Selecting a language will automatically trigger the translation of the page content.

Refusal to open bank account: account entitlement

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

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

A bank may refuse to open an account.

If a bank does not respond to your account request within 15 days, this is considered a refusal. The time limit starts from the date of the notification of receipt of your application or the date of its filing by hand or at the counter.

The bank must then provide you with a letter of refusal, stating the reason.

It must also inform you about the possibility of taking action against the Banque de France to benefit from the account.

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

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

  • Residing in France
  • lawfully reside in the territory of another Member State of European Union, but do not act for professional needs
  • Be a French national and reside outside France.

Warning  

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

You can qualify for the account even if you are in one of the following situations:

A bank that has refused to open an account for you may, on your request, send a request for a right 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 complete the application or send it to him by mail.

Who shall I contact

Your folder must include the following documents:

  • Account Application Form
  • Valid French or foreign ID
  • Proof of domicile (e.g. water bill or telephone less than 3 months, rent receipt less than 3 months, title)
  • Letter of refusal from the non-bank, or acknowledgement of receipt of the registered letter or proof of the own-account deposit of the application for opening an account, dated more than 15 days
  • Declaration of honour that you do not have a personal or professional deposit account, and if there is one, the decision to terminate the account agreement
  • Certificate of honour that you are legally residing in the territory of another Member State of the European Union, if you are in this situation.

An approved consumer association, your Caf: titleContent, your department or your municipal or intermunicipal social action centre can also accompany you in your efforts.

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

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

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

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

  • Opening, maintaining and closing
  • Issuance of Bank Identity Statements on Demand
  • Domiciliation of bank transfers
  • Monthly sending of a statement of transactions made on the account
  • Completion of cash transactions
  • Receipt of checks and bank transfers
  • Cash deposits and withdrawals at the bank's ATM or cash machines
  • Payments by direct debit, interbank payment or bank transfer
  • Means of remote viewing of account balance
  • Credit each use of which is authorised by the bank
  • 2 check forms by month or equivalent means of payment offering the same services.

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

The bank designated by the Banque de France may decide alone to close your account. To do so, one of the following conditions must be met:

  • You deliberately used the account to carry out illegal transactions
  • You provided incorrect information
  • You no longer meet the conditions of domicile or residence
  • You opened a 2e deposit account in France that allows you to use basic banking services
  • You have repeatedly shown discourtesy to the staff of the credit institution
  • The bank could not identify you or collect the information necessary to open or operate the account.

In case of termination of the account, the bank must send its decision to you by mail and inform the Bank of France. You have 2 months notice except in the following 2 cases:

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

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