Rip-off Banks

Banking, insurance, currency exchange, taxation, prices.

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john
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Rip-off Banks

Post by john » Mon 20 Sep 2010 18:09

This will hardly come as any great shock to those of us who are long term customers of French banks and thus payers of their exorbitant charges.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11369056

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polremy
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Post by polremy » Mon 20 Sep 2010 20:00

We pay NO charges to our French bank.
It's not easy to organise but it is possible if you're determined!

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Post by edann42 » Mon 20 Sep 2010 21:39

Same with us Pol.!!

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john
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Post by john » Tue 21 Sep 2010 07:57

I assume you are both talking about one of the new generation of on-line banks.

If not,please do tell us how you pay NO charges for the FULL service. I'm sure we'd all love to be let into the "secret".......

To be fair,I don't object to paying a reasonable charge for banking services. I don't honestly believe that there is any such thing as "free " banking. You pay for it, somehow,in the end.

It's just when they overcharge that I get annoyed and clearly the French Banking Ombudsman feels similarly.

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polremy
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Post by polremy » Tue 21 Sep 2010 10:57

Well, I suppose you would say that we don't have a full service.
Used to have a hole in the wall card but they wanted money for it so I cancelled.
Tried online banking but they wanted money for that too so I cancelled it after the initial free 3 months.
Don't have their credit card either.
Managed to stop them sending their annual folder detailing every last cent in and out over the previous 12 months. It arrived unsollicited one year - they charge for that!
Just use them to pay my utility standing orders, taxes foncieres and habitation, car/house insurance and gym subscription.
Very occasionally I might write a cheque (cheque books are free, surprisingly)
In return they get my UK state pension paid in every month (seems a resonable rate of exchange) and the account always has plenty in it mainly so that I can be sure that all bills will be covered while we are away during the winter.

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Post by Lostweekend » Tue 21 Sep 2010 11:49

We use Credit Agricole Britline
They have English speaking staff on the helpline. English internet banking and have been always been helpful, concise and efficiant,

http://www.britline.com

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Rip-off banks

Post by JayneG » Tue 21 Sep 2010 11:51

I've just been charged 13 euros for a bank transfer in euros from a bank in Belgium!

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polremy
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Re: Rip-off banks

Post by polremy » Tue 21 Sep 2010 12:11

JayneG wrote:I've just been charged 13 euros for a bank transfer in euros from a bank in Belgium!
That really is a ripoff.
I can't understand why transfers in the same currency should incur charges simply because they are between different countries.
Thought the thinking behind the Common Market was meant to do away with all that!

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Roger O
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Post by Roger O » Tue 21 Sep 2010 14:17

So maybe something moves in this direction??
The latest:
http://www.lefigaro.fr/societes/2010/09 ... caises.php
An earlier one on bank charges:
http://www.lefigaro.fr/conso/2010/07/07 ... caires.php
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Post by edann42 » Tue 21 Sep 2010 16:41

Yes John, I use Credit Agricole on- line! Brilliant!

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john
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Post by john » Tue 21 Sep 2010 17:04

polremy wrote:Well, I suppose you would say that we don't have a full service.
Used to have a hole in the wall card but they wanted money for it so I cancelled.
Tried online banking but they wanted money for that too so I cancelled it after the initial free 3 months.
Don't have their credit card either.
Managed to stop them sending their annual folder detailing every last cent in and out over the previous 12 months. It arrived unsollicited one year - they charge for that!
Just use them to pay my utility standing orders, taxes foncieres and habitation, car/house insurance and gym subscription.
Very occasionally I might write a cheque (cheque books are free, surprisingly)
In return they get my UK state pension paid in every month (seems a resonable rate of exchange) and the account always has plenty in it mainly so that I can be sure that all bills will be covered while we are away during the winter.
Well,OK,Pol. Each to their own,I guess,but,speaking personally,I cannot see the point in this day and age ,of a Bank Current A/C that does not offer credit or cash cards,on line service or statements. I certainly could not function without those items.

So,it's the old story. Horses for courses. The original point I was making was that the authorities were right to clamp down on unreasonable charging,not charging per se.

