It turns out that French banks don’t accept cash – Euros! – to open an account!
I laughed out loud.
It’s difficult to spend much time in France without a bank account. For instance, you can’t get a permanent phone number or buy a pass for the toll roads without one. It’s very hard to get that bank account, though. And I know this is a policy to prevent – or at least, decrease – money laundering. And to make sure everybody pays taxes.
Luckily, we were introduced to the banker by a local real estate broker. And thank goodness, the bank officer speaks much better English than our French.
Even still, we were required to provide copies of our passports, our Social Security numbers, statements from a US banker about the source of the funds, a tax report, a (home country) utility bill, and sign a W-9 form.
But no cash accepted – only wire transfer will do…