Savings & Current Accounts

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Anyone can open a savings account. Some banks allow you to do so with as little as €10, others require such minimum amount to be much more. This type of account enables you to deposit and withdraw money from your account easily. The bank may also offer the facility of a debit card to enable you to withdraw money from an ATM or to pay for goods and services which accept the bank's card. Interest is paid on your savings annually. Each bank will have its own conditions for deposits or withdrawals from such accounts - make sure you know what these conditions are. These conditions form part of a framework contract - read more here.

A current account is usually opened if you want to pay for your goods and services by cheque. A bank may also offer the facility of a debit card linked to a current account. Check with your bank for conditions to open a current account and whether it pays interest on any credit balances in your account. These conditions form part of a framework contract - read more here.

These are also known as Term Deposit Accounts. The amount deposited must be kept in the account for the duration of a term starting from one month and may go up to five years. Generally a minimum deposit of €230 is required to open such an account. The rate of interest paid varies depending on the term of the deposit. Remember that the bank quotes the interest per annum - per year. There are very few instances when a bank may allow you to withdraw your money from a fixed deposit account before it matures. If you are allowed to break the account, your bank may apply a penalty. Always verify with your bank.

When you approach the bank to open an account, the bank will:

  • Request personal identification such as an ID Card or passport;

  • Verify your permanent home address.

  • The bank may ask you to produce a recent utility (e.g. telephone or water & electricity) bill to verify your permanent home address;

  • Verify that you are legally eligible to open an account;

  • Keep record of your occupation;

  • Request a character reference - this is usually necessary when you are opening a current account.

Remember that you will need to inform the bank as to how you would like tax to be deducted from credit interest. Unless you advise the bank otherwise, withholding tax at the rate of 15% will be deducted from the interest paid on the accounts.
The bank may also ask you to sign a Data Protection Form or Declaration (which may be part of the form used when applying or purchasing a product or service). When you sign this declaration or form, you are authorising the bank to use information which it may have in its possession about you for direct marketing purposes and you agree to receive periodical information about products or services supplied by your bank, its subsidiaries, associates or agents and by third parties (which banks claim are always carefully selected) which may be of interest to you.

  • You have a right to request your bank to inform you about the personal data held about you that is processed and to request its correction where necessary.

  • You have a right to ask your bank not to use your personal data for any type of direct marketing. In that case, you need to inform the bank about your choice either by filling in a form for this purpose (available from your bank) or by writing to the bank opposing to the processing of your personal data for purposes concerning direct marketing.

You can keep track of the balance on your account by means of bank statements. Depending on your bank and if you are in possession of a debit card linked to your accounts, you can request a mini-statement from the ATM - a mini-statement will give you the last few (generally between five to eight) transactions on your account. If your bank offers internet banking, you can access your account and check out the latest transactions on-line.

Depending on your bank and/or the balance on your account, you should expect to receive an official statement of your account at least once yearly. You may request your bank to send you other periodical statements such as every month or quarter, etc. However, you will be charged for such additional service. If you have already received your bank statement but require a duplicate, your bank may also apply a charge.

If, when checking your bank statement, you believe that an error has been made, write to your bank as soon as possible - such queries should be made within 30 days from receipt of the bank statement. If you are not satisfied with its reply, then you should arrange for an appointment to see someone in the branch where your account is held to discuss the problem.

A way of paying bills from your bank account. You instruct your bank to pay a set amount at regular intervals to another bank account.

The bank pays the amounts from your account automatically on the agreed dates, and transfers them to the person’s or organisation’s bank account you are paying. You must tell your bank if the amount or the dates of payment need to change.

Standing orders are typically used to pay rent, a life insurance premium or other fixed regular payments. As the amounts paid are fixed, a standing order is not usually suitable for paying bills such as credit card or electricity bills.

Generally, banks publish a list of indicative exchange rates for information purposes. If you have EURO and exchange them into Sterling or US Dollars, and re-convert them into EURO, the value of your amount will reduce at each conversion. It is likely that the actual rate for a transaction may be different from that shown on the banks’ lists. Normally, rates are quoted against the EURO.

If you want to convert from one currency to another, your bank will use the selling or buying rate depending on the type of transaction.

  • Selling Rate is the rate at which the bank sells foreign currency.

  • Buying Rate is the rate at which the bank buys foreign currency.

