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I am currently planning to use the EU right to a basic bank account to open an account in France. I speak pretty good French, but as it was learned through living there as a child, and through academic study, I do not fully understand the financial landscape. What information (customer service surveys, services which may not be universal such as online banking...) should I look for to decide upon a bank? I am a non-resident, and if anyone has any experience opening an account that may be helpful, it would be appreciated. I am aware of the posssibility to open an account with an online bank, but I believe this requires a "Releve d'identite bancaire", meaning I'd need to open an account with a brick-and-mortar institution first.

  • I think you need to specify clearer what you are looking for - online banking is probably standard, but Savings accounts? Checking? Credit cards? Debit cards? Phone banking? CDs? What do you need? – Aganju Aug 1 '17 at 12:02
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    Presumably "I am a non-resident" refers to France, but you are resident elsewhere in the EU? (otherwise the right to a basic bank account wouldn't apply). If so, why not open an account where you are resident? – TripeHound Aug 1 '17 at 13:20
  • I am an EU resident looking for a basic bank account (which is only one I am guaranteed access to). The concept doesn't really exist in the states, but it's basically a fee-free checking account. – jacoman891 Aug 2 '17 at 8:19
  • @jacoman891 So why not open a basic bank account in the country where you are resident? – Mike Scott Aug 2 '17 at 10:24
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    @MikeScott he may well be a resident of an EU country that doesn't use the Euro and want a Euro denominated account in a country he has links with i.e grew up in. – MD-Tech Aug 2 '17 at 10:45
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I don't know where you are from, so I cannot compare with your previous country.

Services which may not be universal such as online banking

Online banking is pretty much universal and free today, even with brick-and-mortar. Credits cards exists in France but really aren't as popular as they are in the United States of America, for example. Before, banks had to send you a monthly account statement, by post. While this isn't an obligation anymore, with most banks you can ask for it.

Customer service surveys

I can't think of a bank with a particularly bad reputation. If you are going for a physical establishment, my advice would be to look after the ones close to you, then choose between them. I think the criterias are mostly the same as in others country : costs, customer service...

Opening an account with an online bank

It is possible without already having a RIB, but you will likely need to provide more documents. There isn't any rules here, and if you are interested in an online bank, you will have to get more information through them.

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Service of French banks is terrible. Choose an online bank like Boursorama, Fortuneo or Hello Bank. They are free as long as your annual income is not too low. At least you won't pay for it.

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    As noted in the question, it's difficult to open such an account without already having a regular bank account in France (producing a RIB). I also believe most if not all of them require the holder to reside in France and would presumably reject a proof of income and an address outside France. This answer therefore completely fails to address the question. – Relaxed Aug 2 '17 at 20:07

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