Payment from French account 'not allowed'
Thread poster: Hannah D

Hannah D  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:09
French to English
+ ...
Jul 27, 2015

Hi everyone,

I recently gave a client the details for my new Euro UK bank account, and they have responded by telling me that their bank in France (Credit Agricole) has just decided to block payments made by businesses to British accounts, apparently due to illegal transfers.
Has anyone heard anything about this? If this is true, it sounds crazy. I just wanted to know if anyone else has experienced this issue as I'm not sure what to do next. This is one of my best clients but it's going to be very annoying to have to keep my French account open for them alone.

Thanks,

Hannah


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Natalie Soper  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:09
French to English
+ ...
Really? Jul 27, 2015

Credit Agricole has blocked ALL bank transfers to the UK? That seems a little hard to believe - surely chaos would ensue! Perhaps they're trying to buy some time before paying you?

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Hannah D  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:09
French to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Exactly... Jul 27, 2015

Thanks for your reply Natalie, I mean that's exactly what I was thinking. Imagine the chaos, not to mention the money the bank would be missing out on. I can't seem to find any info on this story online either...

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Andrea Halbritter  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:09
Member (2014)
French to German
+ ...
Strange Jul 27, 2015

Sounds strange for me as well. I pay 3€30 per bank transfer to the UK though. (Not Crédit Agricole.)

Anyhow even if that's true they have to cope with it and see how they pay you on time and without extra fees for you.


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Andrea Halbritter  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:09
Member (2014)
French to German
+ ...
Illegal transfers Jul 27, 2015

The only explanation I do have is if they really have to pay a lot of money because I think there is a maximum allowed to avoid illegal transfers.

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wotswot  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:09
Member (2011)
French to English
Hannah - Crédit Agricole feedback Jul 27, 2015

Hi Hannah,

This may or may not be relevant, but I recently tried to transfer some money from my Crédit Agricole business account in France to my bank account in the UK (a small bank, subsidiary of RBS). I tried to do so via the CA's online system, which requires you to go to your local branch and ask them to add the receiving bank's IBAN and BIC to your online list of payees. This didn't work, their system refused it. They escalated the problem to their head office, who came back to me saying that my UK bank (the small RBS subsidiary) had not yet joined the SEPA (Single Euro Payments Area) system (only mandatory from August 2016 apparently). My small UK bank eventually confirmed this, saying that they would be joining the system by that date.
So it may depend on your UK bank. Has it joined the SEPA system yet?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Single_Euro_Payments_Area

Also, as Andrea suggests, many French (and no doubt other) banks cap the amount you can transfer online, for obvious security reasons. For our joint account at LCL I had to apply online to have the ceiling raised from 2000 to 5000 euros; it took about a week (they send you a code - by post - that you then have to enter online).

Kind regards

Richard


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Kirsten Bodart  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 03:09
Dutch to English
+ ...
Not necessarily an excuse not to pay you Jul 28, 2015

I'm not sure. Who told you that Crédit Agricole really blocked all payments by all businesses to the UK? And did they know that first hand or did someone tell them? Are you sure it's not just the agency's payments alone that have been blocked? Maybe because of suspected fraud: usually agency sends payments to a number of regular bank account numbers in France and abroad, but suddenly sends a large payment to someone in the UK. Alarm bells start ringing at the bank's end, as this is surely 'out of the ordinary', so they block all payments to the UK. 'As a precaution'. Naturally they'll need some time to solve the issue...
Banks really are a law onto themselves.
I've had a case like this where the client wasn't even told about the blocked payment until the person at the receiving end of the payment contacted them. And it was, wait for it, 'because the address was in another country than the bank account.' If people want to do their business like that, it's their business and not the bank's, IMO.

If I were you, I'd even keep that account in France, unless you're only receiving pennies from that client. Your euro account in Britain will cost more to receive every payment than paying the maintenance fee on your French one. Assuming your UK one is a business account, of course.


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XXXphxxx  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:09
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Miscellania Jul 28, 2015

1) My French bank (Crédit Agricole) used to charge me €3.50 for transfers to the UK but since SEPA integration has charged nothing. I am still free to transfer to the UK but it might be because the beneficiary details were input in the system long ago and I simply order the transfer online.
2) My U.K. bank charges me nothing to receive Euro payments to my Euro account.
3) Unless your bank is not one of the usual high street ones (unlikely if it offers Euro accounts) it will almost certainly be part of the SEPA system.

I would ask your client for a letter from their bank confirming all transfers to the UK are currently frozen.


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Gabriele Demuth  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:09
Member (2014)
English to German
Real reason or excuse Jul 28, 2015

I think it is important for the OP to know whether this is the real reason for the delay in payment or just an excuse, and I wouldn't to go as far as wanting a letter from the bank, but I would want to get paid at some point.

Maybe an interim alternative payment method could be arranged?

[Edited at 2015-07-28 09:22 GMT]


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Jenny Forbes  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:09
Member (2006)
French to English
+ ...
Mystified Jul 28, 2015

I'm mystified. I have various agency clients in France and other EU countries which (I'm glad to say) regularly pay me by transfer (from a variety of banks) to my current account in the UK at HSBC. HSBC does not charge me for these transfers.
No client has yet told me that transfers from French banks to UK banks have been frozen.
How does your client now propose paying you, in the circumstances? Have you asked them what they suggest doing?
Have you asked your own bank to investigate this extraordinary situation?
Please keep us posted.
Best of luck!


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Andrea Halbritter  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 03:09
Member (2014)
French to German
+ ...
Call the bank Jul 29, 2015

I would first call the Credit Agricole and hear what they say about that.

And then I would recontact the customer.

Have they proposed you another payment method?


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Roland CLEMENCEAU
France
Local time: 03:09
English to French
"Payment from French account 'not allowed' Jul 30, 2015

Having been one of their customers for years, I find it really hard to believe they would do such a thing, operate such policies. I would even go as far as saying they are - by far - the most serious-minded, professional, customer-oriented bank one can find in France nowadays.

Therefore, I would agree with anyone advising you to contact them directly, see if there is anything at all you should know regarding this situation and from their side.


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Payment from French account 'not allowed'

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