Banque de France and you will become what is known as Interdit Bancaire, which affects all signatories on the account – not only the person who has signed the cheque. In order to regularise the situation, you will need to provide proof that the ‘debt’ has been paid. If you find yourself in this position, you will receive associated paperwork in the post. Please call us immediately so we can advise what you need to do.

My card is due to expire at the end of the month - what do i need to do?

Nothing... No need to call... your new card will be sent to you and can be activated by using your PIN code when you :

  • make a withdrawal from a cash machine in France or abroad,
  • make a payment using a payment terminal (shop, restaurant etc) in France.
Please note that you can only use the card for internet payments after activation.

Can I change the pin number on my debit card?

No, it is not possible to change the pin code on a French debit card.

What happens if I use the incorrect pin number with my debit card?

If you use the incorrect pin code your card will be temporarily blocked. To remove the block it is necessary to make a cash withdrawal from a Credit Agricole machine using the correct pin code. You can call Britline to reissue your code if needed. Alternatively you can go to any Credit Agricole branch and ask them to de-block (“débloquer”) your card. To find your nearest agency go on the Credit Agricole website and enter the village, town or city.

Insurance

I want to change my insurance to Britline but my existing insurer says I cannot cancel my policy – what do I do?

French law gives you two opportunities to cancel your policy. You must either send written confirmation (by recorded delivery) to your insurer at least 2 months before the renewal date, or within 20 days of receipt of your renewal notice. (You must keep the envelope with the post marked date on it.) This is in compliance with the law called Loi Chatel. The Britline insurance team will be able to deal with the cancellation of your existing policies to make changing to us as simple and hassle-free as possible.

NEW: For House and Contents and Car insurance policies, a new law (Loi Hamon), allows any customer to cancel their insurance policy at any time after the first year of subscription by giving just one month’s notice. Please note the cancellation will be done by Britline in order to guarantee continuity of insurance for you. Ask your advisor for more details.

Account Management

How do I credit funds to my French account?

With many of our customers based in the UK and needing to send money to their CA Britline accounts from their local bank accounts, we have now introduced a new dedicated service exclusively for our customers: The Britline International Payments Service. To find out about this service and the other options available to you click here for more information.

How do I transfer funds from my French account back to the UK?

You need to provide us with a signed instruction, confirming the amount you wish to transfer and the IBAN and SWIFT numbers of the beneficiary account. Your instruction can be sent by post, fax or as a scanned email attachment. Click here to download "International transfer" form.

I have recently received a text message in French which I do not understand, can you please explain it?

There are various text messages that may be sent to your mobile phone, however if you received one of the below messages the issue needs to be addressed immediately:

Text Message: CREDIT AGRICOLE *Le XX/XX votre solde est débiteur de X€*. La provision est insuffisante, merci de provisionner votre compte.
This message informs you that your account is overdrawn and asks that the neccessary arrangements be made to bring the account back in to credit.

Text Message: CREDIT AGRICOLE " Le XX/XX, solde débiteur de X€, pour éviter des rejets pour défaut de provision contactez votre agence.
This message informs you that your account is overdrawn and there are operations that can be rejected so you therefore need to contact your branch. Should you receive either of these messages you may wish to take advantage of the Britline International Payments Service. Transfer quickly and easily your £'s in to €'s and credit your account.

I have set up an online beneficiary via my French online banking. Can I immediately transfer funds to the beneficiary's account?

Please note that unless the SWIFT/BIC code is identical to your own, there is an obligatory 48 hour delay between the time of setting up the beneficiary and being able to make the first transfer. The 48 hour delay starts from midnight of the day the beneficiary has been added.

Fee Related

Why have I received this statement of banking fees?

The main purpose of this statement is to give you a complete overview of the products and services used at your bank and the related fees.

The statement only takes into account the transactions relating to your everyday banking needs: means of payment, use of overdraft facility, on-line banking fees, etc. It doesn’t show for example, interest payments on a mortgage, personal loan, or share holding fees.

The statement is an overview of the transactions and products subscribed during the previous calendar year. The corresponding fees have already been debited from your account and were shown in your statements during the previous year.

The statement is free of charge. To conform to regulations it will be sent to you every year, together with your bank statement for January.

Unlike your bank statements there is no obligation to keep this fee statement.

Where do I find the principal banking fees?

The principal banking fees are sent to you each time there is an update. It is also available on this website.

What is the commission d’intervention?

This is a handling fee for presentation of a payment when funds are not available on the account.

