• 5 MIN READ
How to Open a Euro Bank Account: UK Guide
August 26, 2022
There are many reasons why you may need a Euro account. For example, you often travel to the Eurozone countries, send money to your contractors and partners, receive a salary in Euros, or serve customers from Europe. We want to share tips on how to find the perfect option for you and how to open an account in the UK.
Even though Brexit has pushed the UK a little further away from the countries of the European continent, economic ties continue to be key. With the help of a Euro bank account, you will be able to protect and increase your savings, and freely work with foreign clients, suppliers, and financial institutions. If you want to make transactions in EUR or just want to receive payments, opening a Euro bank account in the UK will help you significantly save on exchange fees.
An IBAN (international bank account number) is attached to the Euro account, and you can get a guarantee of protection of your bank deposits of £85,000. Euro accounts are included in the SEPA network, which allows you to use fast and inexpensive money transfers within the SEPA zone.
But how easy is it to open a Euro account in the UK? Where can this be done?
In this guide, we will tell you everything you need to know. Additionally, we will cover alternatives such as a Payrow account that may better suit your needs.
Why Do I Need to Open a Euro Bank Account?
Of course, not everyone needs a bank account denominated in Euros. For the most part, freelancers, large and small companies, and entrepreneurs are interested in this opportunity; however, this is not an exhaustive list.
When opening an account, it is important to understand the purpose and benefits. Sometimes, such a decision is caused by circumstances and just looks logical. Here are the main reasons you may need a bank account in Euros:
- If you need to send and receive Euros regularly
- If you are paid in Euros
- If you are a British citizen who owns real estate in Europe
- If you are an expatriate
- If you want to keep Euros in your bank account
One more reason is that currencies fluctuate constantly. When the Pound weakens, you’ll get fewer Euros during the exchange. Logically, this makes things in Europe more expensive. Maintaining your own Euros means you don't have to pay an exchange fee and don't have to risk how each currency might perform.
What Do I Need to Open a Euro Bank Account?
There is a set of mandatory standard requirements for documents for opening a bank account in Euros. Additional requirements may arise due to circumstances, your status in the country, or depending on what exactly you will need. You should:
• Be at least 18 years old
• Be able to provide an identity card
• Be able to prove that you have an address in the UK (in some cases a European address).
Some of the best Euro bank accounts also require you to have a current account with them in Pounds Sterling. They do not allow you, as a resident of the UK, to simply open an account in Euros. Overall, the requirements are analogous to what you would expect from any bank account you would like to open in the UK.
Which UK banks Offer a Euro Account?
Let’s look at several of the largest UK banks offering accounts in Euros.
Like many large banks, Barclays has one of the cheapest accounts in Euros. It also eliminated many of the fees charged by other traditional banks. Replenishment of your euro account is carried out free of charge in cash in the same currency, as well as free of charge from your sterling account, if it is registered to you. What’s more, free banking services include cash withdrawals from ATMs and international payments.
If you receive payments to your account in Euros from outside of Europe, a commission of £6 is charged. Cheques are also expensive (but, fortunately, they are rarely used these days), and any telephone transfers will cost you dearly, in this case up to £25. The biggest drawback is that there is no ATM card, which makes this account useless for travelers, but perhaps still useful for those who receive money in euros but spend it in sterling.
Eligibility: The account can only be opened through a physical branch of Barclays or by phone. You must be at least 18 years old, you must reside in the UK, and you will need a Barclays sterling current account. The owners of the main current accounts of Barclays (Barclays Basic Current Account) do not have the right to open a Euro account.
Lloyds Bank offers an International Current Account. Such an account allows you to choose from three currencies, one of which is the Euro. The account holds 24/7 access around the world thanks to internet banking. Additionally, you will receive a Visa debit card for payment in Euros. Making or receiving international payments is free, but there is a monthly fee.
Eligibility: To be eligible for this account, you are required to have a gross annual income of at least £50,000 (or the equivalent of this amount in Euros). If you have at least £25,000 to save with Lloyds Bank, you may also be eligible. One more requirement is that you need to make your first deposit to the account within 30 days from the moment you open it.
HSBC can offer you an International Current Account. Here you can choose from 14 major currencies, including the euro. You will have a separate account for each currency.
The peculiarity of an HSBC currency account is the ease of management, displaying current exchange rates that are updated in real-time (during market hours). Such a currency account does not have a monthly fee.
Eligibility: To be eligible for this account, you must be over the age of 18 and have an active current account with HSBC. If you meet these criteria, you can apply online using your online banking.
What Should I Pay Attention to?
As already mentioned, in modern conditions, financial institutions in Europe have many questions and requirements for potential clients. In order to open an account with a European bank with attractive terms of service, you need to study the information and find answers to the questions:
- How do clients and experts evaluate this bank? How reliable is it?
- How much will the bank account you need cost? Do I need to pay an additional fee?
- Is there an opportunity to open an account online?
- What currencies does this bank work with? Is it possible to open multi-currency accounts? What are the interbank exchange rates for buying and selling currencies?
- How does the bank work with companies of foreign origin and non-resident individuals?
- Are there any restrictions on working with corporate clients?
Before opening a Euro account, it’s important to check the small print. The key things to pay attention to are monthly fees and charges for international transfers. Many banks, as a rule, add a mark-up to the so-called mid-market rate, which makes foreign payments more expensive for you.
Manage Your Finance with the Payrow Multi-Currency Account
If you want to completely eliminate commissions, account fees, and poor exchange rates, there is an alternative that allows you to save money. You can create sub-accounts in GBP and EUR if you work with multiple currencies. There are no hidden fees to worry about.
Even better, with Payrow, you are guaranteed a real mid-market exchange rate without an additional expensive mark-up. Make your payments easier and more convenient with Payrow!