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 Post subject: Change of bank, but to which one?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 3:46 pm 
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We've been with Crédit Agricole since 1989, but the ****s are messing with us, again! It seems nothing we do pleases them. There's a long history of buggering-up both pro and personal transactions, unauthorised debits (we were paying another customer's mortgage at one time...), lost business cheques etc., but the recent balls-up of our VAT payment and transfer of investment funds has proved to be the final straw.

In the past I've hesitated, given stories I've heard of other banks - our children use 4 different banks, none of which sound any better.

Is there any bank out there which treats its customers well? Or does it just depend on the branch?

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 Post subject: Re: Change of bank, but to which one?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:58 pm 
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MAD87 wrote:
We've been with Crédit Agricole since 1989, but the ****s are messing with us, again! It seems nothing we do pleases them. There's a long history of buggering-up both pro and personal transactions, unauthorised debits (we were paying another customer's mortgage at one time...), lost business cheques etc., but the recent balls-up of our VAT payment and transfer of investment funds has proved to be the final straw.

In the past I've hesitated, given stories I've heard of other banks - our children use 4 different banks, none of which sound any better.

Is there any bank out there which treats its customers well? Or does it just depend on the branch?


In our experience its the branch.but we are just about to find out as on Thursday we are changing our C.A. branch from the Lot which has been great-- to here.

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 Post subject: Re: Change of bank, but to which one?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:08 pm 
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We've been with Cred Ag in Saumur since about 1988 and never had any problems. We've seen countless managers come and go but haven't as yet ever had a hiccup. We could jut have been fortunate with the branch, though even that oscillated between the town centre and the branch "entre les ponts".

I think banks are like any other organisation in France - you just never know whether you're going to get good service or not.


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 Post subject: Re: Change of bank, but to which one?
PostPosted: Tue Aug 01, 2017 8:15 pm 
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We changed from CA many years ago after being lied to and swindled once too often. Ever since have been with Banque Postale and have had no major problems.

They are open 5 and a half days a week at the branches and our tiny commune has an Agence attached to the Mairie. This is open every morning Monday to Saturday and the lady in there does everything for us including filling in forms. :o :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Change of bank, but to which one?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:22 am 
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Blaze wrote:

I think banks are like any other organisation in France - you just never know whether you're going to get good service or not.


That's the major problem in changing banks - frying pan to fire?

Spardo, one of our sons is with BP and claims there's no problem too, but we need business and personal accounts, both current and deposit.

I need a business-friendly and reactive bank, not a bunch of sloths. Maybe it'd be better to send a rocket to the head office.

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 Post subject: Re: Change of bank, but to which one?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 8:25 am 
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We use CA in Argentat and they have always been fine with us. From what I have seen it definitely depends on which branch you use.


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 Post subject: Re: Change of bank, but to which one?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 11:21 am 
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So it would seem, wilbro.

A little trawl of some forums this morning got me this:
"...je suis en ce moment chez société générale /caisse d'épargne/Banque Postale/BNP Paribas/Crédit Agricole, etc.,et je voudrais changer de banque.

...Vous rechercher une banque au top ? Je peut vous dire que cela n existe pas... " :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Change of bank, but to which one?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 1:02 pm 
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Just a thought MAD, given that some have said their regional CA (or their branch of CA) is OK, could you stay with CA but change region/branch? At least you might have some sort of recommendation.

I am also a satisfied CA customer, but then the Alsace is driven by German "efficiency" given the proximity and the number of German customers.

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 Post subject: Re: Change of bank, but to which one?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 4:20 pm 
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thelastoneout wrote:
Just a thought MAD, given that some have said their regional CA (or their branch of CA) is OK, could you stay with CA but change region/branch? At least you might have some sort of recommendation.

I am also a satisfied CA customer, but then the Alsace is driven by German "efficiency" given the proximity and the number of German customers.

I suspect changing region is out. Changing branch? Our last branch was in Châlus, equally clueless dolts....short of shooting the branch manager, I doubt there's little we can do with CA. Still, I shall send an "outraged customer" letter to the regional director and see what happens.

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 Post subject: Re: Change of bank, but to which one?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 5:56 pm 
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We've been with Banque Populaire since 2003 and changed branch three times. First time because of change of address, second because the oik at Thiviers was a right PITA. Now with St Yrieix. They still have a few glitches, and we know Banque Pop. are supposed to be the highest chargers. Agents seem to change quite regularly. We get a really nice female agent, then she leaves on maternity and doesn't come back.

We seem to have them under control now, and their services are improving all the time, working well for business and personal account with broad online control of various accounts for all the family, including a credit card account. Modern and flexible.

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 Post subject: Re: Change of bank, but to which one?
PostPosted: Wed Aug 02, 2017 6:40 pm 
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I have been with SG since I moved here - including a business account - and have never had any major issues. They seem to swap staff around regularly, it's their policy. Trouble is they seem to get younger and younger :-?

They seem to want to keep lending me money, at a very good rate. So I'm a fan.


