Here I am, stuck in the UK but with a growing business across the EU. Because some transactions are over €10K I can’t easily use my personal EUR accounts and most banks charge through the nose for EUR business transactions. Anyone know of sensible alternatives?
open a business account with Revolut
Voted Best British Bank last 3 or 4 years in a row. Has gbp, euro and dollar accounts available for businesses, exceptional customer service, and are very focused on the business side of their operations having received a £100m grant from the BCR remedies fund set up after the RBS bailout so are building new stuff at a lightning pace, all with the knowledge that they were the first of the new fintechs to be awarded a full banking license in 2016 so your money is fully protected by the FSCS. I can’t recommend them enough for business banking generally, they’re light years ahead of the high street, and the fact that they have the add-on currency accounts may make them even more worth you looking at.
Entirely agree with all you say as I have personal GBP and EUR accounts with Starling. The problem is they have limits on the size of individual and daily transfers that are significantly below our normal requirements. Hence the reason for the search
Having been through some of your past posts I think we do need to take another look at Revolt.
It’s easy to get a reasonably competitive FOREX deal yet we then need to move the money to the account in the target currency, if we have a EUR account then the moving date is up to us and in our business very useful as we normally need pay out a significant portion pretty quickly, so risking an exchange rate loss is not sensible.
I am happy with my business Revolut account. At least you can use your PC unlike the personal account which is only on the phone.
Received this recently too from them regarding FX
"We removed the fee for incoming transfers for our main currencies
We’ve removed fees for local and international incoming transfers in EUR, GBP, USD & CHF (charges are only for other currencies and outgoing). It was previously £3 per transaction for international and £0.2 for domestic, above the free allowance. We’ve also clarified what local transfers and international transfers mean as far as our Business customer fees
Plus some other changes
Currently, we may add a percentage (mark-up) to exchange rates or charge you a fee. Going forward:
You’ll always see the real exchange rate, based on foreign market data feeds from a range of different independent resources. We won’t add mark-ups to any exchange
We’ll show you exactly how much we’re charging you in fees in the app before you confirm a transaction (if applicable)
We’ve also made changes to our Business terms for the following reasons:
To reflect the changes we’re making to exchanges
To clarify how you can access your transaction information, and retrieve your money, if you close your account
To clarify that if your account has been temporarily restricted, we may not be able to close your account until we’ve completed our enquiries"
I needn’t have given quite such a sales pitch then!
We use WorldFirst, currency brokers. Never had a problem, you book a ‘trade’ (payment to a EUR beneficiary), pay the GBP amount they ask for to their UK GBP account and they pay the beneficiary in EUR. We use it for EUR supplier costs, salaries in Spain, etc.
I believe HSBC is OK for this in terms of accounts offered but are apparently cumbersome to deal with at account opening time.
Got a feeling Starling worth a look to see if they do this. They are looking to grow business accts too. App so all online quick to open accounts. Excellent easy to use interface. Secondarily, Monzo also online has a lot of fans and may do. Edit:had not seen you’d outgrown them
HSBC Premier Acct then if business version is available. Capital on Tap account? Midpoint FX might work used in the way @Greg_Harvey suggests - they are good to deal with and if they verify you, ok with larger sums. Wise (formerly Transferwise) gets excellent feedback they do open currency accounts not sure about their limits though. Have you asked Starling if there’s any more expansion on your limits though?
PS I know others are fans here but stay away from Revolut if you want to keep your funds flowing. I use them only for small crossborder transactions and never leave more than £20 in it
The only hard evidence of this that I have seen is where the applicant fails to comply with money laundering requirements but has nonetheless piled a ton of money into an unverified account - they either need their bumps feeling or the money is from a dodgy unconfirmable source - a dead ringer for dodgy money. The latest I saw was someone complaining they had put over 22k in to an unverified account and wanted their money back!
If it looks like money laundering, smells like money laundering it most certainly is money laundering - trying to “clean up” dirty money.
