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Since June 13, 2022, people who have requested the opening of a bank account and who have not received a response within 15 days of their application can immediately turn to the Banque de France. The latter will automatically designate a bank close to their domicile. This procedure is open to all persons residing in France or in a Member State of the European Union, to any Frenchman residing abroad and also to banned bank applicants, as well as to businesses and associations.
A decree issued on March 13, 2022 in Official Journal simplified the use of the Banque de France for persons who do not have a deposit account and cannot obtain one from the institutions they have applied for. The aim is to change the time limits of the account entitlement procedure and improve its follow-up.
Without a response from the bank contacted within 15 days of its request, a natural person, or a legal person governed by private law (business or association) without an account can seize the Banque de France, providing proof of the companies approach (acknowledgement of receipt of the registered letter sent to the banking institution, receipt of deposit by hand of the request).
This implicit refusal system comes into effect on June 13, 2022. It replaces the certificate of refusal to open an account which the bank concerned was required to produce. It is sometimes difficult, if not impossible, to obtain, whereas it was necessary to seize the Banque de France in order to assert its right to the account.
Within 1 working day of its seizure, the Banque de France shall designate a banking establishment close to the domicile of the applicant or to the place of its choice. Within 3 days of designation, the institution must provide the customer with the documents necessary to open the account.
However, the designated institution is not obliged to open an account, but it must in this case inform the Banque de France of the reason for its refusal. It shall also inform the institution if it subsequently terminates the account management agreement opened under this account entitlement procedure.
The designated bank shall provide the following basic services free of charge:
- opening, maintaining and closing the account;
- issuing bank identity statements on request;
- domicile of bank transfers;
- monthly submission of a statement of transactions carried out on the account;
- the execution of cash operations;
- cashing of checks and bank transfers;
- cash deposits and withdrawals at the bank's counter or at its cash machines;
- payments by direct debit, interbank payment document or bank transfer;
- means of remote consultation of the account balance;
- credit card, each use of which is authorized by the bank;
- 2 bank check forms per month or equivalent means of payment offering the same services.
Established by Article 58 of the Law of 24 January 1984 on the activity and supervision of credit institutions, the right to a bank account is open to any natural or legal person residing in France, to any natural person applying for an account without professional need and residing in a Member State of the European Union, to any French citizen residing abroad. This right is available to applicants who are prohibited from banking, who are registered in the personal credit register or in the central check register, or who are in a situation of over-indebtedness.
FYI : A non-emancipated minor may benefit from the account entitlement procedure if the following conditions are met:
- he is over 16 years of age;
- is employed or receives a scholarship or other income requiring a bank account;
- the application form for entitlement to the account is signed by the legal administrator (father, mother, guardian).