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Right to bank account: the procedure is simplified

Publié le 13 juin 2022 - Legal and Administrative Information Directorate (Prime Minister)

Crédits : © Pictures news -

Since 13 June 2022, persons who have requested the opening of a bank account and who have not received a reply within 15 days of their request can turn immediately to the Bank of France. The latter will automatically designate a bank close to their home. This procedure is open to all persons residing in France or in a Member State of the European Union, to all French residents of the foreigner and also to prohibited applicants for banking services, as well as to businesses and associations.

A decree issued on March 13, 2022 in Official Journal has simplified the use of the Banque de France for persons without a deposit account who cannot obtain one from the institutions they have requested. The aim is to change the time limits of the account entitlement procedure and improve its monitoring.

Without a reply from the bank contacted within 15 days of its request, a natural person or a legal person under private law (business or association) without an account can approach the Banque de France, providing proof of the company approach (acknowledgement of receipt of the registered letter addressed to the bank, receipt of the deposit in person of the request).

This implicit refusal system comes into force on 13 June 2022. It replaces the certificate of refusal to open an account that the bank concerned had to produce. This is sometimes difficult, if not impossible, to obtain, when it was necessary to seize the Bank of France in order to assert its right to the account.

Within one working day of its seizure, the Banque de France shall designate a bank close to the applicant's domicile or place of choice. Within three days of being appointed, the institution must provide the client with the documents necessary to open the account.

However, the designated institution is not obliged to open an account, but in this case it must inform the Banque de France of the reason for its refusal. He or she must also inform him or her if he or she 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;
  • issue of bank identity documents on request;
  • residency of bank transfers;
  • a monthly statement of transactions made to the account;
  • completion of cash transactions;
  • cashing checks and bank transfers;
  • deposits and withdrawals of cash at the bank's counter or at its cash machines;
  • direct debit, interbank payment or bank transfer;
  • means of remote viewing of the account balance;
  • a credit card that is authorised by the bank for each use;
  • 2 forms of bank checks 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 bank accounts is open to any natural or legal person residing in France, to any natural person requesting an account outside professional need and residing in a Member State of the European Union, to any French person residing in the foreigner. Prohibited bank applicants, registered in the Personal Credit Incident or Central Check File, or in situations of over-indebtedness, may exercise this right.

  FYI : An unenfranchised minor may benefit from the account procedure if:

  • he is over 16 years of age;
  • he or she is engaged in an employed activity or receives a scholarship or other income requiring a bank account;
  • the application form is signed by the legal administrator (father, mother, guardian).


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