What is a multi-currency bank account and how do they work?

For individuals and businesses who deal with various currencies, a multi-currency bank account can be useful. Here we take a look at how these accounts work and who they might benefit.

What is a multi-currency bank account?

If your business operates across several countries and uses different currencies, a multi-currency bank account may prove to be invaluable in mitigating fees for foreign currency exchange. It also makes it easy and convenient to manage different currency balances and transactions in a single place. 

Demand for this type of account is on the rise due to a range of factors, primarily concerns around currency fluctuations affected by Brexit and global politics. Businesses are keen to protect themselves from changes in exchange rates and are opting for multi-currency accounts for Euros and US dollars in particular.

What are the features of a multi-currency bank account?

Every bank will offer something slightly different, such as varied interest rates, different charging structures and linked benefits such as savings accounts or overdrafts. However, standard features will typically include:

Who can open a multi-currency account?

This type of account is widely on offer to UK businesses, but some may be on offer to individuals too. Most providers will require you to have an active sterling account, be a UK resident and aged at least 18. You may also be subject to a credit check.

Who might this type of account be useful for?

In the vast majority of cases, multi-currency accounts are designed for businesses and are useful when:

How does the account work?

Multi-currency bank accounts are similar to standard bank current accounts; you can:

How can I find the right multi-currency account?

There are various options on the market, so it is worth searching the latest offers on the best buy tables. Look for accounts that offer the features that you need. For example, you might prefer to bank via an app, to access a contact centre around the clock or even to bank entirely online without needing to use a branch for any purpose. 

Businesses might also be interested in favourable rates for linked services such as savings, overdrafts and overseas business travel services. Companies should determine which account will best suit the firm’s needs and transaction requirements so that they can calculate a cost profile based upon each typical transaction. 

Look at customer reviews to see what others think of the bank and the accounts on offer. Last but not least, check that any bank in which you are interested is regulated and authorised by the FCA and subject to EU legislation, particularly where deposit protections are concerned.

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