What documents to open a bank account?

In France, to open a bank account, you must meet certain conditions and provide documents. In addition to proof of identity and address, the bank may ask you for other papers such as proof of income. Is it mandatory to provide documents to open an account? And can you be denied this right? Find out about possible remedies. We take stock together.

Conditions for opening a bank account

To be able to open a bank account in France, you must meet the following conditions:

  • reside in France;
  • have legal capacity, i.e. be of legal age (or anticipated minor), not be under guardianship or curatorship;
  • not be prohibited from banking, although people registered with the Banque de France can however access the right to an account service.

To know : minors as well as persons under guardianship or curatorship can open a bank account, provided they obtain the agreement of their legal guardians.

Do I have to provide documents to open a bank account?

Whether you choose to open an account in a traditional bank or online, you must provide supporting documents.

The basic documents to be provided are essential for the validation of your account and the delivery of the means of payment (credit card, checkbook). Traditionally, banking establishments require:

  • a copy of a valid identity document, front and back. This can be the national identity card, passport or residence permit;
  • a copy of proof of address less than three months old (water or electricity bill, property or housing tax, last tax notice, etc.);
  • your signature to be affixed on free paper. It must match the one on your ID.
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With regard to the persons accommodated, they must provide proof of residence from their host as well as a certificate of accommodation.

To know : if you want to open a joint account, you and your partner must each provide a copy of the documents requested.

Additional documents that a bank may request

Online banks are on the rise. This phenomenon is partly explained by their ease of opening an account. However, neobanks, like traditional banks, often ask for additional supporting documents.

So, provide proof of income (latest pay slips, retirement pension, etc.) and a bank details in your name.

Note that these documents are not legally required. However, they allow you to take advantage of advantages and services. The banks set their own rules!

On the other hand, apart from the documents to be presented, the opening of a bank account generally requires the deposit of a sum of money. In traditional banks, the initial payment is counted in ten euros. On the other hand, to open an online account, you will have to pay between 150 and 300 euros depending on the neobank.

Finally, be aware that a bank will carry out research on your banking history, in particular by questioning the following two files:

  • the central check file (FCC) to ensure that you are not banned from banking;
  • the personal loan repayment incident file to check that you are not in a situation of over-indebtedness.

This research can thus lead a bank to refuse the opening of an account without having to justify its decision. And this, even if you have provided all the requested documents.

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What documents to open an account when you are a student or minor?

To open an account for a minor, you must also provide the family record book in addition to the usual documents.

As far as emancipated minors are concerned, they must send a copy of the judgment order and of the guardianship judge.

As for students, the bank will ask them for a copy of their school certificate or their student card.

What documents to open a business account?

In the case of opening a current account for your business, you will need to provide the following supporting documents:

  • a valid identity document;
  • proof of address of the head office;
  • a bank details of your current business account;
  • your last tax notice;
  • the SIREN/SIRET number of your company;
  • the declaration of the start of activity if you are a micro-entrepreneur (formerly auto-entrepreneur).

And the bank will also ask you for your signature to be affixed on plain paper with your surname and first name as well as your date of birth.

The papers to be provided to open an account as a banking ban

Have you had recourse to the Banque de France to assert your right to an account, after having been refused a request to open it with a bank?

For the opening of an account to be effective, you must provide supporting documents:

  • the certificate of refusal to open an account issued by the bank;
  • the right to an account form, to be collected from the Banque de France;
  • a valid identity document;
  • proof of address less than three months old;
  • proof of professional activity of less than three months if you are a company.
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Read also: Can you open an account while being banned from banking?

What to do if the bank refuses to open an account?

According to French law, any person domiciled in France, whatever their nationality, has the right to an account. Thus, any adult natural person has the right to have an account, including those who are prohibited from banking.

If a bank refuses, you can contact the Banque de France. The establishment will then be responsible for designating an establishment for you. The latter will then be obliged to open a current account for you and provide you with basic banking services.

To assert your rights, you will need to provide documents to the Banque de France, namely:

  • a valid identity document;
  • proof of address less than three months old;
  • a sworn statement certifying that you do not have a bank account in your name;
  • the account right application form duly completed and signed.

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