While some banks have closed customer accounts without notice or explanation in recent weeks, several French people wonder about the legality of such an approach. So much so that some are preparing to formulate a collective action, in particular against N26, considering the approach “abusive”.
In fact, the question will be discussed in court if this procedure ends up in court. However, it is important to know that a bank can legally decide to close a customer’s bank account… Usually by giving notice.
Yes, in France, a bank can take the decision to close an account without explaining the reasons, but it must normally respect a period of two months in order to warn the customer concerned.
Because a bank has the right to choose its customers. Thus a banking establishment can decide, at any time, to close the account by providing this customer with a notification. According to the banks, this information is transmitted in paper format (often a registered letter sent to the address linked to the account statements) or electronically (by email).
The establishment will then here apply the commercial law related to the “refusal of sale” and can decide to close an account without having to provide explanations. Only the procedure for the right to an account, in the case of an account opened after a customer has justified the refusal by the bank to open an account for him, must be justified by your banker.
Closing without notice in certain cases
The two-month notice period is generally the procedure followed. The bank allows time for the customer to transfer the funds or notify the organizations that can take direct debits (telephone operators, energy supplier, etc.) to do so on another account and settle the final formalities.
However, it is possible for a bank to close without notice or delay. You can refer to your bank’s contract linked to your deposit account, but in most cases an establishment can reserve this right in the event of illegal behavior by its client. This is the case for accounts used for money laundering or which prove to be linked to reprehensible traffic.
Some banks also explain that they reserve the right to close an account with two weeks’ notice in very specific cases, such as using a personal account for professional purposes, providing false information or false documents to open an account, or even having behaved inappropriately with bank staff.