French Property Portal - French Mortgage and Banking Guide

Mortgage & Banking

Banking in France

The importance of opening a bank account in France

When you have decided to purchase a property in France for holiday use, as a main residence or a rental purchase, opening a French bank account may not be at the top of your to do list, however it should be a priority if you are serious about purchasing.


Let us help you on your first steps!

How do I apply for a CA Britline account?

It's simple and clear. CA Britline is the English speaking, online branch of Credit Agricole Normandy offering a range of banking and insurance solutions adapted to your situation.

With a dedicated English speaking team whether you are fiscally resident in the UK, Ireland or France you can apply for your account online and adapt it to suit your needs.

We offer standard bank accounts, debit cards, insurance, mortgage and savings products as well as a bespoke international transfer service-all of which can be managed from a distance. You will be accompanied throughout your time at CA Britline by English speaking advisers, making the whole process even clearer.

To find out more or to apply for your account click here

Why CA Britline?

CA Britline was created for English speaking clients with specific needs. A range of solutions and services have been developed over almost 20 years of activity. Our main aim is to support you in your projects, providing tailor-made solutions that suit you. Many of the team have had similar experiences to those you are now living and we understand life on both sides of the channel.


What are the differences between applying for a mortgage in France and the UK?

Firstly a bit of background:

Rates in France can be variable or fixed, however culturally the majority of people opt for the fixed rate which remains fixed over the entire life of the mortgage. In the UK the tendency is to renegotiate your mortgage rate whether fixed or variable on a relatively frequent basis which is rare in France.

Repayment versus Interest Only –In France interest only mortgages are rarely available. Most banks provide you with a basic repayment mortgage that will be detailed in your repayment table. Equity release mortgages are also available, but (usually) only for a few months following the purchase of the property.

The whole mortgage process from the buyer accepting your offer to getting the keys in your hand will take on average a period of 3 months.

How do I apply for a CA Britline mortgage?

We advise that before applying for your mortgage with us an account is opened. You can apply for your account or learn more at

At CA Britline we can finance up to 70% of the purchase price of the property, excluding agency and Notaires fees. The minimum mortgage amount is 50,000€.

In order to apply for a mortgage you need to be over 18 and hold no county court judgements .We will need to understand your financial position therefore the documents requested will concern your employment, general assets, project and bank details amongst other items. A copy of the 'compromis de vente' for the property you are purchasing will also be required

If Self-employed, applicants will be asked for additional documentation, such as bank statements concerning the company's bank accounts, statements of your accounts (i.e. profit and loss accounts) and SA302 tax calculation forms.

Once your mortgage application has been assessed and approved a 'decision in principle' (DIP) will be issued.

Are there any other fees I need to take into consideration?

There is an arrangement fee equal to 1% of the loan, or 1,500€, whichever is lower. There will also be fees paid to the Notaire linked to placing a charge on the property, called a Hypothèque or Privilége du Prêteur de Deniers (PPD).

How long can a French mortgage run?

Typically, the term of a French mortgage is between 2 and 25 years.

What about Life Insurance?

Life insurance in France is called ADE (Assurance Décès Emprunteur) and is always recommended when taking out a mortgage. It is designed to pay off the outstanding mortgage debt if you die during the term of the policy. The cost of this insurance is based upon your own personal situation.

Is there anything else I need to think about?

Sending money to your French bank account in order to make your monthly repayments couldn't be easier with the Britline International Payments Service. This will enable you to convert your sterling into euros quickly and easily with an attractive rate of exchange, which can be guaranteed for up to 2 years at a time. For more information visit