What do you do if you have a complaint against your French bank? Details of what action to take and who to contact for French bank complaints.
If you have a problem with your bank you must in the first instance contact them directly to try to resolve the problem. Of course this is not easy if you are in a different country or if there is a language issue.
If you don’t speak French and the person you are dealing with doesn’t speak English, ask if they can get someone who does speak English, perhaps from another branch, to help. Failing that you may need to get someone French to help you communicate better.
Always put your complaint in writing and keep a copy of everything. French banks are no different from banks anywhere else, communications go astray and things get delayed.
Send your letter by registered post (recorded delivery) – “recommandé avec avis de reception” – send your letter to the person that you have been communicating with and a copy to the Client relationship services (Service Relations Clientèle). Unless your bank has a dedicated English language support team you will need to send the letter in French.
You can also send a copy of the letter by email.
Be aware that French bank complaints can take a long time to deal with.
If this doesn’t sort the matter out to your satisfaction you may refer the matter to the Bank’s own “Médiateur”. Not all banks have a mediator service but it is worth checking if your bank does – it may save you time and lots of paperwork as they will have details to hand. The findings of the “Mediateur” are not legally binding and you can take it your case further to the French Bank Federation’s banking mediator but generally rulings by the individual bank’s “Mediateur” are respected.
The French Bank Federation have a Médiateur in place: Fédération Française des Bancaires, 18 rue La Fayette, BP 151, 75422 Paris, Cedex 09; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you still feel that matters have not been dealt with fully the next step is to take a case to court.
Understand your French Bank Statement – terms and abbreviations explained.