European Bank Accounts
There are many reasons to open a bank account in Europe – whether you receive payments in Euro from European customers or if you need to pay European suppliers in Euro. You may have considered Germany or Portugal as possible countries to open a European account or perhaps you’ve been looking at bank accounts in the U.K. All of these options are doable but US citizens might find it more convenient, and easier to open a multi-currency borderless account. With this type of bank account, you can work in Euro, GBP or any other European currency.
Uses of a European Account
Your choice of bank account in Europe depends largely on what you plan to do with the account and which financial services you will be needing. Some of the top reasons for opening a bank account in Europe include:
- European bank accounts are convenient for frequent travelers wanting a convenient way to access cash in all European countries.
- European financial institution can be acting as a virtual bank account too and preform like any other ban account.
- If you are buying property in Europe and need to make international payments for this purpose.
- If you’re opening a new business in Europe or expanding an existing one, launching your business in the European market.
Freelance professionals needing to receive payments from customers in multiple currencies will find a European bank account useful for holding and converting currencies from across the globe.
A bank account in Europe is good for individuals wanting to save, invest, add to their pension fund or diversify their savings in a foreign currency.
Choosing a European Bank Account
There are several banking solutions in Europe available to individuals and companies. The first question is what you will be using the account for and which financial services you will require. Once you have decided that, you can settle on the right European bank and account-type for you. Different clients have different banking needs – do you need a European bank with low fees for payments; good interest rates; convenient access? Compare the features each bank offers you then make your decision.
Making your choice of the best online bank for your own needs must take into account your specific requirements. The best online banks and financial institutions provide a wide range of different services at various cost levels. Each one of the banks offers a unique package of services that will match different financial goals. Commercial banks in Europe that hold a fully-fledged banking license can offer their customers a full bank account and a universal credit card (Visa or Mastercard). By law, these banks protect customer deposits up to €100,000. The newer financial institutions (also called fintech banks) use modern digital platforms to offer a free standard current account with optional features like integrated budgeting, monthly reports, and other ways to keep customers in control of their cash. Common digital payment options like e-Wallets, debit cards, prepaid cards, internet transfers are available usually at lower cost that from commercial banks. Some of the digital banks offer saving schemes in their online bank accounts with competitive rates of interest, but they cannot provide the universal saving guarantee. Customer growth and financial stability is the universal goal of the best online bank account provider.
When choosing the best international business online bank account, the main features to look for are the cost of its services, its track record, the range of different services and the level of customer support. Simple measures such as level of transfer fees; whether the bank issues universal credit/debit cards (Visa/Mastercard); and is truly ‘borderless’ offering its services throughout your area of operation. These are the metrics that people use to judge which are the top international business accounts suitable for their own operations.
The decision whether or not to open an overseas business account depends a lot on the type of business structure that you have, and also on whether you are going to transfer funds across several global areas. On one hand, having a business bank account will make the business appear more professional, as customers will be dealing with an account held in your business name rather than your own name. Generally, businesses don’t like making payments into non business accounts.
If you are trading just inside one bloc, such as the European Union, or the USA, there is probably no need to open a global bank account. If there is going to be significant international activity, a business worldwide bank account makes the operations more efficient and simplifies accounting and reporting.
A more recent list of 100 top European banks comes from the 2018 S&P Global Market Intelligence report. In this report banks were ranked according to their reported assets and were not adjusted for differences made by various accounting treatments. For many years U.S. based financial institutions dominated S&P Global Market’s annual report of the largest banks but recently Chinese banks have taken the lead. When total assets are assessed four of the top 15 largest banks in the world are Chinese and a total of six financial institutions on the list are based in Asia. In stark comparison only two of the 15 largest banks in the S&P Global Market’s report are based in the U.S.