Bank Accounts

Question

I am retired and am about to move to France to live near my daughter who is already living there. Can I use my daughter's address in France to open a bank account or do I need to wait until I have bought my own house?

Answer

Lots of UK residents have French bank accounts and it is not actually necessary to own a property in France at all. What is required is to show a genuine interest or link with France which justifies having a French bank account. For UK based customers, the French bank will generally open the account with the individual's UK address as the address to be used for correspondence. You need to provide evidence of your UK address such as a Council Tax bill and / or a utility bill. In addition you need to provide evidence of your identity - ideally by supplying a certified copy of your passport.

However, given that your reader is planning to moving to France permanently but has not yet bought a property she should provide the bank with copies of recent plane or ferry tickets showing travel to and from France or a letter from her daughter confirming her mother will be living with her until she buys her own property. In this situation, the bank may be prepared to use the daughter's address as the address entered in their records. Obviously, once your reader has bought a property of her own, she can inform the bank and ask them to update their records to show the new address.

This article first appeared in Issue 233 of French Property News – July 2010

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