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Why will French bank not allow me to make a transfer?

We look at some possible reasons why you may not be able to transfer money from your French bank account

Money transfers are common in France, but there a few reasons why you may encounter problems Pic: Imilian / Shutterstock

Reader question: I am a UK resident with a French second home. 

I tried to pay a French builder with a transfer from my French bank account but could not do this online and got a message to say I had to consult my bank adviser. 

I have been in touch with her but she has kept me waiting. I have been able to do this in the past. 

What can be wrong? 

The right to make online transfers, if available (as is usually the case now) should be set out in the convention de compte, which you would have received when you opened the account. 

If you have not made a transfer to that builder before, you should be able to add them as a beneficiary via your online account, though it might take a few days to validate. 

Typically, this poses no issues if the firm has a French bank account. 

Banks might ask people to call into a branch in the case of adding a beneficiary outside France. 

If that is not the issue, then perhaps there is a ceiling on the amount that can be transferred online, which you might have exceeded? 

If this is not resolved, you should write to the bank’s service client, whose details should be on its website, by registered post (lettre recommandée avec accusé de reception), which you can do in an online process if you wish. If you are not satisfied, or get no reply within 15 days, options include applying to your bank’s mediator.

Alternatively, seek help from a consumer association such as France Conso Banque.

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