Recommendations for a euro bank?
August 30, 2006 7:20 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking for recommendations for a decent bank where I can keep an easy-to-access checking account and a savings account with a decent interest rate and decent customer service. My current bank has made too many mistakes lately and I can't take it anymore. I get paid in euros but I do know of a bank in the UK that I'd like to try - but they don't offer euro accounts.

So, would I be taking a big financial hit by converting my salary to pounds and then back to euros whenever I make a withdrawal? And if so, can anyone recommend a good euro bank? Customer service would need to be readily available in either French or English.
posted by hazyjane to Work & Money (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
What's the bank? I can't imagine that their service and website is so much better that you can't find something in France
posted by bonaldi at 7:36 AM on August 30, 2006

You may have some luck with Lloyds TSB Offshore. They offer GBP, USD and EUR accounts.
posted by lowlife at 8:08 AM on August 30, 2006

The bank is Egg. I didn't mention it before because I don't actually know that it's good - I haven't researched it well enough yet. But they certainly offer a better return on savings accounts than my current bank does.

I'll start checking into Lloyds.
posted by hazyjane at 8:13 AM on August 30, 2006

Irish banks will all have accounts in Euros but offer customer service in English.
posted by meehawl at 8:40 AM on August 30, 2006

Most offshore banks (IoM, Channel Islands, Dublin?) will have the facility to offer non-Sterling accounts. Not sure if there are restrictions based on residency, but I don't think so in most cases...

No direct useful information, I'm afraid, but a quick google shows some potentially useful info...
posted by Chunder at 8:56 AM on August 30, 2006

It's hard enough getting a bank account in (Republic of) Ireland if you actually live here (I actually had a bank tell me that they would *get back to me* about whether or not I could open an account there). Trying to get one from out of country would be, I imagine, extremely difficult. So I would recommend against trying to get one here. And "good customer service" is nonexistent. Don't bother.
posted by antifuse at 12:12 PM on August 30, 2006

HSBC is great, and they have a superhigh interest rate on their savings account. I believe it's 5.15% now. You can get a checking account along with it and bank online. (I don't work for them. I'm just a customer.)
posted by sholdens12 at 5:05 PM on August 30, 2006

Second for HSBC - they have a good reputation amongst UK expats for offering good service whilst abroad.

Another option would be to use the Jersey or Guernsey (ie English speaking) branch of a French bank - I think both BNP & Societe generale have / had branches in the usual "offshore" locations which are targeted at, amongst others, mobile workers - usually don't need to be resident to open these accounts - thats often the point of them - interest will usually be paid gross with you sorting out your own tax affairs depending on where you are resident for tax purposes....

And yes, you probably would take a hit by using a GBP account - they'll charge a fee or a poor exchange rate at both ends of the conversion to and from euros, so whilst your being paid in and spending euros, best to use a euro account.
posted by khites at 2:53 AM on August 31, 2006

Antifuse, my eperience of Irish banks, while not being stellar, does not seem to be as bad as yours. I don't live in Ireland but AIB has been very good about sending ATM cards and statements to varying addresses all over the world. And their phone service is not bad. Have you ever dealt with Citibank? Now there's a company that's actively hostile.
posted by meehawl at 7:41 AM on August 31, 2006

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