How to open a euro business bank account from the UK

Tilly Michell
3
FinanceBusiness tips
How to open a euro business bank account from the UK
In this article

If you’re a UK business with customers or suppliers in Europe, opening a euro bank account can save you a lot of money. 

If you don’t have a euro account, you will be charged currency conversion fees every time you collect payment from your European customers, send money to your European suppliers, or pay for expenses in euros. By opening a euro account, you can avoid these fees and significantly increase your profit margins. 

What is a euro business bank account? 

A euro business account allows you to collect euros, hold them in your account, and transfer them to another European account, without converting them into pound sterling. By opening a euro business account in the UK, you can avoid unnecessary transfer and currency exchange fees when trading with Europe. 

Depending on the account provider you choose, you may also receive a debit card which you can use to pay expenses in euros without being subject to fees. 

You can open a euro business account with Airwallex online and start spending and collecting euros across borders with zero charges.   

Why open a euro business account?

Between 2021 and 2027, the cross-border ecommerce market is projected to grow at an annual CAGR of 27%, reaching $4,820 billion by 2026. 

As ecommerce booms around the world, more and more businesses are looking to trade across borders. A recent Airwallex survey found that 77% of UK firms plan to expand their international presence in 2022

Overseas expansion presents countless opportunities for UK businesses. But unless firms adapt their banking strategy, they could end up cutting a chunk out of their bottom line. 

Here are some examples of how your business could be stung:

  • Paying international suppliers: high street banks charge between 2.6 - 3.5% above the interbank rate for currency exchange. That means if you pay your European suppliers £100,000 a year, you could end up paying out £3,500 to the banks, just for the privilege of sending money abroad.

  • Receiving payment from customers: when your overseas customers pay in their local currency via PayPal, Amazon Pay or Stripe, you will be charged a currency conversion fee between 2 - 2.5% if you collect your money into a sterling bank account.

  • Paying European employees: the rise of remote working has allowed more businesses to employ overseas staff. But unless you have a euro account, every time you pay your European employees, the banks will take a cut. 

  • Paying for international expenses: many tech companies, including Facebook, Google and LinkedIn are billed outside the UK. If you pay for your online ads or software subscriptions from a sterling account, you may be hit with fees. 

  • Spending abroad: if you or your employees take regular business trips to the continent, you'll be charged a fee every time you use your debit or credit card, unless that card is linked to a euro account. 

Over the course of a year, your business could rack up hundreds of thousands in unnecessary fees. Fortunately, these fees are easily avoidable if you set up an international account.  

The best euro account options for UK businesses

Once you’ve decided to open a euro account, you have a couple of options: 

1) Apply for a foreign currency account with a bank 

High street banks will allow you to open a euro account if your business meets their criteria. The only snag is that high street banks charge a variety of fees on foreign currency accounts. These include:

  • Account fees ranging from £24 - £60 per year 

  • Fees for paying out and receiving money, between £6 - £25 per transaction

  • Non-sterling debit card charges up to 2.75% of the transaction value

  • Cash withdrawal charges between 1.5 - 2.75 %

  • Currency exchange fees between 2.6 - 3.5% above the interbank rate

In short, opening an euro business account with a traditional bank will help you curb the cost of transferring large sums of money to Europe. But it won’t help you save on other costs, such as paying smaller international expenses, receiving payment from customers, using a debit card abroad, or converting euros to pound sterling. 

2) Apply for a global business account

If you want to make your business truly borderless, a better option is to open a global business account (sometimes called a multi-currency account). With an Airwallex global business account, you can hold multiple currencies, including euros, USD and pound sterling, in a single account, whilst avoiding unnecessary conversion charges.  

The benefits of opening a global account with Airwallex include:

  • Zero account fees 

  • Zero transaction fees when sending and receiving euros across borders

  • Zero transaction fees when you spend in euros with our borderless debit card, at home or abroad 

  • Currency exchange between 0.5 - 1% above the interbank rate

So whether you’re collecting euros from customers, sending euros to suppliers, or paying in euros with your borderless card, you won’t be hit with unnecessary fees. You’ll also have the advantage of managing your finances from a single account, whether you’re dealing in sterling, euros, USD, Chinese Yuan or any of the 11+ currencies we offer. 

How to open a euro business account

Whichever provider you choose, the easiest way to open a euro business account is to apply online. 

Applying for an international business account is similar to applying for a sterling business account. You will be asked a series of questions about your company, and prompted to upload some documentation to prove your identity. 

Your provider will then check your eligibility and be in touch to set up your account. The process should take between 2 - 5 business days. 

Final thoughts

Growing your business across borders used to come with a hefty price tag. But by choosing the right business account, you can now expand internationally whilst actively reducing your expenses. 

If you’d like to learn how an Airwallex global account can help you manage your money more efficiently, apply online today, or watch a 3 minute demo.

Back to blog

Share

Tilly Michell
Content Marketing Manager

Tilly manages the content strategy for Airwallex UK. She specialises in content that supports businesses in their growth trajectory.

Subscribe for our latest updates straight to your inbox
Loading...

Related Posts

A message from our Co-founder and CEO
Company news

A message from our Co-founder and CEO

Jack Zhang

10 minutes

Opening a business account in Hong Kong

4 minutes

Why you should start an eCommerce business this Chinese New Year
Alice Wong

2 mins

Watch a 3-minute demo

Enter your details below to watch the demo:
Loading...

We're not a bank, we're better.

Get started
Business Account
Global Accounts

© Airwallex 2021. All rights reserved.

Cookies on the Airwallex website

We use cookies to give you a better experience on our website. If you continue without changing your settings, we’ll assume that you are happy to receive cookies. However, if you would like to, you can change your cookie settings at any time here

Find out more