31 March 2009

Opening A Bank Account

Opening a bank account is one of the greatest achievements I've ever done in France. Of course, it wasn't an easy feat. My first attempt in HSBC was a failure. I was being required an Employment Contract of which I can not produce since I am a freelancer.

Societe Generale proved to be more accommodating than the popular international bank. Without a translator to help me, I tried to utter French words that sounded like "I would like to open a bank account..." I knew I sounded stupid, but next thing I know, I was being entertained by Mr. Regis, my conseiller. After a few blank looks, we agreed on an appointment (rendez-vous in French) for next day.

To open a bank account, these are the following requirements:
-passport copy
-Carte de Sejour
-latest EDF copy (some banks require EDF of 3 months)
-Attestation (if the EDF isn't under your name)
-landlord's ID (if the EDF isn't under your name)
-initial deposit

I was so ready to face the infamous French cold treatment but apparently, I didn't get one. Mr. Regis even exerted to speak English just so the alien me can open a bank account. I didn't even have the Recepisse of my Carte de Sejour yet, but he allowed me to have a new account.

TIP: Don't know what to say when expressing your wish to open a bank account? My French book suggests that you say, "Bonjour, je voudrais ouvrir un compte dans votre banque."

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