The following banks used to dealing with international clients and are likely to have an English-speaking agent:

  • Crédit Agricole - Grenoble Presqu'île -  Tel 0476 86 7653
  • BNP Paribas - Grenoble Victor Hugo – Tel 0476 85 63 40
  • BNP Paribas Grenoble CEA - Tel: 0438 78 44 00 (located in restaurant building of CEA campus)

Examples of documents required to open a bank account:

  • Passport or identity card
  • Proof of address (justificatif de domicile)*  usually a rent receipt, water or electricity bill in your name. You can use the address of your temporary accommodation (guest house or hotel) by requesting a document called an attestation d’hebergement.
  • Tax return indicating your income (or an employment contract, or certificate of employment)

*Until you have all of this information, you may be able to use the address of your employer and a certificate of employment instead.

TIP:   a model attestation d’hebergement can be filled out online and printed from:


Once you have opened an account, the bank will send you your bank account details on a bank identification slip (Relevé d’Identité Bancaire or ‘RIB’). Make sure to keep your RIB on hand because you will need it to set up automatic payments, such as for your mobile phone or internet contracts.

In France, cheques are still commonly used, and sometimes are essential. For example, when you rent an apartment, you will be asked for a deposit in the form of a cheque. In addition to a cheque book, your bank will provide you with bank debit/credit cards (called carte bleue or carte bancaire - Visa, American  Express, Eurocard/Mastercard, etc.), investment advice, as well as access to other services such as home mortgages and other types of loans, etc. Most banks charge a small monthly fee for online account management.

Some banks in Grenoble close for a period in the afternoon, but many are open “non-stop” or offer extended hours by appointment or by internet. Usual opening hours are Monday to Friday from 8:30 or 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and from 1 p.m. to 5 or 5:30 p.m. Some branches are also open on Saturday mornings.


If you lose your cheque book or credit card, call your bank immediately and check your online account for instructions. It is also recommended to inform the police. Banks typically offer insurance policies to guard against different types of theft or burglary.