Opening a euro account in the UK is a good idea if you regularly make or receive payments in Euros and are looking for the cheapest way to send and receive foreign currency.
A euro bank account will provide the flexibility to receive, hold and convert EUR balances as and when you wish. This can help you save money when it comes to international fx payments with significantly lower currency exchange fees. So if you’re a business selling to or paying suppliers in the eurozone, or you’re an individual that regularly makes or receives EUR transfers, this guide is for you. We compare the best euro bank accounts UK and explain the difference between euro accounts provided by retail banks and online euro bank accounts provided by digital or neobanks. We’ll explain the pros and cons of each and run through the options for opening a free euro business account or free euro personal account.
Why a Multi-Currency Account for Euro?
To save money on the exchange rate between GBP EUR and/or other currencies it’s normally always best to opt for a EURO bank account provided by a neobank or specialist currency account provider like Wise or OFX in the form of a multi-currency account. They will almost certainly be accompanied by more favourable exchange rates than what could be achieved through a normal bank (see our EUR bank account fee comparison below).
|GBP to Euro “Official” Rate||Avg rate by banks||Average bank fee||Average rate with a multi-currency account||Average fee for transfer with bank alternatives|
|1.1456 EUR||1.1112 EUR to 1.1226 EUR||£10-£15||1.1341 EUR to 1.1398 EUR||None|
Best UK Euro Accounts (Virtual Foreign Bank Accounts)
View the top rated foreign currency collection account in UK below – Updated for: March 2023
- Bank accounts available in UK, EU, Poland, Australia, New Zealand and USA but you can hold money in 50+ currencies
- Most recognisable name in money transfers and multi-currency account, serving millions of customers and traded on the London Stock Exchange
- Very transparent about its fees which are generally among the cheapest for both private clients
- Very easy to use online, fast (especially with transfers with other Wise accounts)
- Easy to set up to receive payments from PayPal, Amazon, eBay, ETSY etc.
- Bank accounts available in UK, France, Germany, USA and Canada, as well as Singapore, China and Japan (recent additions)
- FX Margins are anywhere up to 0.75%, depending on the amount sent, potentially cheaper than competitors like TransferWise (Wise). Payment fees range from £1.50 - £15, depending on the payment type
- Industry Leader in the eCommerce Space, owned by Ant Financial (AliPay). Easy integration with any eCommerce platform, and an Amazon recommended solution for currency exchange
- Operating since 1979 - the first commercial foreign exchange space. Specialising in businesses - both large corporations and small businesses. Each business customer with volume of £5,000 is assigned with a dedicated currency dealer, demonstrating a very high level of professionalism and excellent availability
- Virtual IBAN bank accounts available in GBP, EUR and USD - but you can use Moneycorp to hold balances in over 120 currencies
- 98% satisfaction based on online customer review -many customer and business awards
Business Euro Account FAQs
Why Use a Euro Account Instead of Exchanging When Needed?
By opening an online business bank account in euro or an EUR private bank account, you should also be able to reduce the amount of currency transactions conducted, thus avoiding being hit with the expensive currency conversion fees each time EUR is transferred to another currency. The ability to hold an EUR balance also provides the flexibility to conduct the currency exchange when you wish, potentially allowing you to do this when the rate moves in your favour and achieving a better rate than what would have otherwise been possible.
What’s more, if you have both inflows and outflows in EUR, you’ll develop what’s known as a ‘natural hedge’ and reduce your currency risk exposure as there’s no need to constantly move funds out of EUR if you know that you have an upcoming requirement to make a euro payment. The best euro “bank-like” accounts are available below and are constantly inspected and compared by us at MoneyTransferComparison.
What’s the difference between euro accounts with UK banks and online Euro bank accounts?
Online Euro business bank accounts are only accessible online or via the provider’s app. These online-only providers have no retail presence and the bank accounts are not able to accept cheques. Other than this, the accounts operate in much the same way. Whether the accounts are held in the UK or Europe, EUR payments are made within the SEPA network, allowing for either same-day (urgent SEPA credit transfers) or next-day delivery (standard SEPA credit transfers).
However, as per our guide to transferring money between UK and Europe, it’s worth bearing in mind that since the UK left the EU, a number of European banks are now charging expensive fees to make and receive SEPA transfers with the UK. A euro bank account with a major UK bank, such as a Barclays UK euro account, HSBC euro account or Halifax euro account, will be physically held in the UK and will be subject to extra fees when sending money to/from some European banks such as Spanish bank Sabadell. Online euro bank accounts held with OFX, WorldFirst or Wise are held in the eurozone and should avoid the new fees which have been introduced for sending/receiving money with an EUR account physically held in the UK. That’s one of the major perks of using a specialist currency account provider; they have euro accounts available in the UK, which can be operated from the UK, but the accounts are actually held in the eurozone (often Germany).
What are the benefits of opening a Euro business bank account?
