Many French people regularly exceed their authorized overdraft threshold and risk indebtedness or even overindebtedness if they do not restore the balance of their budget in time. In case of a bank ban, it is therefore important to get out of this situation quickly to avoid losing your checkbook and your credit card as well as being listed in the Central Cheque Register (FCC) of the Banque de France. But then, what solutions exist to regularize one’s situation when one is bank banned? Is it possible to open an account for people who have been banned from banking, or to have means of payment? We explain everything in this article.
What does being banned from banking mean?
A bank ban is a penalty for writing a bad check. If you have paid a beneficiary by check, but you do not have the money in your account to fund the check, and the attempt to cash the check puts you over your authorized overdraft, you risk becoming bankrupt. In this case, your bank must alert you and give you time to fund your account quickly. If you do not respect this deadline, you will be sanctioned and become bankrupt.
This incident is then declared to the Banque de France and leads to a registration in the FCC (Fichier central des chèques) or the FICP (Fichier des incidents de remboursement des crédits aux particuliers) for 5 years. You are then prohibited from issuing checks from all accounts you hold, regardless of the bank. If your bank deems your situation too fragile, it may also decide to withdraw your credit card or close your account for a certain period of time. Fortunately, there are ways to continue using banking services while you get your situation straightened out, such as accounts or cards for people who are not allowed to bank.
Is it possible to open an account for people who are banned from banking?
Being banned from banking does not mean being banned from an account! Even after this sanction, it is still possible to open an account for a bank ban online or even in traditional banks by taking a few steps. Indeed, online banks rarely ask for income terms to open an account and often offer better rates than traditional banks, which can help you save money and balance your budget.
The right to an account
You don’t want to use the Internet and prefer the services of a traditional bank? You can also open an account in spite of your banking ban thanks to the right to an account guaranteed by the Banque de France. If a bank refuses to open an account because you are banned from banking, you can refer the matter to the Banque de France to assert your right to an account. The bank will then designate a bank close to your home or the place of your choice, which will be obliged to open an account for you if you are not allowed to bank. You will then be able to benefit from basic banking services such as cash deposits and withdrawals, and thus continue to live as normally as possible.
Finally, the last solution in order to have an account for a bank ban is to open an account abroad. Indeed, the files of the Banque de France do not apply to other countries and are limited to banks present on the territory. You can therefore open a bank account abroad to continue to use banking services without having to apply to the Banque de France and assert your right to an account. By opening an account abroad, you will avoid administrative procedures and will benefit from offers that are sometimes more advantageous than with French banks. Note however that you will have to declare the opening of a foreign account to the French tax authorities when you file your income tax return.
The prepaid card: another solution for people who are banned from banking?
Your bank has judged your financial situation to be too unstable and has withdrawn your checkbook and your credit card? However, you can still use a card for people who are not allowed to use their bank account to make payments. Prepaid cards can be toped up by transferring funds from your bank account or by buying a reload coupon in cash, which means you can top them up quickly without necessarily having your bank card or a checkbook. You can therefore continue to make purchases and payments normally while waiting for your situation to be re-established.
Moreover, a rechargeable payment card does not grant overdraft authorisation, and only works if it is sufficiently topped up. By using a card for a bank ban, you will avoid falling into a delicate situation such as a bank ban or indebtedness. You will also be able to easily manage your expenses without fear of exceeding your overdraft threshold at any time, since you will only be able to spend the funds on your payment card.
Being banned from banking is not permanent and does not prevent you from owning an account or making purchases: all you have to do is open an account for banned persons at the bank of your choice and use a rechargeable payment card to continue to live as you did before until you find a more stable financial situation.