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Thanks to the answers in How to open bank account in France if I don't have address of residence yet, I think I now possess the required documents in order to open a French bank account. Yey!

As details in this question on deposits for renting, I'm still really after a euro cheque book, ideally quite soon...

So, as an EU national recently arrived in France, heading to a bank with (hopefully!) the right pile of documents, how long would it be until I have a cheque book in hand? And if it isn't a roughly standard time, are there banks noted for being quick or slow?

  • I don't know if there is a rule (or if any specifies the time it takes) but I would say a few weeks for most of them. – Vince May 3 '14 at 13:43
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    When I opened my account, they told me a few weeks with some money on the account would be enough, but they finally made me wait for six months, at which time I had a small internship allowance deposited monthly to my account. I am under the impression that it depends mostly on how regularly money is deposited into the account. – scozy May 6 '14 at 19:52
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In my case, the answer is that my cheque book made it to my local branch in under 2 weeks, but it look about 6 weeks until I managed to get it!

Partly this was my fault - I was expecting the cheque book and bank card to be posted to me, which is how it normally works in the UK, but both were delivered to the branch for collection. Partly it was the bank's fault - they sent me a message through online banking to tell me that my cheque book had arrived at the branch, but it took the bank a few weeks longer than that to successfully send me the letters to be able to log into online banking... Partly my fault - the letter with my pin said that the card would be sent separately, but I didn't read it closely enough to see that it would be sent separately to the branch not to me. Partly the bank's fault - it took ages to get the documents they wanted to open the account, then just at the time I discovered I needed to head to the branch, they changed their mind about one of them and suspended my account until I managed to get yet another document for them. Only then was I allowed to take the waiting chequebook home.

Overall then, maybe as short as a week, probably plan for 3-4 weeks, read all the letters very carefully, and if in doubt pop into the branch from time to time just to check in case it's already waiting for you and you've not yet had the notification!

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