By opening a euro bank account you can avoid the excessive conversion charges of constantly converting all EUR receivables to GBP. If you have both payments and receivables in EUR then you should find a natural hedge between the two. By being able to hold EUR balances you may also avoid potential exchange rate loss by opting to convert when the exchange rate is in your favour.
Are these Euro business accounts free to open?
Yes, all of the online providers allow you to open a euro account for free. The only cost will be the fee to make payments, as well as currency conversion fees when you’re converting between two currencies. Currency conversion fees are almost always cheaper with money transfer companies than they are with banks. UK banks may also charge an account opening fee.
Standard Euro Bank Account vs. Online Euro Bank Account
Via publicly available information, we can make a like-for-like comparison with the legacy bank Lloyds and the currency specialist Wise, gaining valuable insight into the various fees that may or may not be associated with opening and operating a euro account with each provider (fees true as November 2022).
Comparing Personal Euro Account Fees
|Account Opening Fees||Free to open personal account||Free to open personal account|
|Ongoing Management Fees||£7.50/€8 per month||None|
|Outgoing Payment Fee||None||€0.46|
|Base FX Spread on Outgoing Payments||3.55%||Circa 0.5% currency conversion fee to most currencies|
|Incoming Payment Fee||None||None|
|International Debit Card Fees|
-1.5% withdrawal fee
-2.99% currency conversion fee
-Free up to £200 withdrawal a month
-1% withdrawal fee over £200 per month
-Circa 0.5% currency conversion fee to most currencies
-Min £50,000 salary or currency equivalent OR
-Min £25,000 savings
Lloyds charges no inbound or outbound payment fees for private customers with their euro bank account. Unfortunately, their currency conversion cost is a whopping 3.55% when they convert EUR into another currency (as demonstrated in our international bank transfer fees analysis). There’s also a £7.50 ongoing monthly management fee. By contrast, Wise charges no ongoing management fees, no inbound payment fees and a very-low outbound payment fee of €0.46. Their currency conversion costs are also much smaller with a fee of around 0.5% applied, depending on the currency (for example EURGBP charged at 0.47% and EURUSD 0.5%). In purely currency conversion costs, Wise could be up to 3% cheaper than Lloyds (that’s £300 on a £10,000 transfer). Their fees for using the euro bank account debit card abroad are also significantly cheaper, amounting to around 1.5%, compared to Lloyds totalling around 4.5%.
Lloyds requires customers to insert an annual salary of at least £50,000 into the account, or have savings of at least £25,000. Wise has no limits which could prohibit access to the account.
Comparing Business Euro Account Fees
|Account Opening Fees||Free euro business account to open||£45 to register but free euro business account if already have sterling|
|Ongoing Management Fees||£24 per year||Free euro business account on an ongoing basis|
|Outgoing Payment Fee||£15 online banking||€0.46|
|Base FX Spread on Outgoing Payments||2.6%||Circa 0.5% currency conversion fee to most currencies|
|Incoming Payment Fee|
Up to £100 – £2
Above £100 – £7
|International Debit Card Fees||Debit card not available with Lloyds euro business bank account|
-Free up to £200 withdrawal a month
-1% withdrawal fee over £200 per month
-Circa 0.5% currency conversion fee to most currencies
|Eligibility Requirements||Min £3m annual turnover||None|
Lloyds charges both inbound and outbound payment fees for their euro business account in the UK. Inbound payment fees could get out of hand, particularly if you’re regularly exceeding the EUR equivalent of £100 or more into your euro business account, in which case a £7 fee is applied. Online payments with Lloyds are charged at £15, whilst Wise charges the same low fee which is identical to its personal account offering – €0.46. At 2.6%, Lloyd’s currency conversion costs for their euro business account are better than their personal offering but still significantly higher than the circa 0.5% applied by Wise. In purely currency conversion costs, Wise is still around 2.1% cheaper than Lloyds for FX transfers through business euro accounts (that’s £210 on a £10,000 transfer). The Wise fees for using their euro bank account debit card for business is also the same as it is for personal users – to withdraw money abroad in another currency it costs around 1.5%. Lloyds does not offer international debit cards to business customers. To access the Lloyd’s euro business account, you need to have a company turnover of at least £3m annually. Wise has no eligibility requirements which prohibit access to their business euro account (just that you have to be a registered business!).
To view more information about bank international payment fees, read this comprehensive guide and analysis.
Best Euro Accounts UK vs. Default Currency Conversion
The ground facts
- If you are selling on Amazon into Europe (or any territory where EUR is charged) and are using the default Amazon setup, you will lose up to 4% of your sales in foreign exchange fees when using their Amazon Global Seller Program if you supply a GBP denominated bank account in the UK for your EUR sales.
- If you are using eBay, your items will appear more expensive than their listed price for international buyers (due to Paypal’s high currency exchange fees, even if you transfer money from Paypal account to your Transferwise account).
- If you use a UK or European bank to exchange overseas funds to domestic currency, it will cost you spreads of 2% or more of the lump sum (what’s more you probably won’t be able to open a bank outside of the UK in the currency you require regardless).
