It is now almost as easy to change banks as mobile plans, however there are a few steps to take into account before getting started.
There are a whole host of reasons for wanting to change banks: high rates, communication problems, non-compliant service or simply not meeting your expectations. Of course it’s a right and it’s a lot easier than you might think. You still need to keep a few tips and precautions in mind before getting started. From the preparation to the banking mobility system, here are the best practices to have.
Preparing the ground for the change of bank
First of all, keep in mind that your current account is linked to an IBAN identifier, a kind of account identification in the form of a code varying from 14 to 34 characters allowing the withdrawal or collection of funds. For example, the IBAN must be provided to your employer via your RIB (Bank Identity Statement) so that he can deposit your salary there. It must therefore be taken into account that a change of account necessarily implies a change of IBAN.
Secondly, your account may include various banking products such as mortgage or consumer loan repayments, a passbook, a savings or investment product. It is therefore necessary to make an inventory of all types of products present on your account before any manipulation. These products may or may not transfer depending on the bank you are targeting. In some cases, the banking mobility service will not be able to take into account a particular type of product.
Also remember to cash the remaining checks in your possession before the transfer of funds and the closing of the account, as these may have a validity period for cashing.
Overall, it is imperative to check all transfers and regular receipts to transfer them on a case-by-case basis. We therefore recommend that you download your bank statements for the last 13 months and list the recurring transactions there, this can be for example your rent, your mobile plan or internet box, your home insurance, car or any service subscription online or by correspondence. The goal is not to forget the slightest fundamental movement when changing banks so as not to find yourself blocked afterwards.
The Macron law on the banking mobility system, what is it?
Since 2018, the Macron law has facilitated the change of banking establishment by in particular placing this administrative burden on the banks rather than on the customer, and this free of charge. However, not all banks offer this service, especially online banks and neobanks not domiciled in France, such as an N26 for example. The other advantage is the very fast turnaround time in most cases.
Attention, the banking mobility service does not support savings accounts, that is to say (for the most common): Account on Livret / Livret A, PEA / securities account, LDD, PEL, Life insurance, etc. For these accounts, you will have no choice but to make the changes manually.
Opening a new account
The second step is to choose your new bank. To do this, we advise you to go to our online banking comparator which will help you make the wisest choice according to your needs and your budget. If you wish to keep your banking products from the same establishment, the choice of a traditional bank seems to be the most sensible. If you want to start with lower rates in addition to greater ease of use of your bank, the online banks and the neobanks are more about.
Mostly, check the advantages offered by the new bank, such as cashback, special offers and rewards programs. Compare these benefits with those offered by your current bank to see if it makes sense to switch. Also check the new bank’s policies on overdraft, loans, credit cards and interest rates. Make sure you also understand to read the small lines of the contract before signing and changing banks, it can save you from a problem when transferring your money.
Think of prepare as many proofs of identity as possible what might your new bank ask of you before opening an account there. On this point, neobanks are generally much more flexible, requiring little information, a simple identity card is enough. For the others, everything depends on the price positioning and the offer. Some online banks will require, for example, proof of address, proof of income and even a tax notice. You should also be aware that some banks will ask to make a first payment for the effective opening of the account.
Last point to keep in mind, and not least, while some banks can take a few days or even a few hours to actually open an account, others can take much longer, sometimes after several weeks. Make sure that this is the case, for example by having received your bank card or by already being able to carry out transactions on the new account before requesting the final closure of the old one.
Funding, transfer and closure of the account
There’s no point in rushing, it’s always better to still have control of your old account the time to check if all the steps have been taken upstream and if your new bank is right for you.
If you can of course make transfers between the two banks, think above all of your cash inflows, and therefore of providing your employer with your new RIB. Then comes the actual use of the account to see if your transactions by card or check (if available) are taken into account. Also remember to link your new account to your smartphone or connected watch if your new bank is compatible with mobile payment services such as Google Pay, Samsung Pay or Apple Pay.
If a banking mobility mandate has been signed, recurring transactions from your old account will be automatically transferred to the new one without you having to do any manipulation. It is up to the bank to contact you to inform you of the operations carried out within the framework of this mobility. Do not hesitate to contact her if something has been forgotten.
Otherwise, it will be up to you to make these transfers by changing the credit card or IBAN affiliation to the services concerned. Hence the interest of downloading (and even printing in the best case) your latest bank statements so as not to forget any element that could remain linked to your old account.
We therefore arrive at the last step : close your old account. In the case of a signature of a mobility mandate, the new bank can take care of the process, as is the case for a change of mobile plan. If this is not the case, the best way is to send a registered letter with acknowledgment of receipt to make your request. Be that as it may, you will certainly be recommended, or even asked, to destroy your means of payment (credit card, checkbook) or to return them to the bank. We still recommend that you ensure that the old account is still provisioned for some time to avoid possible payment incidents.
What are my recourses in the event of a problem?
If the banks are not on time or something goes wrong, there are remedies. For example, you can appeal to the Prudential Control and Resolution Authority (ACPR) of the Banque de France. The latter will guide you through the procedures in the event of a dispute. It is also important to note that in the event of problems, the banks will not be able to ask you for charges attributable to this breach, such as, for example, charges for rejection of an operation.
You now have all the keys in hand to change banks. To find the establishment that best suits your needs, our bank comparator is there to guide you in your choices.