Invest Your Money With The Best Banks in France

The French banking system is more regionalized than in some other parts of Europe. There are a few big-name banks, however, they are not as dominant as the UK’s ‘big four’ high street ones. As well as national high street banks and local financial institutions, you can also find French branches of international banks, internet banks, and mobile banks in France. In addition to 266 banks currently operating in France, there are over 300 other credit institutions including mutual banks and municipal credit banks. Despite the fact that digital banking is on the rise, physical banking in France remains popular and there are still just over 37 bank branches per 100,000 of the population (down from 46 per 100,000 in 2006). The country’s central bank is the Banque de France which also regulates the French banking sector through the French Prudential Supervision and Resolution Authority (Autorite de Controle Prudentiel et de Resolution – ACPR).

Some of the Best Banks in France

National retail banks

There are several high street retail banks in France that have branches across the country. Services and fees tend to vary from region to region. The bigger banks in major cities are more tailored towards international clients and may have English-speaking staff. Banks normally open around 08:30-09:00 and close around 17:00-17:30, often shutting for an hour for lunch. Many banks open on Saturday until around 12:00-13:00. The biggest and most well-known national French banks include:

  • BNP Paribas
  • CIC
  • Societe Generale
  • La Banque Postale (post office bank)

Regional banks in France

Regional institutions providing banking in France – also known as mutual banks – provide similar services to the main French banks. These, however, may have less expat-tailored offers. The mutual banks are not independent but owned by larger banking groups. Regional banks in France can vary more significantly in terms of services and fees between different regions. The three main regional cooperative banking groups in France are:

  • BPCE
  • Credit Agricole
  • Credit Mutuel

International banks in France

You can find many big-name multinational banks operating in France. These are based mainly in the bigger cities and operate similar to French banks. Most branches will have English-speaking staff. Some of these banks include:

  • Axa Banque
  • Barclays
  • Citibank
  • Deutsche Bank
  • HSBC
  • JP Morgan

Published By, Shubham Sharma

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