About IARC

IARC Welcome Pack


It is very important to open a French bank account as soon as you receive confirmation of your stay in France.

You are free to choose your bank.

The banking system in France has its peculiarities.

You have to go to a bank, either at the counter or to an ATM, to carry out day-to-day banking, although it is becoming easier to carry out these operations via the Internet.

Bank opening hours vary from branch to branch, but banks are usually open on Monday to Friday from 8.00 or 9.00 to 12.00 and from 13.30 to 18.00, and on Saturdays from 9.00 to 12.00. Banks are closed on Saturday afternoons, and some are closed on Mondays.

All banks offer the usual services, such as opening a bank account and obtaining a chequebook and credit card. You can also take out loans, open savings accounts, and make financial investments. Nowadays, most banks can also provide car insurance, home insurance, and insurance on loans.

A chequebook is important in France because you will pay your first month’s rent as well as the deposit for your rented accommodation by cheque.

Remember to ask for your RIB (“Relevé d’Identité Bancaire” or bank account details) and IBAN (International Bank Account Number) as soon as possible as you will need these when you sign the lease for your accommodation as well as for all your service providers.

Trainees, students, postdoctoral fellows, and visiting scientists (Early Career and Visiting Scientists) who come to France for a minimum of 3 months can ask for a bank account to be opened with Le Crédit Lyonnais bank (LCL) before their arrival in France. To do this, you just need to send a copy of your passport to the Fellowship Programme Office (Ms E. El Akroud; room 1109, ext. 8448, email: elakroude@iarc.fr).

As LCL is the Agency’s bank, an employee from LCL is available at the Agency once a week. The LCL service is available on Wednesdays from 9.00 to 17.00 (room 504, ext. 8303). Services provided include opening bank accounts, issuing credit cards, making bank transfers, and providing advice about bank loans.

The LCL headquarters (18 rue de la République, 69002 Lyon) is open non-stop on Monday to Friday from 8.45 to 17.30. You can contact the bank directly at or via ext. 8100.

Doctoral students, postdoctoral fellows, and foreign visiting scientists who come to France for more than 6 months can ask for a bank account to be opened with Société Générale bank via the Alfred Kastler Foundation before their arrival in France. For the terms and conditions for the bank account, please consult the Foundation’s website (http://www.fnak.fr/dn_open_bank_account_france/). You should obtain a “Guest Researcher Card number” beforehand by registering on the Foundation’s website (http://www.fnak.fr).

A branch of Société Générale is located just across the street from the Agency.

Useful links

Le Crédit Lyonnais: https://particuliers.secure.lcl.fr/index.html
Société Générale: http://www.societegenerale.fr/
BNP Paribas: http://www.bnpparibas.com/en
Writing a cheque: http://www.frenchentree.com/fe-finance/DisplayArticle.asp?ID=21241