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Banking Glossary of French-English terms

What is the origin of the word « bank »? It goes back to Italian. In Medieval Italy a moneylander set up a bench in the town square and sat down behind it to do business. The word for « bench » in Italian is banca. When the banker ran out of money he smashed his bench, it was then a broken bench or banca rotta. Doesn’t that sound like bankrupt? (makes one think of « rupture », interestingly in French the word is banqueroute)

Here is a set of the most commons terms used in banking/finance in France along with their English equivalents.

Actions : Shares
ADI (Assurance Décès Invalidité) : Death and invalidity insurance
Agios : Interest paid on loan or overdraft
Annuité : Annual payment
Apport : Down payment or deposit you bring for loan or mortgageBank
Approvisionner : To credit funds to your account
Argent liquide/espèces : Cash
Avis d’opération : Transaction receipt
Avis à Tiers Détenteur : Notice to third party holder
Bénéficiaire : Beneficiary
Carnet de chèques/Chéquier : Checkbook
Caution : Guarantee
Chèque de banque : Bank check/draft
Chèque sans provision : A ‘bounced’ cheque, colloquially in French this is said « chèque en bois »
Code personnel/confidentiel : PIN number

Compte courrant : day to day bank account with checking
Compte débiteur : Overdrawn account
Compte destinataire : Account receiving money
Compte joint : Joint account

Compte titres : Account grouping stocks and shares and where the account holder can buy and sell

Courtier : Broker
Crédit hypothécaire : Mortgage

Cryptogramme: Security code on a credit card (last 3 digits on back side)Bank2
DAB (Distributeur Automatique de Billets) : ATM/Cash Dispenser
Date d’expiration : Expiry date
Date d’opération : Date transaction recorded
Date de Valeur : Date when amount debited or credited
Débit différé : Deferred credit on a card
Débit Immédiat : Credit card is immediately debited
Découvert : Overdraft
Déposer (de l’argent) : To deposit on an account
Dépôt / Versement : Deposit
Devise : Foreign Currency

Droits de garde : Broker fees
Echéancier : Payment schedule for a bill or loan
Endosser : To endorse (a check)
Espèces : Cash
Frais : Fees

Frais de rapatriement : Commission on receipt of international currency
IBAN: International Bank Account Number

Impôt : Tax
Monnaie : Currency
Opposition : Cancellation of payment
Placement : InvestmentBank3
Prêt : Loan
Prélèvement automatique : Direct debit
Prêt garanti : Secured loan
Procuration : Power of attorney
Relevé de compte : Bank statement

Relevé d’Identité Bancaire (RIB) : Bank account identifier codes. France is in transition between two systems. RIBs (23 digits) are still used for transfers between accounts within the country, but the system is slowly moving over to using IBANs (2 letters and 25 digits) for all transactions national and international.
Remboursement : Reimbursemnt, repayment
Retirer (de l’argent) : Withdrawal of funds
Saisie Attribution : Seizure of funds
Solde bancaire : Account Balance
Tableau d’amortissement : Monthly repayment schedule
Taux : Rate of interest
Taux de change : Exchange rate
TEG : Annual Percentage Rate (APR)
Titulaire : Account holder
Valable : Valid

Virement bancaire: Bank transfer/Direct deposit

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3 Responses to "Banking Glossary of French-English terms"

  1. societe ltd dit :

    Comment c’est traduit – obligations d’Etat?

  2. If you want to live in France then you have to know your way around a bank in French, so this posting is most welcome.

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