Despite the seemingly damned reputation of Britain’s banking institute, evidence suggests that it could still prove to be beneficial for the British expat community. When compared with the overseas banking options on offer in Europe, expat savers and international investors alike could potentially save themselves thousands of pounds per year.
So, just where do these savings begin and how can Brits ensure they make the most of their hard-earned money and realise fuller returns from their investments? The simple answer is by carefully avoiding any applicable fees and charges that can be incurred with an array of everyday transactions involving anything from exchange rates to basic cash withdrawals.
It’s no secret that British bank accounts are riddled with steep but often justifiable, commonplace charges for using an overdraft facility or other such service. In comparison, the inherent costs incurred with many EU banks can wildly vary and for many, prove to be far from acceptable. An illustrative example of this is savers having to pay for the ‘privilege’ of having an account.
An array of account charges are usually incurred by expats and international savers on a quarterly or annual basis; these can include the cost of clearing basic cheque payments right through to low-level account management. But unlike Britain’s somewhat one-sided banking system, some EU banks are actually open to compromise, so as to cater to each individual customer.
It seems that the phrase ’personal banking’ takes on a whole new meaning further afield in the EU, so expats need to be aware of the pros and cons and each difference that separates residential and non-residential accounts. But whichever account proves to be right for an overseas saver, the EU does host familiar traits from bank to the next and sadly, they’re not at all customer friendly.
Despite any exclusive services catering for the English-spoken community, any post-dated cheques or cheques that bounce, as well as unauthorised overdrafts can be massively detrimental to an expats good financial standing, not to mention their final account balance. Expat savers can usually avoid any such surprises simply by sieving through the terms and conditions of any account offered.
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