For clients who neither live in the UK nor transact business in the country, it is difficult to have a bank account here. However, they can open an account with a bank elsewhere in the European Union, and enjoy a range of great benefits. Our overseas customers can open various types of EU bank accounts, including multicurrency and card accounts, and savings, investment and escrow accounts.
A multiple currency account is often of benefit to our clients, especially those who are trading in a number of currencies. This type of account can be used for transfers, currency exchange, automatic transfers, residual cash inflow management and other bank operations.
The advantages of a multiple currency account are that the funds are held in the account in the currency in which they were paid in and you choose how and when they should be converted into other currencies, and the funds don’t have to necessarily be converted at all. Also, you don't need to have separate accounts for different currencies as they’re all held in the same account. In addition, customers only pay once to open the account, and nearly all currency payments are done the same day and there are no additional charges involved.
Customers with an EU bank account can also open a card account; it's in one currency. The funds in this type of account are generally used to pay for goods and services using a bank card, in-store and online, as well as withdrawing cash at ATMs worldwide.
You can also authorise other people to use the funds in this account, after you give authorisation to the bank and it issues a supplementary card that's linked to your account. A card account can also be used for payments via direct debit, such as paying recurring invoices automatically, and funds from a current account can be transferred directly to it.
Another account that clients can get in the EU is an investment account. This is normally used for securities transactions and customers can get a range of comprehensive investment services, including FOREX deals, electronic trading platforms, purchase and sale of futures, shares, bonds, contracts for difference, securities loans, investment funds and trust asset management.
An escrow account allows for sale and purchase transactions, including real estate deals, as it reduces the risk among the parties involved in the transactions. This is because the buyer, seller and the bank sign an agreement outlining the terms of the transactions, and the bank oversees the sale or purchase, only releasing the funds when all parties are satisfied.
Whatever type of account customers hold, they have access to various facilities, including checking the status of their accounts, and cards if applicable. They can also order new cards, deposit funds and monitor the deposit portfolio, manage the status of loan transactions, print copies of payment orders, and exchange currencies at any time, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Customers can also transfer funds around the clock, and check on the status of their investment portfolio, including net asset value, available financing and cleared funds.
In addition, the bank will notify customers when necessary, including about extensions of authority and legal documents. There is absolute confidentiality in dealing with the bank and its employees, trading desks, loans, information and so on, and statements can be obtained in a number of formats, such as XML (Fidavista), CSV and PDF.
The bank imposes certain limits as a security measure, which by default for internet banking and unless otherwise requested are 50,000 euros per transaction and 300,000 euros for the daily limit. These can be changed in accordance with transaction volumes, either for a limited period of indefinitely.
In terms of timing and the processing of orders, e-banking can be done at any time of the day. This includes the transfer of funds between customers' accounts, whether card, investment or current accounts. Orders received at the close of the banking day (from 22:00 to 01:00) are processed immediately.
Currency exchange is done around the clock for orders of up to 5,000 euros. For sums larger than that, processing is done following the dealer's acceptance and during business hours, as are the opening of accounts and processing of card payments. Customer support is available on weekdays from 8:30 to 19:00, by phone and email, while order cancellations on debits from an account can be done around the clock. Corrections, cancellations and recall of debited orders can be done on weekdays from 8:30 to 19:00.