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 Post subject: Re: Change of bank, but to which one?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:48 pm 
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Location: Basel and Suffolk
For those who have not yet reveived it, banks are doing lots of audits of customers as part of G20 "anti-money laundering" agreement (only applies to plebs, of course - not dodgy politicians!).

I had to provide:
- une copie de votre pièce d’identité (Carte nationale d’identité, passeport ou titre de séjour en cours de validité),
- un justificatif de domicile de moins de trois mois,
- un spécimen de signature (modèle ci-joint),
- Auto-certification de Résidence Fiscale : Développée par l’OCDE à la demande du G20, cette norme doit permettre à une autorité fiscale de recevoir annuellement les principales informations relatives aux comptes détenus à l’étranger par ses résidents fiscaux. Elle est entrée en vigueur le 1er janvier 2016 en France. Dès lors, toutes les institutions financières établies en France doivent identifier la résidence fiscale de leurs clients et transférer les informations à l’administration fiscale du pays de résidence du client par l’intermédiaire de l’administration fiscale française. Les pays partenaires s’engagent à conserver le caractère confidentiel des données échangées.
- Formulaire W9 pour les personnes en lien avec les Etats-Unis
.

Obviously most things are easy enough for a hardened french resident - but UK tax number is fun - I had to phone UK accountant who thinks what they want is the 10 digit UTR on the tax return.

Anyway - point is, before you change banks you might want to get everything together including UTR if required as they are bound to ask for it for a new account.

And I use Credit du Nord - although they have a network of regional banks like Layderniere in the East. They are expensive and vary on being between ok and totally incompetent dependent upon who the current Conseiller is.

J


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 Post subject: Re: Change of bank, but to which one?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:52 pm 
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Just wondering, what do they do if you refuse to comply?

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 Post subject: Re: Change of bank, but to which one?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:10 pm 
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Spardo wrote:
Just wondering, what do they do if you refuse to comply?


Sans retour de votre part AVANT LE VENDREDI 28 AVRIL 2017, votre compte sera clos après un délai légal de 60 jours.

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 Post subject: Re: Change of bank, but to which one?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:23 pm 
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I had an email missive from Amex asking for a load of documents. I assumed it was a scam so sent it to their scam address, never heard anything. Received another one requesting personal documents be sent online - same procedure. I have a feeling it's probably legit, but until they get off their arses and explain what they want and/or send me a snail mail to my home address so I know it's from a legitimate source I couldn't be bothered.

The bank stuff I have been through and it's hardly a great imposition; they are the poor suckers who are implementing the anti laundering laws.


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 Post subject: Re: Change of bank, but to which one?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:39 pm 
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Me too Dave, what do people do who have had their account cancelled, recieve and pay bills through a friend and generally become cash only. That is what our tree surgeoon does, if I pay by cheque I make it out to one of his helpers. :lol:

I agree it would be a nuisance and my one and only direct debit would cut off my internet access, but fuel and other things can be bought using a UK card. In any case often a necessity because I can never transfer large amounts due to the lousy rate.

I suppose I could get everyone to pay me in pounds and add something for the exchange/charges. :-?

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 Post subject: Re: Change of bank, but to which one?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:41 pm 
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Looking at the pound and the direction - bad idea.


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 Post subject: Re: Change of bank, but to which one?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:44 pm 
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DaveW wrote:
Looking at the pound and the direction - bad idea.


Why? If someone else is picking up the bill?

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 Post subject: Re: Change of bank, but to which one?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 7:25 pm 
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Went through the first part of our branch change this morning, charming adviser who listened to all we said and wanted, will take a couple of months to complete as we're in a different region.
Watch this space.
:YMPRAY:

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 Post subject: Re: Change of bank, but to which one?
PostPosted: Thu Aug 03, 2017 10:16 pm 
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That's the problem though, Papi, people in branches change or even, as in our case, get overruled. Promises were made to us regarding charges and refunds for transfers by a representative of the bank, and then not honoured. When we finally got to see her she shrugged and said she was overruled.

Nevertheless, I do hope everything goes ok with you. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Change of bank, but to which one?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:14 am 
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The last few posts explain a thing or two, and thanks niemeyjt for the G20 money-laundering info.
The latest Cr Ag couac has been resolved. A couple of days ago I rang the author of the (tardy) CA email in response to mine. It wasn't a ML issue that was stopping a transfer of funds to another bank (we'd liquidated UK assets to reinvest here) but an internal (?) transfer limit. He could raise that limit by a factor of 13 if we so wished, for a limited time :shock: . We wished, and made the online transfer without problem.
This all has taught me a few extra things about CA. They don't like email - which we knew already - but I could have been any old Jeanne on the phone....

We don't want to change banks - we have 5 separate business/personal accounts making any change complicated. I also discovered from tinternet that our transfer limit is, curiously, much higher than most customers, laying to rest thoughts that our "foreigner" status might be in play.

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 Post subject: Re: Change of bank, but to which one?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:55 am 
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With regard to money laundering and rigorous checking - I had the same problem with a UK account.

