I hope you all had a good summer. We spent ten days in Andernos and then enjoyed a much cooler ten days visiting family in the UK. Whilst I was in the UK I saw an advert in the paper for a bank savings account offering around 5% interest on amounts up to £50,000.
Financial update – France September 2023
By Katriona Murray-Platon
This article is published on: 4th September 2023
However, I noticed that in order to benefit from this rate you would have to commit to leaving the money there for two full years otherwise if you took the money out you would only get around 2% interest. A quick scan of the finance section of the paper showed similar offers. Now, leaving aside the fact that once you are French resident you can’t open a UK bank account, with inflation in July being 6.8% in the UK these rates are still far below inflation. IF you were to have one of these accounts and be a French resident you would need to reduce the interest rate by 30% because that is the French tax that you would have to pay on any gains. Also there is exchange rate risk that needs to be considered.
Some other accounts were brought to my attention in Jersey. However there is no double tax treaty between France and Jersey so any interest earned would be taxable in both countries.
I always advise people to take advantage of the French tax free savings accounts like the LDDS and the Livret A and the LEP if you meet the income threshold BEFORE investing. If you add the CEL account to this list it effectively means you can hold around €50,000 readily available cash earning tax free interest. These rates are reviewed quarterly on 1st of February, May, August and November. You will be pleased to hear that there have been no changes to these rates as at 1st August 2023.
One of the key points about investments is diversification. Not only are the investments we recommend very diversified in terms of geographic location and asset class but if you have invested with us this is usually only a part of your assets.
All investments whether it is your house, your bank accounts, or your other investments, involve some level of risk. You only have to look at the history of the rates on the savings accounts HERE or the current concerns about house prices and mortgage rates in the UK, to see that nothing is guaranteed in the long term. But what we can show you from the past performance of the investments we offer is that over the past three or five years they have performed well. And the longer the investment term, the greater the likelihood of strong, positive returns ahead of the rate of inflation.
Another thing we managed to do at the end of July was to complete our wills and make stipulations about the guardianship of our children. I wrote about guardianship HERE but I admit I never got round to doing anything about it until now. The husband of a French financial adviser that I recently met is the Notaire in an office in our neighbourhood so we were able to make an appointment with him. We hand wrote our wills before the notaire, signed and dated them and then handed them in with a cheque for them to be registered. It was all very easy and I’m glad that it is now sorted.
By now you should have been able to view your tax statements in your online tax account, if you have any questions about the figures please do let me know.
After a long and much needed break, I am excited to be back at work and arrange appointments with my clients and those who have contacted me. If you want to speak to me about something please do let me know.
Looking forward to speaking or hearing from you soon!