As a matter of interest,Jayne,who charged you the 13€,the Belgian bank or the French one ?
Last edited by john on Tue 21 Sep 2010 17:24, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by polremy » Tue 21 Sep 2010 17:15

Strangely enough, John, my bank does send me monthly statemets - and they're free!
Would have thought it cost them more that offering me online facility.

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Rip-Off Banks

Post by JayneG » Tue 21 Sep 2010 18:05

My French bank claim the charge was to cover the Belgian bank's charges but when I tried to press them to find out if any element of it included their charges they gave a very vague answer - I think I need to go in and talk to them about it. I still find it quite hard to be assertive in French over the phone, I give up too easily when they start treating me like an idiot.

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Post by tonyp » Thu 23 Sep 2010 13:46

I don't mind paying reasonable charges for a good service. When we bought our French property in 2001, I was recommended to open an account with Banque Populaire du Cote d'Azur International Office in Nice. For the last 9 years they have been very helpful and our nominated account manager throughout that time has been a very helpful Scotsman (so not quite an English-speaker!) who is always available on the phone. The charges don't appear to me to be excessive.

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Post by lickteeth » Sat 13 Nov 2010 07:20

Great discussion. If service is good then no problem to give some extra charges. But for bad services it will cause bad effect. :!:

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Post by Roger O » Sun 14 Nov 2010 08:29

polremy wrote:Strangely enough, John, my bank does send me monthly statemets - and they're free!
Would have thought it cost them more that offering me online facility.
Crédit Mutuel, Sadi Carnot, Perps sends me an email each month with an advice that the last months statement is ready in .pdf so I just go online to the bank site (Cybermut) and download straight onto my external disc. No charge for that. Chequebooks are sent via the post to our address gratis. No charge for ATM withdrawals from any bank in domestic France.
Their excellent service "Cybergestion" (free software download for the initial program) allows me to access all our accounts there online and download straight to my external disc as often as I want (10 times per day or whatever if one is a fanatic account user!) and those downloads are free of charge. I usually do this about once per week and then categorise each item into a named budget list which I set up inside the program on my disc.
New Gold card sent free of charge every 2 years to their branch in Carcassonne to pick up, about 15 minutes from here including walk from parking.
Happy with all that - we've been with the same bank/branch (just before Castillet when walking from Place Arago) since 1992.

The only thing I'm not happy about is our faithful (almost one of the family) banquière who retired very recently, so we now have a new young one whom we don't (yet) know personally!

Having said all that, the Cybergestion facility is used by the CCM Marseille group of Crédit Mutuel which covers PACA to Languedoc Roussillon BUT apparently CM in Bretagne does not offer this service (as confirmed by my sister-in-law in Concarneau... strange!
Last edited by Roger O on Sun 14 Nov 2010 08:36, edited 4 times in total.
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Banking

Post by carol sheridan » Sun 14 Nov 2010 08:30

I use the English Speaking branch of CA at Rodez and I am very pleased with the service. I have my own personal banker whom I can contact by phone or e-mail. I changed from a standard debit card to a gold card - it costs about €97 a year, but I get free travel insurance and at my age, 70, that is normally very expensive. I do a lot of travelling - NZ and Fiji next June.
My three UK pensions are paid straight in by Capita and DWP at a reasonable rate. The only thing I can't do is pay in cash, but as my pensions are my only income there are no circumstances in which I would want to do that.
I got fed up of having to change banks every time I changed departments, because in France BP in Aude is not the same as BP in Lot.

Incidentally, Santander in England have plumbed new depths of idiocy. I was told that the only way I can inform them that I have moved permanently to France is by going into the branch in Yorkshire.
Their on-line banking site has no facility for e-mailing them and gives only an 0845 number - I got through by ringing the number for lost or stolen cards.

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Re: Banking

Post by russell » Sun 14 Nov 2010 10:53

carol sheridan wrote: My three UK pensions are paid straight in by Capita and DWP at a reasonable rate. .
That's interesting. I am told by Siddalls that UK private pensions have to be paid into a UK bank account according to UK law. Perhaps the law has changed since I set that up? It's the only reason I keep my UK account open.

Russell.

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polremy
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Post by polremy » Sun 14 Nov 2010 14:53

I think Carol's pensions are from her previous existence as a teacher (like me) - not private ones.

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