Buying a house in France: part 19: Post Office and Co-Operative bank accounts in France

La Banque PostaleFor historic reasons, the various post offices and co-operative banking organisations in Europe maintain loose connections with their opposite numbers in other countries and it’s therefore often useful to open accounts with these organisations before you move.For instance, the co-operative bank offer a service called Tipanet which offers quite cheap international money transfers: around £8 as compared to the £25 that a normal bank would charge you. In the UK, it’s the Co-Operative Bank that does this, in France it’s Banque Populaire. The co-operative movement is quite frequently used by various unions and in France Banque Populaire offers special deals to public servants.The post office links are even more widespread and various special arrangements exist between considerable numbers of national post offices for their account holders. However, information on these isn’t widely distributed and it can take a little searching to find out about them. One advantage that almost all give you is that a post office account effectively gives you government issued proof of address once your first statement arrives.

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