Bank account

The tyranny of French bureaucracy

Applying for a French bank account is like trying for a permit to open a Christian bookshop in North Korea. Failing twice, I thought I’d try instead for a post office account. I went for an interview armed with passport, proofs of address, pay slips, old school reports and my inside-leg measurement. But it wasn’t enough. I was shown into a booth and sat facing a masked woman name of Maud. Maud and I were separated by a clear Perspex divide. ‘I’m listening,’ said Maud. I slid my shiny new passport through a slot in the screen. ‘I would like to open a post office current account,’ I said. Maud