Refusal to open a bank account: account entitlement

Verified 10 June 2022 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

A bank may refuse to open a bank account with you. In this case, you can enter the Banque de France in order to benefit from the procedure of the right to the account. The Banque de France then designates a bank, close to your home or the place of your choice, which must open an account with basic banking services.

A bank may refuse you to open an account.

If a bank does not respond to your account opening request within 15 daysHowever, this is considered a refusal. The deadline starts from the date of the notice of receipt of your request or its date of submission by hand or at the counter.

The bank must then provide you with a rejection letter with the reason.

She must also inform you about the possibility to contact the Banque de France to benefit from the procedure of account entitlement.

The Banque de France then designates a bank that must open an account for you and give you access to basic banking services.

To qualify for the account entitlement procedure, you must meet one of the following criteria:

  • Reside in France
  • Reside legally in the territory of another Member State of the European Unionbut not for professional purposes
  • Be of French nationality and reside outside France.


if you already have a deposit account in France, you cannot benefit from the right to the account.

You may be entitled to the account even if you are in one of the following situations:

The bank that has refused to open an account with you may, on your request, send a request for entitlement to the account to the Banque de France.

You can also go directly to the counter of a branch of the Banque de France to fill in the application or send it by mail.

Who shall I contact

Your file should contain the following documents:

  • Account Entitlement Request Form
  • Valid French or foreign ID
  • Proof of residence (e.g. water bill or telephone under 3 months, rent receipt under 3 months, title to property)
  • Letter of refusal from the bank approached, or acknowledgement of receipt of the registered letter or proof of the deposit of the account opening request, more than 15 days old
  • Honor declaration that you do not have a personal or professional deposit account, and if there is one, the decision to terminate the account agreement
  • Honor certificate that you are legally resident in the territory of another EU Member State, if you are in this situation.

An authorized consumer association, your Caf: titleContent, your department or your communal or intercommunal social action center can also assist you in your efforts.

Within 1 working day from the receipt of the documents, the Banque de France shall designate by post the bank responsible for opening the account.

The designated bank must send you by mail a list of the documents needed to open the account and the contact details of the bank agency to which you should address. This information must be sent to you within 3 working days of the bank's designation.

The bank concerned must open the account within 3 working days of receipt of the necessary documents.

The account agreement associated with openness is limited to the following basic banking services:

  • Opening, maintenance and closing of the account
  • On-demand issuance of bank identity statements
  • Domiciliation of bank transfers
  • Monthly submission of a statement of account transactions
  • Execution of cash transactions
  • Cashing checks and bank transfers
  • Deposits and withdrawals of cash 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 check forms of banks per month or equivalent means of payment offering the same services.

Opening a bank account under the right to account and the use of basic banking services is free.

The bank designated by the Banque de France can decide on its own to close your account. To do this, one of the following conditions must be met:

  • You deliberately used the account to carry out illegal transactions
  • You provided inaccurate information
  • You no longer meet the residency or residence requirements
  • You opened a 2e a deposit account in France that allows you to use basic banking services
  • You have repeatedly been rude to the staff of the credit institution
  • The bank was unable to identify you or collect the information needed to open or operate the account.

In case of termination of the account, the bank must send you its reasoned decision by post and inform the Banque de France. You have a period of 2 months notice except in the following 2 cases:

  • You deliberately used the account to carry out illegal transactions
  • You provided inaccurate information

The bank must also inform you of the existence, within the Banque de France, of a customer relations service to handle any disputes related to this termination. You can enter this service as many times as necessary.