Advice Needed

Hey my wife and I are moving to Lyon on a Working Holiday Visa for 12 months and after reading various blogs I'm concerned about the essential practical things like opening a bank account. Has anyone had any experience that was not nightmarish? Or have any recommendations on certain banks that they found easier? I have started an application for a french account with HSBC but i don't know if it's worth me chasing it up while I'm still in Australia as I'm not sure of their presence in Lyon.

Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated. We will be moving to Lyon in January 2018 so would love to meet up with anyone who has time for a coffee.

Opening a bank account in France is frustrating at the best of times (the same applies to stuff like social security, utilities, internet...). Usually they need identity documents + visas (do bring original copies of your birth certificate too; you'll definitely need it at some point in time even if the bank doesn't) and most importantly a fixed address. As long as these arethe required documents are in order it should go well (might take a while though, e.g. 1 week for your bank card to arrive by post, ~2 weeks for e-banking to get activated). Do prepare for these with sufficient cash and credit cards (preferably visa; france rarely takes Amex) for the few transitory weeks.

HSBC does have a few branches in the city centre so if you can get it done in Australia before going it might be a good idea. Be sure to check that it is indeed a French bank account that gives you a French debit card "carte bleue" compatible with the local system. Otherwise, any of the big names (BNP, LCL,...) should give reasonable deals (with fees around 10€ a month) with no significant difference between them.

Good luck! ZK

Thanks for the tips southpaw! Ill be sure to take them on board, especially as i wasn't planning on my birth cert. your advice has made me rethink things. Have a good one!

i've just moved to France ... trying to open a bank account.  Is there an online bank that does not require a cheque signed in your name to open an account.  Also, when I'm in South Africa, how do I operate an online bank account. How do I get the one time pin, which normally comes by cellphone, to make a payment


Hello guys, try BNP Paribas, I went with them in the end and they have a branch dedicated to expat accounts, in Lyon anyway, as for mobile, you need a French one, try Luca mobile prepaid , very easy to set up and can do in English

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