How to Transfer Euros to a UK Bank Account

By 
Matt Di Vincere (Chief Editor)
Last Edited Sep 03, 2023

If you want to send Euros or receive Euros, to a UK bank account, you have a few options available. If you want to exchange EUR back to GBP, you can use your bank or a specialist provider. If you want to keep the funds in EUR without making a Sterling to Euro exchange, you can either open a Euro bank account with your bank (other than with Nationwide or RBS), or open a virtual multi-currency account in Euro. Overall, it’s easy to receive EUR to a bank account in the UK, and it can also be inexpensive, if you are using the right service.

Warning ⚠️: You Will Be Hit with Invisible Fees

If you want to convert the EURO to GBP, make sure to agree on an exchange rate before initiating the transfer. Using the bank’s “default” exchange rate can cause a significant loss of money. 🚫

If you don’t do that, you’ll want to avoid sending euros to a GBP bank account in UK, as the receiving bank will likely offer an unfavorable exchange rate compared to the alternatives (international bank transfer fees in the UK are notoriously high).  Below you can find a very rough estimation of what you could expect to pay on a bank transfer of Euros to UK with a bank vs. a provider:

CurrenciesOfficial GBPEUR Exchange RatesHigh Street Bank Exchange Rate (Estimated)Recommended Provider Rate (Estimated)
Euro to USD0.8536 GBP0.8280 GBP to 0.8365 GBP0.8450 GBP to 0.8493 GBP

The differences are enormous. 😲

You could be paying as much as 3,000 Pounds in fees alone on a 100,000 Euro transfer. 💸

How to Save Money When Transferring Euros to Your UK Bank Account? 💡

Specialist money transfer services offer better GBPEUR than banks for international money transfers. We recommend using UK currency brokers who offer, as a part of their service, not only better exchange rates, but also bespoke service – apt for complex or large transfers. 👌

Our comprehensive guide below will explain the nuts and bolts of making cheaper international transactions… 📘

Best Bank Alternatives for Euros to UK 🇬🇧

 

We also have guides focused on the two main routes for Euro transfers to UK:

If you are keen on using your bank, you could also read about the best banks for international transfers and the best international bank account in UK here.

Can I Open a Euro Account with My Bank?

Yes, it is possible to open a euro account with a number of major UK banks. The account will be held in the UK and have an IBAN, meaning it can be used to receive SEPA transfers within the EU and international bank transfers via SWIFT.

These are the banks where you can open a euro account in the UK:

BankFees (Sending Money)Fees (Receiving Money)Ongoing Fees?Eligibility Requirements?
Barclays

SEPA Transfers: Free

Branch/Telephone: £25

Online: £0

Receiving SEPA transfers: No fee

Under £100: No fee

Over £100: £6 for receiving international transfers

NoneMust hold a GBP current account with bank.
HSBC

SEPA Transfers: Free

€7 for international transfers

€7 for receiving international transfersNoneMust hold a GBP current account with bank.
LloydsFree (£12 correspondent fee may apply)Free for electronic transfers£7.50 monthly feeMust hold a GBP current account with bank.
NatWest

SEPA Transfers: Free

International Payment: 0.30% (min £23, max £40)

Under £100: No fee

Over £100: £7.50 for receiving international transfers

£8 monthly fee

-18+

-Minimum deposit of £25,000 or salary of £40,000

Santander$40 for international transfersFree for electronic transfersNoneMust hold a GBP current account with bank.

It’s relatively straightforward to open a euro account with a UK bank online, and you’ll be able to manage your funds through your bank’s online banking platform and app once it’s set up. Keep in mind that converting euros to GBP with your bank may result in a poor exchange rate.

What About Other Major UK Banks?

You cannot open a euro account with Nationwide or RBS as a personal customer.

How Do I Transfer Money from Abroad if I Have a Euro Account?

If you’re receiving euros from the EU, you’ll just need to provide the sender with the IBAN details of your euro account (a 22-character alphanumeric code for UK-based accounts). The money will be sent via the SEPA network and will credit your account by the next working day, at the latest. SEPA has made it seamless to transfer money within the eurozone and even UK banks provide low-fee services for payments made and received over the SEPA network.

If you’re receiving euros from outside the EU, the money will likely be sent via the SWIFT network. Again you’ll have to provide the IBAN details of your account and in some instances your name and address that your account is registered to. The transfer might take a little longer to receive.

If you’re transferring the money from an international bank account in your name, you’ll need to arrange the transfer yourself. Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, some European banks are now levying high fees for transfers to the UK.

Specialist money transfer services can circumvent the SWIFT network, which is explained on our guide on how to avoid intermediate bank fees.

What if I Don’t Have a Euro Account, How Does Transferring Money From Abroad to it Work?

If a currency exchange is necessary, it’s important to choose the right provider to minimize the foreign exchange markup (the difference between the actual exchange rate and the rate offered to you). Here are your options for transferring euros to a GBP bank account:

Option 1: Your bank exchanges the currency when it receives euros

This is the worst possible rate, as the receiving bank must convert the foreign currency before crediting your domestic bank account. If euros are sent to your GBP account, your bank will offer you two options; convert and credit the money to your account (usually with a markup of 7-10%), or have the money sent back to the sender (minus any handling fees). Avoid this option to save on unnecessary fees.

Option 2: Ask the sender to handle the currency exchange

If someone else is sending you money, you can specify how much you would like to receive in GBP. It will then be the responsibility of the sender to cover any foreign exchange markup and payment fees. This can be a convenient option, as you don’t have to worry about finding the cheapest way to transfer euros to a UK bank account. You just provide the sender with your account details and they handle the currency exchange. Keep in mind that your receiving bank or any intermediary banks may charge a handling fee, which could result in a small loss of €5-€20.

If you are the one sending euros to a UK account, you’ll need to handle the currency exchange yourself. Be aware that banks will offer disadvantageous rates, with a wide FX markup. For example, Spanish bank Banco Sabadell charges a 3% FX markup for EUR to GBP transfers.

Option 3: Use an international money transfer company

Providing that one of the accounts involved in the bank transfer is in your name, you can use a specialist money transfer firm to convert the currency on your behalf. Arrange for the euros to be sent to the money transfer firm, they then conduct the foreign exchange at the rate you agree, and pay out sterling to your GBP account.

These companies typically offer better exchange rates and lower fees than banks. However, be sure to compare rates and fees from different providers to find the best deal.

For large sums, we recommend this as the best way to transfer euros to a UK bank account. The FX markup will be somewhere between 0.2%-2%.

Best Alternative to Accepting Euro Payments to a UK Bank

One final consideration for transferring euros to a UK bank account is to open a digital multi currency account like that provided by Wise. Get EUR account details with just a few clicks and use it to make or receive euro payments.

You can then choose to hold or convert EUR into your Wise GBP account at a small FX markup of less than 0.5%. As the transfer is occurring within your own Wise accounts, you will not have to pay any costly international transfer fees. You can then easily and without any fees make a local GBP transfer to your UK bank account. When transferring smaller amounts, using a digital bank like Wise is often the cheapest way to transfer euros to a bank account in the UK.

We have created a list of the best Euro accounts in UK here.

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