How Buzzacott helps global businesses launch to the UK and Europe in 2 weeks
Learn how Top 25 UK accounting firm Buzzacott teamed up with global payments platform Airwallex to help global businesses set up accounts in the UK and Europe in under two weeks.
Access to UK accounts
where criteria placed by a typical high street bank may have not allowed
2 week onboarding
Av. time for Buzzacott to set up client UK business accounts
Set up UK business accounts without a physical presence
Buzzacott is a top 25 UK accountancy firm that serves a wide variety of businesses but with special expert support for Global multinationals as they set up in the UK as a base for expansion across EMEA. Their 500-strong team has served private clients, businesses and not-for-profit organisations for over 100 years, offering a broad yet in-depth range of services, including accounting and tax compliance, structuring advice, and HMRC investigations.
Partner at Buzzacott, Claire Collins and manager Adam Galer, say their clients were still struggling with one of the most significant pain points: moving money from the home country to the new UK entity.
“Setting up UK based company accounts for overseas owned entities is challenging and time-consuming”, says Claire. Opting to set accounts with a high street bank comes with long and archaic processes that can stall the fluid movement of money between the home country and entities which, ultimately, delays commercial strategy.
Banks must follow strict protocols when setting these accounts up, which often means assistance from partners at Buzzacott and a lot of unnecessary back and forth — confirming information and additional explanation about the application form.
Time spent with the banks is time that Buzzacott could be spending elsewhere servicing the client.
But it’s not only the time intensity that causes problems. “Some high street banks won’t deal with overseas ownership at all,” says Claire, “and the banks that do, have strict criteria requirements — requirements startups usually don’t meet.”
“Banks tend to judge a company by its turnover, " Claire explains, “even if your parent company is turning over £50m, it doesn’t matter. It only matters how your UK entity is performing. Coming up against these barriers time and time again is frustrating to new business.”
Companies are not required by regulation to have a business account in the UK, yet Buzzacott clients know they’ll probably need a UK-issued account to do business here. If they don’t, they’ll face problems in many situations — if they receive a HMRC refund, they’re owed money, but they can’t put it anywhere without an account. Or if pension companies deduct employee pension contributions, the company must have a direct debit from a UK account.
With all these obstacles for clients, it was clear that Buzzacott needed a solution that significantly improved how business accounts were created and managed globally. A solution that improved both their experience and the clients’.
As a non-bank, Airwallex enables businesses to open Global Accounts - multi-currency business accounts - under its FCA regulated status as an Electronic Money Institution in the UK and 50 other licences around the world. This means Airwallex holds client funds in segregated and ring-fenced accounts. Furthermore, the global nature of Airwallex means it has built onboarding processes that accommodate complex non-domiciled ownership models.
After implementing Airwallex Global Accounts, Buzzacott can open business accounts easily in the UK and internationally for any client, regardless of UK turnover.
This not only makes everyone’s experience frictionless, but it meets the high demand for convenience startups have now come to expect.
The convenience of this new process is invaluable. For example, if clients want to expand into Europe, there is no longer a need for Buzzacott to approach multiple banks in all countries their clients are registered in especially where the UK entity has multiple VAT registrations throughout Europe.
Instead, Airwallex’s Global Account solution solves this problem quickly from within the UK — they’re helping clients create a UK base for global expansion.
Although the solution's main benefits are ease and efficiency, clients can also enjoy competitive FX rates; because Airwallex isn’t built as a large corporate global bank, the savings can be passed onto the client.
“Airwallex offers our clients a one-stop-shop; everything we need is under one roof. And there’s a significant value attached to this convenience — this is something that hugely matters to Buzzacott clients.”
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"Really simple to operate, really simple to use. I’ve worked out that Airwallex is likely to save us around £60k a year in bank charges alone."
See how our customers are finding Airwallex
"Airwallex have been a fantastic partner for Olsam Group as we grow our eCommerce brands to new channels and new markets. Their easy to use interface and integrations have been a joy for our finance team to use as we scale."
"For ME + EM, expanding into international markets such as the US has been our focus - and with Airwallex, we were able to use their local USD Global Account to collect from our Paypal US account, thereby allowing us to save 3% on each transaction. The process of working with Airwallex has been seamless - our suppliers get paid quickly, we have a dedicated Relationship Manager who has been really patient, helpful and quick to respond. I am keen to use their cards to pay for our ad spend in the near future to save further on our USD invoices."
Finance Manager, ME + EM
"We've had such a fantastic experience switching to Airwallex. Previously we were using a traditional bank to make all of our international transactions and they'd constantly lock us out of the account everytime we made a transfer, resulting in hours and hours of lost time on hold. Airwallex is secure, makes it super quick and simple to make and receive international payments."
Managing Director, Perspective Pictures
“We used to pay Stripe between $5,000 and $10,000 a month in conversion fees because most of our customers pay in dollars. Now we funnel that money into our Airwallex US dollar account, we don’t have to pay commission. We’ve saved more than $100,000 so far this year”
Founder and CEO, Brandbassador
"We love Airwallex! It has considerably eased our invoicing and payments to contractors around the world. Sending and receiving money is much faster and cheaper than before."
Co-Founder, Mobile Transaction
“We are so glad that we have found Airwallex! There are no hidden charges, they are quick to respond to any queries and we had the smoothest transaction with amazing support from the team continually.”
Supply Chain Executive, Miss Patisserie
"Our water solutions company, Dropterra (go.dropterra.com) has partnered with Airwallex since inception and it has been the best banking and payment partner a company can think of. International transactions are easy, secure, and fast, the technology is incredible and their client service fantastic! We look forward to growing and deepening our relationship with Airwallex!"