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Prohibition on issuing checks

Verified 03 April 2020 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

The bank may prohibit you from issuing checks if you issue one or more unsettled NSF checks (prohibition). The prohibition may also be imposed by the courts as an additional penalty (judicial ban). Banking prohibition lasts for a maximum of 5 years. It causes your registration to bank files but does not prevent you from having a bank account. It can be withdrawn before the 5-year period if you adjust the checks.

The bank may prohibit you from issuing checks if you issue one or more bad checks. In this case, we're talking aboutprohibition..

The prohibition may also be imposed against you by a judge to punish an offense. In this case, we're talking aboutjudicial ban..

Bank ban

The bank ban on issuing checks is imposed when you combine the following 2 situations:

  • You have issued a check without provision. This is the case when cashing the check puts you in a situation of unauthorized overdraft or exceeding discovered

The ban on issuing checks applies to all your personal accounts, even those held in other banks.

You may also be banned if you are a co-owner of a joint account or undivided account on which another co-holder has issued an unsettled NSF check.

To avoid the bank ban, you can designate a single person in case of a bad check. You must do so before any payment incident (at or after account opening).

In this case, the prohibition on issuing checks will apply only to the accounts of the designated person responsible.

Designate a single account holder in the event of a check without provision on a joint or undivided account

Judicial prohibition

The judicial ban on issuing checks is a supplementary penalty by a judge.

It punishes a offense which may be:

  • issuing checks despite the bank's ban on issuing checks,
  • issuing a check, followed by withdrawing the provision from the account, with the intention of harming the beneficiary,
  • check opposition outside valid objections (loss, theft, fraudulent use) with intent to harm the beneficiary,
  • forgery or forgery of checks or credit cards.

It is complementary to a fine or imprisonment.

In the event that it punishes the issue of a check despite a banking ban, it may be complementary to a penalty of (€375,000) a fine or 5 years in prison.

The ban on issuing checks applies to all your personal accounts, even those held in other banks.

The prohibition to issue checks is registered for 5 years in the check master file (FCC).. FCC data are accessible to all banking institutions.

Please note

your account numbers are saved at National Irregular Checks File (FNCI)..

A bank or court ban on issuing checks requires you to return all your checks to your bank.

The prohibition against issuing checks does not mean that you are forbidden from banking. You always benefit from account entitlement..

However, the bank holding your account can:

In the latter case, you can open an account at the following establishments: 

  • any bank that accepts,
  • or that indicated by the Banque de France, following the application of the account entitlement..

This way, you can enjoybasic services (cashing checks and bank transfers, a payment card with bank authorization, deposit and cash withdrawal at the counter).

The banking ban shall be withdrawn if all bad checks have been settled and that the Banque de France has been informed thereof.

Inform your bank about the regularization of NSF checks by mail.

The Banque de France then withdraws the entries in the check master file (FCC) and National Irregular Checks File (FNCI)..

The banking ban is automatically withdrawn after 5 years.


the judicial ban cannot be removed because it is a sentence. It can be contested in appealing of the judgment.

If your bank informs you of your registration at check master file (FCC), when it is not justified, you have a right of correction.. You must first ask the bank for the correction, and if necessary bank mediator and the FCC. You can also file a complaint.

Rectification by the banking agency

To challenge your banking ban, you must first ask your bank agency, at the counter or by mail, to correct its internal databases. You must then ask the FCC to do the same.

Application to the Banking Ombudsman and the FCC

If after 2 working days, the error is not corrected, you can use the bank mediator.. You can also contact the FCC..

If mediation fails

You can lodge a complaint with the National Commission on Informatics and Freedoms (Cnil) to assert your right of correction..

Online complaint to the Cnil

You must attach an FCC statement of less than 1 month.

If you do not have a statement from the FCC or if it is more than 1 month old, you must request it from the branch of the Banque de France nearest to your home. To do this, you can present yourself at the counter with an ID. You can also request it by signed mail, accompanied by a double-sided photocopy of your signed ID.

Request a Statement from the Checks Central File (FCC)

Who shall I contact