Can anyone recommend a B2B SEPA Euro Bank Account?


#1

I hope someone can help me here, because I feel like I have run into a brick wall.

We are UK based, selling through Pan European FBA, and are registered for VAT in France.

We need to pay French VAT and there are two options for this

  • Pay online and incur a €60 fine
  • Pay via direct debit

I’m very keen to avoid paying that €60 and get a direct debit set up.

But the problem is the direct debit has to be paid from the Euro account which can cope with a B2B SEPA direct debit request. I’m struggling to find such an account in the UK.

I bank with HSBC and they don’t offer B2B SEPA in the UK. I found useful information on this forum about Barclays offering it and it is true, and I spoke to them and they do, but only if you turn over >£2M or have more than 9 staff. They said they thought it would be the same with all banks.

So my question is, does anyone know the best way to sort this out? Is there a UK bank that will offer this to a small business? Or do I need to look at setting up a bank account in a Euro Zone country, and if so, can anyone recommend any good countries / banks where it is relatively easy to get an account set up?

Many thanks in advance for any pointers.


#2

would www.transferwise.com work for you?


#3

I love transferwise and use it a lot, and thought their borderless account might be the answer, but unfortunately they told me that they cannot offer direct debits / B2B SEPA on this account.


#4

If a quick flight over to Ireland isn’t a hassle you can most likely apply for an account there online and then attend in person with the ID documents.

We have an Ireland bank account and then all Amazon EU payments arrive into it. We then pay Euro bills from it and if needed transfer using transfer services to our UK account usually arriving same or next day.

This helps avoid some of the FX fees with Amazon and the bank as well. Saving about 2-3% each way. Although you then can also lose or gain as the exchange rate fluctuates.


#5

Great idea - I’m looking into this now. AIB look interesting as have quite a few branches also in the UK.


#6

Deutsche handelsbank


#7

Interested to here if anyone has had any further resolution with this.

Looking to solve a similar problem; notably create an account that facilitiaes SEPA B2B Direct Debits.

Spoke to Barclays and they say there is a threshold of c10 staff and >£2m turnover which is actually defined in SEPA rules; something about “micro-entities” being effectively treated as consumers and therefore unable to opt out of some of the protections that SEPA B2B waives. They say as its quite a formal thing it’s probable most other UK banks are the same.

Enquired with AIB in Ireland about setting up an account as I understand if part of SEPA, but not UK, the B2B isn’t a requirement, but AIB say they can’t set up an account unless there is effectively a presence/business in Ireland. Being a conduit of EUR transactions isn’t apparently anywhere near sufficient.

So, any other options? It seems France has made paying VAT for and small company in the UK extremely difficult.


#8

I’ve tried HSBC, Barclays, Handelsbank and AIB (in both UK and Eire) and have been told the same things as Maverick7.

Maybe the solution is to try and open an account in France, Germany, Spain or Italy. At least we are actually selling stuff to people in those countries via Amazon FBA. Has anyone with a smaller business done that, and if so what country is the easiest one in which to open a simple business account?

thanks


#9

Hi

In the UK, RBS / Natwest have the ability to handle SEPA direct debits.

Best Wishes
Mark


#10

Hi DangleberryMusic,

Many thanks for the information. Do you happen to know if there is any lower limit on what size of business that RBS / Natwest will offer SEPA to? (Barclays have a lower limit of £2M / 10 staff.)

cheers


#11

Did you get anywhere with this? I actually called RBS, but the chap on the phone told me that their EUR currency accounts can’t even process direct debits. Seemed strange to me, but he was adamant.


#12

I called RBS who were helpful but said they will not open a business account to a business based outside of Scotland. They referred me to Natwest which is part of the same group. I spoke to a business advisor at Natwest who advised that they are able to offer a business Euro account that can handle SEPA Core Direct Debit but not Euro SEPA B2B Direct Debit. She advised the SEPA B2B Direct Debit is only available to medium / large companies, which we are not.

I called Avalara who are unable to suggest a suitable bank.

So I have not yet found a banking solution that works for small UK businesses.

If anyone can suggest a solution either in the UK or on the Euro mainland that will work for a small UK business, I would be very pleased to hear it.

thanks


#13

Did you try Deutsche handelsbank that was mentioned earlier in the thread?


#14

Hi Maverick7

Yes I did email Handelsbank in the UK to ask if they offered SEPA B2B and the reply was

“Unfortunately we do not provide this scheme (SEPA B2B) at the moment”.

I’m not getting anywhere fast with this!


#15

I use Starling bank for all our Euro payments, both incoming and outgoing. Currently its in Sterling but uses the Interbank Exchange rate, so you don’t lose anything on incoming payments. However a Euro account is in testing, so that will make it even more simpler.


#16

Thanks. Sounds like we’re searching for the same thing. I’ll update if I do find anything.


#17

As I read it, it’s only if the bank is in the UK that SEPA B2B is required; if it is in any other SEPA listed country then SEPA core is fine. That’s why I’m wondering about the Deutsche Handelsbank that was referred to above. Basically it would appear to need a account with a European IBAN that can support direct debits. For example, I have a DE IBAN account with TransferWise for processing various transfers but they can’t deal with direct debits. Also the reason for pursuing the Irish bank; they just didn’t think there was a legitimate business interest.


#18

Thanks for the tip about Starling Bank.

I contacted then and unfortunately was told their Euro account is currently only available for personal use, not business.


#19

Hello,

I am seller from Latvia anf use Pan European system and have the same problem with B2B Sepa Direct Debit, no one of banks from my country could provide this service.

If you resolved this problem, could you please advice me any sevice or bank which could provide SDD B2B?

Best regards,
Oleg


#20

Hi Oleg

I’m afraid I’ve not managed to resolve this.

I’m going to try HSBC France as surely they will offer SEPA B2B. We already bank with HSBC UK, but still I don’t feel confident of a good result!

thanks
Mark