Opening a bank account for a non-European citizen

Extract from Récit de July • 25 years old • Woman • Pakistani

At the language school they told me that if I ever managed to register properly I would need to have a French bank account. Accompanied by an Italian Friend, I went to the Post Office in the Réformés area in order to open one in my name. The woman who behind the counter said straight away, “You’re not Italian, are you? My friend asked what that had to do with opening an account and the woman rebuked him: “It’s easy for you Italians… you hand out documents to anyone who asks you!”. Needless to say, they had a big argument…

At the Post Office in Italy, they opened an account for me in 10 minutes. All I had to do was present the receipt for my residence permit application! Here, we received insults. My friend was insulted, Italians in general were insulted, and I was insulted too because the woman basically said that I was just anyone. In the end, we managed to open an account in my friend’s bank… they didn’t ask me anything about my nationality… maybe it’s just the Post Office Bank going too far, or maybe it’s my friend’s bank not applying the law just to get an additional client.

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