Savings & Investment Accounts in France

Information on French banking and fixed-term deposit accounts, types of savings accounts in France, and French share dealing accounts…

Bank Accounts

French banks offer current accounts (Comptes Courants), instant access savings accounts, (Comptes sur Livret), and fixed term deposits offering better interest rates for over one month (Comptes à Terme). For large amounts a Certificat de Dépôt Négotiable can offer slightly improved interest and a shorter term if necessary.

For French residents, there are also various tax-free bank deposit accounts. The most common are the Livret A and the Livret de Développement Durable (LDD).

The maximum investment per person, plus accrued interest, is €22,950 for the Livret A and €12,000 for the LDD.

The general conditions of the accounts are the same and are regulated by the government. Interest is totally tax free and from 1 August 2015, the annual interest rate is 0.75 percent. Rates are generally reviewed on a six-monthly basis.

For low income households, the Livret d’Epargne Populaire (LEP) offers an interest rate of 1.5 percent for savings limited to €7,700 each. To qualify, an applicant must prove, via a tax certificate, that their taxable income is below a specific amount.i

The Plan d’Epargne Logement (PEL) is a four-year savings plan aimed at saving for house purchase and home improvement. There is no tax payable on the interest earned whilst the account holder is saving. If the sum is then used for the above purpose and has been blocked for four years, it can be withdrawn free of income tax but will be subject to “social taxes”.

Share Dealing

Share dealing accounts at can be held at a bank, with a stockbroker, or on the Internet.

The normal safe custody account is called a Compte Titres. A share is an action and a Government or Corporate Bond is an obligation.

Most people deal in shares through a specific form of investment called a Plan d’Epargne en Actions (PEA). This account allows you to hold and deal in French and European shares, and provides considerable tax advantages on condition that no withdrawals are made for the first five years.

In that case, no tax is payable on dividends nor gains during the five-year period of saving, and the withdrawal of the sum is then free of Capital Gains Tax with only the inevitable “social taxes” being payable at a rate of 15.5 percent on the total gain.

Withdrawals between five and eight years must be made in one lump and the account closed. However, if the account is not touched for eight years, it can then be left open and partial withdrawals can be made whenever required, without restriction.

Blevins Franks, the leading international tax and wealth management advisers to UK nationals living in Europe, with decades of experience advising British expatriates moving to and living in France. Tax rates, scope and reliefs may change. Any statements concerning taxation are based upon our understanding of current taxation laws and practices which are subject to change. Tax information has been summarised; an individual is advised to seek personalised advice.

Information provided by Blevins Franks Tel: 05 56 34 75 51, e-mail Copyright © Blevins Franks France