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Managing Finances For UK Expats Moving To France

by Jim ONeil on June 5, 2011

in Personal Finance Tips

France is the closest country to England, with 20 English Channel miles separating the nations. As of year ending March 2010, over 20,000 UK nationals emigrated to France. Even though these countries are near each other and are both members of the European Union, planning is required to make the move smooth.

Opening a French bank account before leaving the UK helps avoid lack of credit history in the new country. La Banque Postale, Societe Generale, BNP Paribas, and Allianz Banque are some French banks with UK branches.

Expats should look for a bank account with features they want like direct debit, online banking, and a debit card.

A visa is not required to live and work in France because it is a fellow EU member. However, things like clearing loans and informing HRM Revenue & Customs of the upcoming move are necessary. Anything that will not be moved should be sold.

The decision to do a self-move or hire a moving company should then be made. Expats unsure of whether the move will last may want to rent out their home rather than selling it.

Transferring money may result in a loss of funds because a bank usually charges four percent more than a currency specialist when exchange rates are unfavorable. FairFX, Caxton FX, HiFX, and Moneycorp are some major transfer specialists.

Expats can establish the currency exchange rate level prior to the move so they will not be subject to currency fluctuations.

Initially renting the new home in France is recommended and depending on the new location and season, prices may be much cheaper than within the UK. A one-year lease is required for a furnished main residence but one month’s notice enables a shorter rental.

Rent A Place provides an alternative, allowing tenants to complete a notice to quit at the beginning of the lease.

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