Letters: Britons in France wrestle with bank account closures

Connexion readers say letter from Crédit Agricole was 'alarming'

Reader says the Crédit Agricole closed accounts via a 'rude and insensitive letter'

To the Editor,

Your article last month concerning the closure of French bank accounts held by non-resident Britons is the mirror image of my own experience with Barclays Bank in the UK. 

I had been a customer of Barclays since 1968 and when I left the UK in 1980 I continued to maintain the account. It was only used for a couple of standing orders to associations and charities and the occasional cheque but was useful nonetheless.

Last year, they instructed me to close my account as I did not reside in the UK nor have a UK address. I am a French resident, physically and fiscally.

Basically they were telling me about a Brexit bonus I was now entitled to. I am afraid this joins a list of other upsides: three-month visit restrictions, increased travel checks and the fact that limits on bringing beer and wine in either direction are much less generous.

Paul Thompson, Lot

Read more:  French bank accounts: what foreigners need to know

To the Editor,

In response to the article regarding closure of Crédit Agricole bank accounts, I was unfortunate enough to receive a similar closure threat last year from a Pas de Calais branch. 

The letter from Crédit Agricole was not unpleasant but just said they were closing the account and gave no reason. I found it infuriating, alarming, and high-handed.

We appealed against this decision and asked local branch staff for help to keep the account open, and happily they did.

We do not earn any income in France. As a result, we do not have a French income tax reference. This probably instigates a ‘red flag’ of possible money laundering.

We provided CAF with proof that we pay tax in the UK on our income and that seemed to do the trick.

I hope this may help others in a similar position not to take no for an answer. 

Lorna Hunt, by email

Read more: CA Britline: is it a good bank for Britons with homes in France?

To the Editor,

I have seen the Crédit Agricole closure letter sent to friends who have a second home in France. 

Firstly, it was a very rude and insensitive letter sent to loyal clients. 

Secondly, it is nothing to do with complex, post-Brexit money laundering rules as these were already in existence before Brexit happened. 

Someone, quite rightly, complained strongly about this decision and surprisingly remains a client. This suggests there is no enforcing law in place? 

Crédit Agricole is usually a very pro-client bank; it is an unusual stance for them. I suspect this is not their chosen policy and it needs to be highlighted.

Jill Soutar, by email

Send us your own views and experiences via letters@connexionfrance.com