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Closing a bank account
by Annik • Wed 30 Jan 2013 15:13
Has anyone got any experience of closing a bank current account in France? When we bought our house 18 years ago we opened an account with Société Generale because the estate agent took us to the nearest bank in Limoges (where we suspect he had an arrangement with a mate!) after signing the comprimis de vente. We kept it as a reserve after we opened an account at another bank with a much nearer local branch a few years later. We had discovered the hard way that we couldn't get as much money out of the cash machine as we required when we were on holiday in the Loire area and needing to pay cash for four people occupying two rooms in nice B&Bs, so we felt it was useful to have two sources of ready money.

For the first time last December we got charged 50€ for non-use of the account. We felt peeved as they had had the use of the money interest free, and were also charging 27€ for a cash card which we weren't using either, and decided that the time had come to close the account. We wrote to Société Generale on 27 December 2012 saying that we wished to close the account and asked them to transfer the balance to our other bank account. Nothing has happened.

Do you have to do something silly like going into the bank branch personally with vast amounts of documentation and your great-grandmother's passport in order to close a current account?

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. (Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read.)" Groucho Marx
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Jun 2007
Re: Closing a bank account
by Creusebear • Wed 30 Jan 2013 20:36
When we did it was because the bank we had first opened an account with closed their local branch. We went to another bank and explained and they said they would take care of closing the other account and transfering the balance etc. Needless to say 6 weeks later the account was still 'live' and nothing had happened. When I queried it with bank 2, they of course blamed bank 1. My concern by this time was a looming edf bill which was now linked to bank 2 (with a nominal amount in the account) as I had assumed the funds would be there (from Bank 1)
Are you still with me? Bank 2's answer? Put more money in the account as it was an offence to be overdrawn. No reference at all to their earlier assurance that all would be sorted within 10 days or a sniff of an apology.
Never assume ...
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May 2007
Re: Closing a bank account
by virtdave • Wed 30 Jan 2013 23:14
We started out with the BNP, since they had a few more offices. We fired them after about ten years, because of repeated and irritating screw-ups--at one point they made a €20000 error (in my favor, actually) which they did not notice for several months. Of course, I didn't withdraw the money, and finally got a worried call from them asking me to check to see if my balance was correct. I told them I was shocked, SHOCKED, that there seemed to be such a windfall, and that of course, they should correct it. But most of their incompetance was less amusing, and I finally switched to Crédit Agricole, which has been lots better in all respects.
When you change banks, be sure that any correspondance you have with them is sent via registered mail with return receipt (accusé de reception). Do not trust any verbal reassurances you may get, be sure everything is documented in writing. Of course, you must notify every company which automatically charges your current account about the new one--the new bank will help you accomplish this, just ask them. Your new bank (again, I do like the Crédit Agricole) will probably help you with any other necessary tinkering.
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Sep 2008
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