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How do bank accounts for children in France work?

Most banks have junior accounts that cannot be used without parental permission

Parental permission is required for both opening and using the accounts Pic: kwanchai.c / Shutterstock

Reader Question: We want to open a bank account for our son, 13. How do we do this and what are the rules and potential costs?

Many major banks offer junior current accounts that are either free or cost a few euros a month.

Some services, such as debit cards, come with a monthly charge but these vary from bank to bank so it is worth shopping around.

Parents can open a current account or a Livret A (France’s popular regulated savings account) for a child from birth but the child cannot use either until they are 12.

From the same age, with parental permission, children can open their own tax-free junior savings account, or Livret Jeune. All transactions need their parents’ approval.

At 16, a child can open their own current account, again with parental authorisation.

Employed young people or those with educational grants can, under certain conditions, open an account without parental approval.

Parents are responsible for all transactions, and any debts, until the young person turns 18 and responsibility then passes to them.

To open a child’s account, you will need ID for you and your child, a birth certificate or family record book (livret de famille) and recent proof of address (eg. utility bill dated no more than three months previous to the application date).

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