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Moving to France?These are the key essentials to know when it comes to banking…Moving to France has never been so popular. So, if you are planning to start your new life,here are some great tips from the experts at CA Britline, the French bank that speaksEnglish, to help make your move smooth…Living in France is going to change for UK citizens post-Brexit (1 January 2021). However,there are many things which will continue to attract Britons and other nationalities to life inFrance, such as the cuisine, wine, landscapes and lifestyle. And of course, you can continueto fulfil your dreams of a different lifestyle.Fulfilling a dream is exciting – and at times, has its challenges! Here we give you someadvice on the key things to do: Opening a bank account, getting a mortgage, arranginginsurance and ensuring that you have adequate health cover.Let’s get started…
Opening a bank account is an essential firststep for living in France – and it’s simple andstraightforward. From withdrawing cash,arranging currency transfers, funding yourproperty purchase, organising yourinsurance policies to setting up direct debits,standing orders or a savings account. Adedicated French bank account is essentialfor daily life in France.You can open a bank account remotely andsupply the documentation online, saving youthe hassle of visiting a branch.If you run a small business in France,whether it’s a gite, chambre d'hôtes oranother type of commercial venture, youmust open a separate account for anybusiness-related transactions.Bank cardsThere may be differences in how banks workin France from your home country, notablybank cards. In France, most people use débitcards, with the money deducted from theirbank account immediately or shortlyafterwards. Credit cards are less common.With a carte de crédit you choose a set datefor payments to make budgeting easier.Banking servicesA RIB (Relevé d'Identité Bancaire) containsall of your French bank account details: yourunique bank account number, your name,address of bank and other code information.When you set up your utilities to pay bydirect debit, they will ask for your RIB.Cheques are also still widely used in France,to pay for services or buy groceries. If youreceive a cheque as a payment, sign anddate it on the back before you pay it in toyour bank account.TIP: Most transactions are completed onlinegiving you flexibility with your banking. It isuseful though to have a few RIBs printed offfor when you need them. Print these athome or your bank can supply them free ofcharge.Getting a MortgageCompared to the UK, property is generallymore affordable in France. And, there is awide choice of properties available: housesrequiring renovation, homes in pretty coastalor quiet countryside locations, city or townapartments. As well as land to build newhomes that is often reasonably priced.When it comes to French mortgages, they’reworth checking out. Interest rates are low atpresent and fixed rate mortgage loans for a25-year term are widely available.Important note: French mortgages areavailable to residents and non-residents.Lenders look closely for proof of income andwill calculate the total amount of householddebt (it should not exceed 33% of yourannual income). Get together all of yourpaperwork before applying online, includingproof of income, outgoings, assets etc.Note: Borrowers must sign a sale andpurchase contract for their property before alender will issue a formal Mortgage Offer.Setting up a businessThe majority of Britons currently moving toFrance are of working age, so earning a livingis clearly key. Many choose to set up theirown businesses and there are a variety oflegal structures enabling you to do this.Before moving to France you may find ituseful to consult a French based accountantfor advice on the best way of setting up abusiness. They can help register youcorrectly, complete the necessary paperworkand also advise on tax issues. If you do notspeak French, there are English speakingaccountants available.
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