Warning to expect delays with bank transfers in France over Easter

How to avoid getting caught out by the annual bank transfer holiday

A man sitting at a computer holding a phone with a visual of a wallet and money to show bank transfers
The bank transfer pause will take place for four days over the Easter holiday period
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People in France have been warned to expect delays in transferring money between bank accounts over the Easter period, from March 29 to April 1.

Most bank transfers between accounts across different banks will be paused over four days over Easter, as is the usual arrangement every year. However, although this happens annually, it can be easy to forget.

This year, the dates affected are (inclusive):

  • Friday, March 29
  • Saturday, March 30
  • Sunday, March 31
  • Monday, April 1

Any money transferred on these dates (anything transferred after 16:30 on Thursday, March, 28) will not arrive in the recipient accounts until Tuesday April 2 at the earliest, the Banque de France has confirmed.

The stoppage applies to any transfers made between one to another account held at another banking institution. For example, from a BNP account to a CIC, Banque Populaire, Société Générale, or other account not under the BNP network.

Can I transfer money between my own accounts?

Any bank transfers between two accounts held at the same bank are usually unaffected. This also applies to transfers between your own different accounts.

For example, you should be able to transfer money from your own savings account to your current account without an issue (as long as the accounts are held by the same bank and under the same name).

All 20 countries in the Eurozone currency are affected.

Is there a way to get around it?

If you are transferring money between the Eurozone, you may be able to bypass the traditional banking system - and the transfer stoppage - by using instant transfers. Some banks offer these for free, but others charge. These are typically done online and enable the money to arrive in the destination bank account on the same day.

Read more: French banks to be obliged to offer free instant transfers - but when?

The Easter period is the longest time that the traditional banking transfer system ‘goes offline’, but it also happens on Christmas Day, New Year's Day, and on the Fête du Travail.

According to the latest data from national statistics bureau Insee (2018), around nine million bank transfers are made every day in France.

Read also

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