Please don’t spread falsehoods about Revolut like this. Back it up with hard evidence or leave people to make their own minds up about Revolut.
I can only speak for myself. Between us, we sometimes have over £1000 in the account (or the Euro equivalent) and do not live in fear of losing our funds.
@KarenLot Karen, this type of throw away comment is perhaps not the best approach. Some kind of evidence or an example of your personal negative experience may have been better.
Whilst I use Revolut, and I would recommend them, it is only because their terms and conditions for their personal account, not business, suits my needs.
I understand HSBC Premier to be a personal account type, rather than business account option, so perhaps not relevant to this thread.
I have had my personal Revolut account frozen when I transferred a large amount of money. They required a photo of my driving license or passport and a photo of myself and the account was unfrozen. It was an inconvenience, but not that much of an issue. This was when they were quite new. I haven’t had issues since.
I used to book European flights using my Revolut account, and although it isn’t a credit card, when the airline went bust with a few of my flights not completed, they processed refunds which I appreciated. The process was very easy.
We have been using Revolut for day to day banking for the last 2 years and even exchanged/transferred money to buy a house using them.
I have found Revolut to be excellent - they were particularly good when my card was cloned - highlighting the issue, refunding the false payments, freezing the card and replacing it all within 20 minutes.
now that is the way things properly work. That would also occur in any High Street bricks and mortar branch. I had a similar experience with torFX (an SF affiliate) which was resolved very quickly once the ML requirements had been satisfied. Note that it is the bank/financial institution who get the hit if they don’t comply as required so it is little wonder that they jealously guard their position.
Amazingly, some of the complainers suggest that Revolut are being too hard on them because the camera on their phone has broken so they can’t take a selfie for comparison with the micky mouse passport page they submitted to open the account… really!!
… A duck or a witch!
but only if you waddle in to the branch or arrive on a broomstick
Fwiw, we ALSO use Revolut Business. It was a nightmare to set up, indeed because of all the anti money laundering measures - most annoying as most of the info they (and all banks, in fairness) make you copy/paste is already on the Companies House website. And for some reason it took forever to get set up.
But it’s really handy for giving staff bank cards for business expenses, no more need for out of pocket stuff, best exchange rate everywhere, and accounts in multiple currencies, so if you’re paying attention you can make money just moving it back and forth!
We tend to keep about £10k in there with a mix of EUR and GBP. We don’t use it for larger sums because we get an even better deal from WorldFirst and it’s easier. But there’s no reason I wouldn’t, from a security perspective.
Interesting perspective there Greg… I had an interesting discussion with someone on the Revolut Community forum last year about that very point and the need to declare gains to the fisc. He said it was necessary, I suggested not - in the end, we agreed to differ. This was on the personal Revolut account, not the business one. His “gain” was influenced by a cancelled holiday (Covid related) where he reversed the currency transaction he had made to buy currency for his holiday and I suggested that was indeed a fortunate gain and not something he did in a business context so not declarable - bit like selling a car for more than you paid for it (privately, not as part of a business activity) and not such as would be the case with an old crock bought for investment - like a Monet work of art for example.
In a business context of course this is a different ball game entirely as accounting convention would require the profit/loss on Currency Exchange to be notified in the P&L and carried to the Balance Sheet for completeness.
Graham + @ChrisM I can assure you I am not just tossing comments around. I’ve had problems personally with Revolut aand I can assure you I’m far from being a money launderer (and not even MS!). I have a solid presence on another type of forum for many years now, and the consensus there is may suit some people but beware as too many funds blockages, poor customer support. I’m sure some people push it but there are too many reports of this happening, including to myself as I said, where no ML and no MS but Revolut blocked everything and then was impossible to contact and did not sort for months.
It may suit some people and that’s their decision.
PS Revolut introduced a raft of new charges about 2 months ago that may make them less competitive for some uses. Also a particular point which may concern some - unlike UK and European banks Revolut - which is not yet a bank so far as I know btw either - does not have the FSCS £85,000/100.000Eur guarantee of your funds.
YMMV and I wish you luck.