I have a current account with a UK bank and wanted to open a deposit account. The reason ? Simple - I didn't want to have more than a few pounds in the current account. FD made a real rigmarole of it, asking me how much I earned, would I be making regular deposits and if so how much, how much did I spend per month etc etc. I asked them why opening a deposit account with a bank I had been with for about 25 years should be so complicated. Money laundering, they said. Fine, I told them, then forget the whole thing and I'll take the money elsewhere.


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 Post subject: Re: Change of bank, but to which one?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:29 am 
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Blaze, but you would have to go through the same procedure elsewhere! Not the Banks fault, it's legislation!


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 Post subject: Re: Change of bank, but to which one?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 10:54 am 
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Blaze wrote:
With regard to money laundering and rigorous checking - I had the same problem with a UK account.

I have a current account with a UK bank and wanted to open a deposit account. The reason ? Simple - I didn't want to have more than a few pounds in the current account. FD made a real rigmarole of it, asking me how much I earned, would I be making regular deposits and if so how much, how much did I spend per month etc etc. I asked them why opening a deposit account with a bank I had been with for about 25 years should be so complicated. Money laundering, they said. Fine, I told them, then forget the whole thing and I'll take the money elsewhere.


With a foreign address you are lucky they would even contemplate opening any account for you - notwithstanding the current account you have had for years.

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 Post subject: Re: Change of bank, but to which one?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 11:38 am 
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@Blaze - some times (like Halifax) they ask questions for sales leads under the guise of money laundering - I was asked for my salary and monthly expenditure when opening a bog standard savings account. I walked out as well.

@Andy - the only issue I have had with my accounts - both opening and updating - is whether I fell under FATCA. Being foreign / having foreign address was not a cause for concern per se.

J


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 Post subject: Re: Change of bank, but to which one?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 11:43 am 
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Living here permanently for many years you are very lucky to be able to have any sort of bank/savings account in the UK, we have been refused a number of times.

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 Post subject: Re: Change of bank, but to which one?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 12:48 pm 
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niemeyjt wrote:
@Andy - the only issue I have had with my accounts - both opening and updating - is whether I fell under FATCA. Being foreign / having foreign address was not a cause for concern per se.

J



I have to say that I am surprised by your comments J. The forums are littered with pleas as to which banks might allow you to open a UK account without a UK address* as well as advice to those about to leave the UK to ensure they keep UK accounts open.

[* general consensus seems to be that no high street bank or BS will offer to open an account without a genuine UK address.]

The general BBA response to FATCA is to simply say, no UK address = no new account. This avoids them undertaking a whole raft of questionnaires and checks. One might even suspect them of effectively operating a cartel.

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 Post subject: Re: Change of bank, but to which one?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 3:01 pm 
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I understood many of the High Street Banks still offered banking services through their offshore branches. Is this no longer possible?

But you are correct it is certainly advisable to keep an account open when you leave rather than go through the rigmarole of reopening an account later.

J


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 Post subject: Re: Change of bank, but to which one?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 4:10 pm 
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thelastoneout wrote:
With a foreign address you are lucky they would even contemplate opening any account for you - notwithstanding the current account you have had for years.

We've never had any problem whatsoever with postal banking and living in France ... until I wanted to open a deposit account !

@ J - I think you're right about hiding a sales ploy behind money laundering.

Warnings about not closing a UK bank account when coming to live in France have been publicised for many years on expat forums and other sources. I'm surprised people are still unaware - I wonder what sort of research they do do before coming to live here ...
It was rather different before the days of internet when many people found out the hard way because a lot of information wasn't as freely available. And today they don't even need to bother with French - it's all available in English.


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 Post subject: Re: Change of bank, but to which one?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 6:41 pm 
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Blaze wrote:
thelastoneout wrote:
With a foreign address you are lucky they would even contemplate opening any account for you - notwithstanding the current account you have had for years.

We've never had any problem whatsoever with postal banking and living in France ... until I wanted to open a deposit account !

@ J - I think you're right about hiding a sales ploy behind money laundering.

Warnings about not closing a UK bank account when coming to live in France have been publicised for many years on expat forums and other sources. I'm surprised people are still unaware - I wonder what sort of research they do do before coming to live here ...
It was rather different before the days of internet when many people found out the hard way because a lot of information wasn't as freely available. And today they don't even need to bother with French - it's all available in English.


Yes but circumstances change as in our case with a father of 96. Now we're thinking of the inheritance before splitting it up between his grandchildren.no he won't change his will of many years leaving all to his only daughter, Mami.

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 Post subject: Re: Change of bank, but to which one?
PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 7:24 pm 
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niemeyjt wrote:
I understood many of the High Street Banks still offered banking services through their offshore branches. Is this no longer possible?

But you are correct it is certainly advisable to keep an account open when you leave rather than go through the rigmarole of reopening an account later.

J


Yes offshore banking is certainly available from many sources - not just UK banks,
1. Look at the suspicion that that causes with the French tax authorities.
2. Look at the charges compared with even French banking charges ley alone free UK banking. Some costs and conditions are eye watering. Minimum deposit in the several tens of thousands of pounds, every transaction paid as if Getty was your surname, etc.

I know because I looked - and I doubt that the PPI that they demanded (not that they called it that back then) would have been refundable as was their UK attempt at highway robbery.

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