Selling internationally comes with countless hurdles to jump, including operations, warehousing and tax, but nevertheless – it presents a huge opportunity to grow your business. Using the right services together, offering you multi-currency accounts, a euro business bank account in UK and cheaper FX will beat Amazon’s currency exchange program (offered via the Amazon Global Sellers Online centre), eBay’s currency exchange fees, or other high-cost “default” solution.
Best Euro Account in the UK & Your Savings – Online Marketplace Sellers
|Annual Turnover||Amazon Currency Exchange||Specialist Provider||Saving|
|€10,000||€400 in currency fees||€50-€100 in currency fees||€300-€350|
|€50,000||€2,000 in currency fees||€250-€500 in currency fees||€1,500-€1,750|
|€100,000||€4,000 in currency fees||€500-€1,000 in currency fees||€3,000-€3,500|
|€1,000,000||€40,000 in currency fees||€5,000 – €10,000 in currency fees||€30,000 – €35,000|
Notes: The table above is not marketplace specific. The currency exchange services for online sellers are applicable to your business regardless of whether you sell on Amazon, Ali Baba, TMall, Overstock, eBay, Ubid, Bonanza, or any other online marketplace. The figures used in this table are only meant to demonstrate what you could potentially save; They use 4% as the base figure for currency exchange fees, and 0.5%-1% in foreign currency fees when choosing a specialist provider – this is not necessarily what you’re paying at the moment, or what you’ll be paying with a currency provider, but rather a rough figure based on Amazon’s FX fees and information supplied by currency providers.
The best UK euro account?
Multi-Currency Accounts Keep You Covered!
Below are the euro business accounts you can open globally using two of our most recommended multi-currency accounts:
|With World First You can…||With OFX You Can…|
|✓ Open Euro account in UK||✓ Open Euro account in UK|
|✓ Open Euro account in Australia||✓ Open Euro account in Australia|
|✓ Open Euro account in Europe||✓ Open Euro account in Europe|
Note there are other euro accounts with UK banks where you can open up foreign bank accounts for your business, such as HSBC euro accounts UK, however we have predominantly focused on services offered by money transfer companies. This is because they are always cheaper to operate and faster to open. It’s also worth pointing out that HSBC’s multi-currency accounts are actually held in Jersey. The money transfer companies we feature here (except moneycorp) have built solutions where the currency account is held locally to the country it represents – making it easier to do business like a local.
How to Open a Euro Account in the UK?
If you want to open a business euro account then you should know the process is actually really simple when using an international money transfer firm or Fintech listed on this page. The process will look just like this:
- Choose who you deem to be the best euro account UK from our selection above.
- Open your online euro business bank account (shouldn’t take longer than 10 minutes to complete your initial application for any of the euro business bank accounts listed here).
- Complete your registration profile by uploading your documents to verify your account for security purposes. The same compliance protocols apply to FinTech’s operating euro business accounts in the UK as banks, FinTech’s just speed the whole process up by automating a lot of the process online).
- Activate your euro accounts in the UK and any other currency accounts you require. Get your euro bank account details – including account number and IBAN.
- Upload funds, receive incoming payments and, in some cases, even order your debit card to start spending from your euro account in the UK.
Added values when using our recommendations for online euro bank accounts in the UK?
Companies such as World First, MoneyCorp or OFX provide clients with so much more than simply transferring money from country A to country B, or enabling businesses to collect and pay balances from a multi-currency bank account. It’s not only about improving the poor currency exchange rate offered by Banks, Amazon’s Global Sellers Program or improving your eBay seller account’s value proposition to overseas buyers.
All of these companies listed provide customers with dedicated account managers that often become a vital cog in their business – they can assist with recommendations for the timing to exchange certain currencies, suggest tailored hedging solutions specific to each business, and even help answer queries relating to selling internationally online based on their experience in assisting clients who have a similar business profile and sell on many of the same marketplaces
For example, we know of cases where account managers from these companies have helped their clients who sell on Amazon reduce their Amazon Seller fees above and beyond just the Amazon Money Transfer costs by recommending local solutions for delivery as well as recommending new marketplaces to sell on, with unique introductory offers. Additionally, the power to open a euro business account (or any other multi-currency account locally), and accepting payments in foreign currency into your bank account is simply unrivalled in the money transfer and currency exchange industry. Very few companies have the same capabilities when it comes to euro business bank accounts for businesses and online sellers as the companies listed here.
Bottom Line – Compare Euro Accounts UK
If you are a small business or online seller, making foreign currency payments in EUR or receiving them, you should consider a specialised and bespoke service to open a free euro business account in the UK. We believe the above companies provide the best Euro accounts in the UK – they’re free to open, have no ongoing maintenance costs and are accompanied by a smooth, reliable and low-cost payment solution. Applications take no longer than 10 minutes and you can open a euro business account on the same day you apply.