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Can I get a Euro account in the Uk?


Meduse

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Hi there

I'm fed up with paying charges or getting travellers cheques from the post office and sending them to my CA bank in France and then writing out cheques for bills etc... It would be so much easier if I could get a Euro account at a bank in the UK with a Euro cheque book for sending bills for my French house.

Is this possible without having to have a minimum amount in the account?

Janet.

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I used to have a Barclays Euro account... but I or often the recipient [:$] had to pay a whopping fee every time they cashed it... I think it was because although the Euro was the common currency, the banks were in different countries.

Try Paypal or Money Bookers; you will probably get a better rate of exchange too.

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Another possibility to consider is that quite a few French banks do Euro accounts. These include cheque books, they accept TIP payments, etc. and are really convenient.

After all, when you convert any £ into € you need to transfer the money so why not transfer it to a French bank account (UK banks tend to offer quite poor (e.g. bad exchange rates) and inflexible (e.g. fixed "day rates") currency exchange better suited to "going on holiday".

Ian
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We have two incomes (occupational pensions.)  Ihave mine paid into CA Britline direct from the Pension managers and we use this money for French standing orders etc.  The exchange rate I get varies but is always the current UK commercial rate.  My husband's pension is paid into a Nationwide Flexaccount in the UK.  I then get cash out of an ATM here using our N/W Flexaccount (debit) card as they exchange at BANK rate and do not charge any fees.  We can then use this as spending money, or pay it as cash into a CA branch here then write French cheques.  A cheat, I know, but at least the money we've earned comes to us, not some bank!
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   We opened a french bank account when on holiday 12 months ago so we could get a euro cheque book and debit ( I think) card so that it was easy to pay bills when were are in England. When we go to France we withdraw some cash (from the British bank) via the cash point by the front door of our french bank and walk in and pay it in. We only keep enough in the account for the few bills that we need to pay. I too was fed up with British banks charging between £15 and £20 to tranfer/send money to France, not so painful on large amounts but when it's on the smaller bills it mounts up. I'm not sure if it's the most economical way of banking ie: withdrawing from the cashpoint in France from an English bank, but it's easy and we only do it twice a year. We haven't used the card yet.

Regards,

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[quote user="EMH"]

   We opened a french bank account when on holiday 12 months ago so we could get a euro cheque book and debit ( I think) card so that it was easy to pay bills when were are in England. When we go to France we withdraw some cash (from the British bank) via the cash point by the front door of our french bank and walk in and pay it in. We only keep enough in the account for the few bills that we need to pay. I too was fed up with British banks charging between £15 and £20 to tranfer/send money to France, not so painful on large amounts but when it's on the smaller bills it mounts up. I'm not sure if it's the most economical way of banking ie: withdrawing from the cashpoint in France from an English bank, but it's easy and we only do it twice a year. We haven't used the card yet.

Regards,

[/quote]Do be a bit careful. Another account I had (Alliance and Leicester) charges a fee for each withdrawal while abroad and the rate is somewhere between commercial and tourist.  Nationwide is the only bank I have found which offers bank rate plus no fees.  There may be others.
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We're with Caisse d'Epargne in France and just pay in a cheque about monthly from our UK account ; they give a good rate for the exchange and charge €9.15 for the transaction. They are also extremely efficient and pleasant to deal with (especially compared with Britline).
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When I looked into getting a Lloyds Euro account it turned out that they would charge me large sums per cheque if I used them in the Euro zone. I asked if the accounts were popular, and they said not very. Can't guess why.

Now they are charging me £1 per transaction with my Platinum debit card in France, which used to be free (and one of the reasons for having the card).

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Val 2 - similar thing happened to us a couple of years ago.  I can't remember the reason (I think it was a refund on an order I placed), but I received a Euro check from a German bank.  It was for 14 EUROS.  When I took it to my bank (C/A), they told me they charge 25 euros to deposit it.  I said, but it is in Euros.  Their reply, "Oh yes, but it is from a foreign bank."  I tore up the check and threw it out.

 

 

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Thanks for all your replies and advice. After reading them all, particularly about the charges French banks make to cash Euro cheques from UK banks, I'll stick with what I'm doing!!! I quite like the sound of the nationwide card too.

What I've been doing is buying Euro travellers cheques from the post office, making them payable to me and sending them to my French bank. There is no charge for this but I have had one go missing. (I'm in the process of getting a refund which has taken over 4 weeks so far!). Then, when the money is showing in my French bank I write out a cheque for whatever bill it ios I need to pay. This does work well for me . If all those charges are involved, I'll just keep doing what I'm doing for the time being.

It's been interesting reading. Thanks again.

Janet. (Meduse)

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[quote user="Val_2"]One client paid us with a Nat West Euro cheque and our bank (CMB) refused it at first because they did not know what it was and then we were charged 25€ to receive it. Never again will we take UK issued euro cheques.[/quote]

I've received Euro cheques and drafts drawn on UK banks (most of them!) and I've never been charged (CRCA) - the trick is to find a bank (all of them!) that issues Euro cheques in France & advise the client to ask for a French-issued draft/cheque.

The only time I have been charged was by CA for accepting an Inland Revenue sterling cheque - 3,50€

 

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As most of my clients are English (those who pay from the UK, anyway!), I usually receive UK Euro bank cheques. If the clients specifies, at the time they request the cheque, that the cheque is going to France, then the Bank will issue the cheque from a French branch (all the big banks have them). Consequently, I don't get charged to bank them.

OK?

 

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We had a client who could never understand why he was always in debit with EDF after sending a euro cheque from a british bank to pay his bills - obviously they were being charged for the receipt and then charging him on his next invoice so it never completely clears. I told him to get a french bank account and pay by prélevément, so much easier.
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As I mentioned earlier, I have a French bank (Banque Populaire) account and have a Euro cheque book for paying the few bills that we get, just out of interest, on the cheque you have to write where you are when writing out the cheque...why? Does anyone know.

Regards,

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[QUOTE] ...just out of interest, on the cheque you have to write where you are when writing out the cheque...why?[/QUOTE]

I've asked several French people this question.  All agree that

it's irrelevant.  One day I'm going to leave it blank, just to see

what happens.

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   It made me wonder that there may be a hidden charge if you were in a different country, not that it should make a difference, but banks seem to be quite ruthless and will see any opportunity to make money at the customers expense. Hopefully this isn't the case. It does seem a pointless question to ask on a cheque.If there was a hidden charge, one would write France, how would they know.

Regards, 

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Where you are when you write the cheque makes no difference at all to the charges you pay - I write cheques in Germany and France and there is no difference.

I think the writing of the place is a throw back to recording of contracts, where the place of signature is written - and if you think about it writing a cheque is a form of contract.

 

 

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