Offshore Euro Accounts

UK banks suck.

Natwest in particular aren’t able to transfer funds from a Euro currency account in the UK to a Euro account at another Natwest branch in the Isle of Man without charging something like £20 each time. This truly sucks because I need to do that for my pension. When I had an account with Bank Austria-Creditanstalt they were able to do this without me incurring any fees (though they did charge me for simply having an account in the first place! I guess banks all over the world suck – I’m told that Dutch banks are pretty good though.)

I’m currently forced to write and post cheques by hand every month as they tell me this is the only way I’ll be able to transfer the funds without incurring charges. To add insult to injury, if I want to do anything with this account (even finding out my balance) I have to walk into a branch and queue up to speak to a customer advisor (not even the cashiers can help me!) – and then they’re not even able to help unless I bring in a letter that Natwest themselves sent me with my account details on. I have no online access to my account (though I do for my regular Sterling accounts.) The individual branches don’t deal with these types of accounts, so they have to contact some other department for the details. On one Saturday I went in and the bank employee wasn’t able to help me because the computer systems that interface with this department apparently don’t work on a weekend…(!) On other occasions they’ve struggled to find the phone number they need to call to speak to that department – the number in their internal contacts database was wrong, it was actually the number for another local branch somewhere else in the country.

Doh!

Anyway, I just went to Barclays here on campus. The person I spoke to, Matt, was very friendly but unfortunately his bank isn’t able to offer any help either. It sounds like the only solution would be to go in person to a branch of the Ulster Bank or the Bank of Ireland and set up a new account. Next time I’m out there I might try to do that.

Here are some relevant links,

Euro Account
Barclays offer Euro Current and Euro Savings Accounts
Personal Euro Current Account Tariff

Which euro account is best for you?
Questions of Cash: I want to set up a euro bank account
barclays uk euro account?
Banks fall short of sterling service on overseas euro accounts
A euro saved is a zero earned

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5 thoughts on “Offshore Euro Accounts

  1. I have a Euro account with lloyds, I am allowed to transfer between my sterling offshore account and that absolutely free of charge, but I pay €90 a year to have the account (yes I know, I ought to close it since I dont use it anymore)

    Once in the offshore sterling account, its just like using it for any other uk account, can transfer online to any other account, in lloyds or otherwise (but obviously there are delays when transferring to other accounts. I have a debit card for my euro account, which is fine to use in shops using euro currencies, but I get charged for cash use.

    With the lloyds euro account, to get balances/statements you can either look online, (but i’ll be honest, the currency account website isnt great, my biggest problem being that I have to change the password once a month, and it cant be one I used with the previous… I think its 24 months?) I can on the currency website do moneymovers TO my sterling account myself, and I am fairly sure I sent money from there to elsewhere in europe with no problem. To transfer from the sterling account, I had to ring the phonebank, which was nice and easy, didnt take long. If you go into a branch, they arent that great, they have to phone the offshore centre for everything, as the computers between offshore and inland arent linked (well they werent when I was last at work anyways)

    well I am sure you get the idea, what do you want to use this for anyways?… feel free to email if you want to know more!

  2. I’m not sure who told you about Dutch banks, but they’re the same greedy, irresponsible bastards as anywhere else in the world.
    The online banking systems are pretty nifty though.

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