What is an Avis à Tiers Détenteur?

An ATD is a legal document which is officially served to the Bank by the Trésor Public and usually relates to unpaid taxes (i.e. fonciere, habitation or income) or utility bills (eg. Edf, water). The ATD instructs the Bank to debit the named account holder with the full sum of money owed.

The bank is legally obliged to act immediately, failure to do so could mean that the bank would have legal action taken against it. The ATD instructs the bank to place the funds onto a special side account where it must stay for a period of 2 months. These funds can only be recredited to the customers account on the specific instruction (called a mainlevee) which must be provided in writing from the Tresor Public.

Where the customer has resolved the issue by paying the Tresor Public directly, the Tresor Public will issue the bank with a mainlevee and the bank is allowed to recredit the customer’s account. In the absence of a mainlevee and at the end of the two month period the bank is legally obliged to send the funds directly to the Tresor Public. The bank’s costs for dealing with the ATD are payable by the customer.

Tailor your account

What is the Compte à Composer account service package?

The Compte à Composer is a base of essential services with modules to select from according to your needs and circumstances.

With the Compte à Composer, you choose the services that correspond best to your day-to-day needs and you benefit from reductions depending on your choice of module.

The Compte à Composer is an offer that is tailored to your needs and can adapt to unexpected obstacles that life can put in your way, as well as to your changing needs. The Compte à Composer is built from a base plus different modules selected according to your needs, plus “à la Carte” options. The more services you include, the greater your reduction in fees will be (in %). For further details click here.

What is the Bonus Gold?

The holders of a Gold MasterCard from CA Britline benefit from a reduction in price, the amount of which increases with each payment and withdrawal from a Crédit Agricole ATM using this card. The reduction in price is applied to the following year’s annual card charge. Click here for more information

Savings

How should I declare interest that you have paid to me?

Interest to non residents is paid in gross. In most cases, this is paid on the 31st December each year, or upon maturity of a term deposit. The amount should be declared in your country of fiscal residence (you may need to request a specific form from your home country to do this).

For fiscal residents in France only. Interest earned on savings is subject to income tax on a progressive scale and since the 01/08/2013 an advanced payment of income tax will be deducted at the rate of 24%, this is deducted by the bank; this payment will not be "libératoire": Depending on your tax bracket, the tax office will either reimburse any overpayments of tax on this interest or you will be advised of an additional payment that is necessary to complement the sum already paid. If your fiscal residence receives an annual sum of interest inferior to 25 000€ for a single person or 50 000€ for a couple, you can "opt", on your tax return, for the payment of a fixed percentage. Good to know: If the total of all interest received from all your eligible savings accounts and from all your banks, is lower than 2000€, you can "opt" on your tax return, to pay a fixed rate of tax at 24%. This is obviously only worth doing if your tax bracket is higher than 24%.

My Britline

DOWNLOADS

I can't find the app to download

Please click on one of the below logos depending on the make of your smartphone or tablet
My Britline App Store My Britline App Google

I had set up My Britline successfully. Now when I log in I get an error message saying the app cannot be found.

Please uninstall and reinstall the app and check that you are using the latest version; Android 1.4. (This will be shown in parameters/applications/my britline and next to the logo the version 1.4).
HOW IT'S DISPLAYED

How to understand the "monthly balance calculation"

The figure shows you the total amount of credits and debits to your account for the current month. If your credits to the account during the month exceed your expenditure this figure will be positive. Alternatively, if expenditure exceeds your credits this figure will be negative.

How can I use this to my advantage?
If the trend continues to be a negative balance this is the opportunity for you to review your regular top ups on the account.
With many of our customers based in the UK and needing to send money to their CA Britline accounts from their local bank accounts, we have now introduced a new dedicated service exclusively for our customers: The Britline International Payments Service. More Info
If the trend continues to be a positive balance this is the opportunity for you to look at and discuss the savings options available to you. For more information click here or contact us to discuss further.

The transactions I see on the screen are showing the oldest first therefore I have to keep scrolling down to the bottom of the page.

This problem affects i-phones and i-pads only and has been identified. For the next update of the app this will be corrected.

OTHER

A new beneficiary has been added to my account by the team at CA Britline. It automatically appears on my online banking, but I cannot see it on the My Britline app.

Beneficiaries applied to your current account by CA Britline for transfer of funds will not appear on the app immediately. It will take 24 hours. However, you can see them and transfer funds to them via your online banking with immediate effect.