What do UK translators do when they get paid in euros?
Thread poster: Armorel Young

Armorel Young  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:46
Member (2004)
German to English
Jun 13, 2003

I'd be interested to know what translators in the UK do when they undertake jobs for agencies abroad and receive payment in euros.

At a conference on "Starting out as a translator" I was advised to set up a bank account in euros, but the enquiries I have made seem to indicate that euro accounts are expensive and often have all sorts of conditions attached to them. Or has someone found a bank that offers a good account for fairly small quantities of euros?

Alternatively, do you lose a lot of money in transaction charges if you pay a euro cheque into a sterling current account?


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DGK T-I  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:46
Member (2003)
Georgian to English
+ ...
Receiving Euro or USD payments in the UK Jun 15, 2003

Armorel Young wrote:

I'd be interested to know what translators in the UK do when they undertake jobs for agencies abroad and receive payment in euros.

At a conference on "Starting out as a translator" I was advised to set up a bank account in euros, but the enquiries I have made seem to indicate that euro accounts are expensive and often have all sorts of conditions attached to them. Or has someone found a bank that offers a good account for fairly small quantities of euros?

Alternatively, do you lose a lot of money in transaction charges if you pay a euro cheque into a sterling current account?


In many cases you may find it satisfactory to pay into a standard sterling current account. Precise charges for this will vary from bank to bank and you should check before deciding, but for the "Big three high street banks" they are not particularly high as a figure (although it's quite high as a percentage, really).
I believe NatWest & LLoydsTSB are something like, free conversion for receiving cheques or bank transfers of Euros or USD under £100, and £8-10 for more, although the currency exchange rate may not be particularly high. Please do check for the exact up to date details though !
I believe there are other packages where people can set up foreign currency accounts or pay to have no extra account charges for transfers, etc., and these may have advantages for some and not others, depending on volumes received in Euros & USD, etc. Apart from asking your bank Lloyds or NatWest websites (or one or the other) have some details on these I seem to remember.

(For small jobs where the sender doesn't wish to use a bank transfer because charges would be disproportionate, there is paypal, moneybookers, etc - and if someone has sufficient volume of international business to justify the costs, there would be the option of accepting plastic cards).

[Edited at 2003-06-17 15:41]


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OlafK
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:46
English to German
+ ...
I have a current account in Germany Jun 17, 2003

That's because my biggest client is in Germany and I go there regularly anyway. But when I pay a French Euro cheque into my German account I pay quite a big fee just as if I paid it into my British Sterling account. I don't accept small jobs from outside the UK and Germany anymore unless the client pays by bank transfer. But bank charges are just part of the costs of running a business and we have to take all our costs into account when we ser our rates.

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Anne Lee  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 20:46
Member (2003)
Dutch to English
+ ...
Payments between UK and Europe can be expensive... Jun 26, 2003

As a translator in the UK, I am finding it costly both to send payments to Europe (charge of 9 GBP) and to receive them. I just discovered that a payment from Germany was considerably reduced; either the rate used was wrong, or the customer expected me to pay the charges.
The recent introduction of IBAN numbers (International Bank Account Numbers) was supposed to facilitate the payments, but I found my bank had no idea what they were; I had to explain to my UK bank manager what I was talking about. Banks still want the address of the foreign bank I want to make payments to, which in fact is contained in the IBAN number. It is rumoured on the continent that transnational charges within Europe will be dropped from 1 July 2003, but British banks seem ignorant of this...How convenient for them and what a nuisance for our profession.

[Edited at 2003-06-26 13:14]


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 21:46
English to German
+ ...
A couple of points to note Jun 26, 2003

Hi Anne,
I just discovered that a payment from Germany was considerably reduced; either the rate used was wrong, or the customer expected me to pay the charges.

You should be able to get a detailed breakdown of payment details from your bank.

The recent introduction of IBAN numbers (International Bank Account Numbers) was supposed to facilitate the payments, but I found my bank had no idea what they were; I had to explain to my UK bank manager what I was talking about.

True - may I ask which bank you're using? Most of the major UK banks already have IBAN info on their websites.

Banks still want the address of the foreign bank I want to make payments to, which in fact is contained in the IBAN number.

Er... not really - although the IBAN contains the sort code (BLZ in Germany), it's the SWIFT BIC (Bank Identifier Code) that is tantamount to the bank's address.

It is rumoured on the continent that transnational charges within Europe will be dropped from 1 July 2003, but British banks seem ignorant of this...

Not a rumour (as confirmed on the website of the UK Treasury), but the implementation of European law. Also, charges will not be dropped, but will have to be brought in line with those for national transfers. Note that this applies to payments in euro only.

HTH - Ralf


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