The financial turmoil in Ireland and other parts of the Eurozone in recent years resulted in some Irish people withdrawing Euros from their Irish savings accounts and transferring it into other currencies – mainly Sterling .
We did see an increase in visitors to this site searching for information about opening a UK bank account from Ireland . Now – in 2018 – we are seeing more exchange rate fluctuations as a UK exit from the EU has become reality. There are now some UK residents looking at opening Euro Bank accounts in Ireland because of worries about the decline in value of Sterling.
If you do want to open a Sterling bank account in the UK while you are living in Ireland – it should be fairly straightforward.
Many of the banks in Northern Ireland allow residents of the Republic of Ireland to open a Sterling Bank Account . You can ring around the various banks that are the easiest for you to get to – and arrange an appointment (Try Bank of Ireland, Ulster Bank and Allied Irish ). They mighteven let you open an account through the post without having to travel in person.
It is probably best to open a Sterling account with a small amount of sterling to begin with. You could use cash if you have it or do a small electronic transfer from your Irish Bank to the UK Bank. You can send Euros and it will be converted into Sterling by the UK bank. But don’t go drawing out hundreds of Pounds in cash at an ATM.
Once you have the UK sterling account opened you can then arrange for any larger currency exchange and transfers from your Irish Euro account into the Sterling account.
Most people seem to assume you would have to do the transfers through your own bank in Ireland – but you don’t have to use them. The exchange rate from the banks will not be the best you will get – and they may also charge some additional fees or commissions too.
There are specialist currency exchange brokers that you can use – and their exchange rates will typically be better than the banks. Even a difference in the exchange rate of just 1 cent will save you €1000 on a €100,000 Euros transaction
For example – we did a check on the exchange rates offered in early October 2017 and found that on a transfer of €10,000 Euro into Sterling using Bank of Ireland would get you £8584 Pounds but using a specialist currency exchange company (see below) would get you £193 more (£8777) . So the savings are substantial.
Currency Transfer Companies
Transfermate is a global currency broker – they are based in Ireland and regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland. They also provide an international money transfer service. You can do everything online or if you prefer you can do it by phone/email/fax .They tend to deal with amounts over €5000.
You can call them on 01 6353776 or register online at Transfermate.com
Another company we recommend that specialises in Foreign Currency Exchange is Currency Solutions. They are based in London and regulated and authorised by the UK Financial Services Authority and HM Revenue. They can carry out currency transfers from Euros to Sterling as well as most other major currencies. You can make a no obligation enquiry about your currency requirements online here . If you prefer – you can telephone the Money Guide Ireland contact: Ernie Enver direct on their Irish number 01 431 1344 or on a UK number 0044 207 740 0000 . Mention MoneyGuideIreland.com when you call.
FairFx are another London based foreign exchange company – and they have an office in Dublin . They have been operating since 2007 and are fully regulated by both the UK Financial Conduct Authority and the UK HMRC . You can arrange currency transfers with FairFx online or over the telephone. FairFx will let you easily set up regular transfers such as pension or rental payments . You can call FairFx on their Irish number 01 5665546 or on their UK number (0044) 20 7858200 . Ask for Niall – and he will make sure you are looked after.
If you need to transfer smaller amounts of money you could use companies such as CurrencyFair or TransferWise . These companies are “peer to peer” – they cut out the banks and for a small fee allow you to get exchange rates that are pretty close to the interbank rates.
Of course – always check with your own bank first to see what exchange rate they will offer you so you can be sure you really are getting a better deal by not using the bank. The rates are usually better on larger amounts. Don’t just ask for the exchange rate – get the bank to confirm exactly how much Sterling you will get after conversion – and after any fees have been deducted.
If you just compare the raw exchange rates – the difference in those figures may look insignificant and you may feel it’s not worth the bit of extra hassle. But when you see the difference in the total amount you will get after the exchange – it could easily amount to hundreds of pounds. Not bad for a couple of phone calls and a bit of online form filling.
If you are worried about the Euro weakening even further against Sterling – you can reserve an exchange rate up to a year in advance. This is useful when money is tied up in a fixed rate account or in a property.
With the UK leaving the Euro – there may now be some people who are thinking of moving some of their Sterling savings into Euros.
All the currency exchange companies mentioned above will be able to help you transfer money. Opening a Euro account in Ireland will probably need a personal visit to a branch . With cheap Ryanair flights you could be in and out of Dublin on the same day. Ring around some of the major Irish banks to see if they will allow a UK resident to open an account in Ireland. They will be more likely to deal with you if you say you plan to move to Ireland or at are thinking of buying property here.