How to open a bank account abroad?
June 28, 2005 4:40 AM   Subscribe

Does anyone have any experience opening a bank account in a country in which they are not resident? I live in Britain and would like an account in France.

I work freelance as a translator, and have several clients in France and Belgium, who pay by bank transfer. I'm registered self-employed in Britain, and pay my taxes here. I realise I probably can't escape transfer expenses of some sort, but I'd rather not be at the mercy of the exchange rate more than I can avoid. So I'd like a euro bank account.

I'd be interested to hear others' experiences of this. Would I need an address in France? (I don't have one, but I know people who do...) I used to have an account with the Caisse d'Epargne when I lived there (pre-Euro) but stupidly closed it when I came back to Britain as I needed the money contained in it.

I guess I wouldn't necessarily need an a/c in France, any Euro country would do, but I speak and understand French better than any other European language apart from English.
posted by altolinguistic to Work & Money (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'd ask this question on the newsgroup.
posted by grouse at 5:06 AM on June 28, 2005

You can also get euro bank accounts in Britain which might be easier to manage in practice. For example, I bank with Citibank and have euro, sterling, and US dollar accounts.
posted by keijo at 5:29 AM on June 28, 2005

Good call, keijo. HSBC has such an account, but watch the charges. They also have a savings account that might be a little easier on the wallet.
posted by sagwalla at 6:03 AM on June 28, 2005

What about PayPal? You can maintain balances in Euros. Admittedly you are then subjected to transaction fees on the incoming amounts, but I use this with US clients and have had tens of thousands of dollars go through the account.
posted by wackybrit at 6:35 AM on June 28, 2005

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