Banks distinguish between rates used to exchange bank notes AND cheques or to transfer money to another account. So you may find two different Selling Rates – one to exchange bank notes and another for the encashment of foreign cheques or to send money abroad. The buying rate is always higher than the selling rate!

Daily exchange rates are displayed in branches or on the banks’ websites.

Here’s a practical example. You are travelling to London and you want to exchange €500 to GBP (UK Sterling).

This is an extract from the bank’s list of foreign currency exchange rates:

 

 

Selling Buying Selling Buying
US Dollar (USD) 1.5484 1.5987 1.5263 1.6424
UK Sterling (GBP) 0.7863 0.8103 0.7744 0.8302

 

The table above shows that the bank’s selling rate for sterling bank notes is 0.7744. This means that you will get £0.7744 for every €1.

So, you left the bank with €500 x 0.7744 = £387.20.

Let’s assume that you had to cancel your trip. You have these options:

  1. Keep the funds at home for another trip (at your own risk).

  2. Convert them to EURO. Assuming that the rate quoted above has not changed (remember: rates do change), the bank will apply the UK Sterling buying rate which is £0.8302. To change Sterling back to EURO, divide £387.20 by 0.8302 = €466.39. This means that you lost €33.61 from your original sum of €500.

  3. Deposit the amount in your UK Sterling savings account. It is likely that your bank will apply a tariff on the amount you deposit, ranging from 1 to 2 per cent. If you decide to withdraw your money from this account, it is also likely that a tariff will be applied on the amount withdrawn.

Some handy foreign currency codes

Eurozone

 

 

 

State

 

Currency

 

Symbol

 

ISO

 

 

Austria

 

Euro

 

 

EUR

 

 

Belgium

 

Euro

 

 

EUR

 

 

Cyprus

 

Euro

 

 

EUR

 



Estonia

Euro


EUR

 

Finland

 

Euro

 

 

EUR

 

 

France

 

Euro

 

 

EUR

 

 

Germany

 

Euro

 

 

EUR

 

 

Greece

 

Euro

 

 

EUR

 

 

Ireland

 

Euro

 

 

EUR

 

 

Italy

 

Euro

 

 

EUR

 



Latvia

Euro


 


EUR

 

Luxembourg

 

Euro

 

 

EUR

 

 

Malta

 

Euro

 

 

EUR

 

 

Netherlands

 

Euro

 

 

EUR

 

 

Portugal

 

Euro

 

 

EUR

 

 

Slovakia

 

Euro

 

 

EUR

 

 

Slovenia

 

Euro

 

 

EUR

 

 

Spain

 

Euro

 

 

EUR

 

 

Other EU & EEA Currencies

 

 

 

 

State

 

 

Currency

 

 

Symbol

 

 

ISO

 

 

 

 

Bulgaria

 

 

Bulgarian lev

 

 

лв

 

 

BGN

 

 

 

 

Denmark

 

 

Danishkrone

 

 

kr

 

 

DKK

 

 

 

 

Hungary

 

 

Hungarian forint

 

 

Ft

 

 

HUF

 

 

 

 

Iceland

 

 

Icelandic krona

 

 

kr

 

 

ISK

 

 

 

 

Liechtenstein

 

 

Liechtenstein franc

 

 

CHF

 

 

CHF

 

 

 

 

Lithuania

 

 

Lithuanian litas

 

 

Lt

 

 

LTL

 

 

 

 

Norway

 

 

Norwegian krone

 

 

kr

 

 

NOK

 

 

 

 

Poland

 

 

Polishzloty

 

 

 

 

PLN

 

 

 

 

United Kingdom

 

 

Pound Sterling

 

 

£

 

 

GBP

 

 

 

 

Romania

 

 

Romanian leu

 

 

RON

 

 

RON

 

 

 

 

Sweden

 

 

Swedish krona

 

 

kr

 

 

SEK

 


Other Curencies

 

State

 

 

Currency

 

 

Symbol

 

 

ISO

 

 

 

 

Australia

 

 

Australian dollar

 

 

AU$/$

 

 

AUD

 

 

 

 

Canada

 

 

Canadian dollar

 

 

C$/$

 

 

CAD

 

 

 

 

Croatia

 

 

Croatia kuna

 

 

kn

 

 

HRK

 

 

 

 

Hong Kong

 

 

Hong Kong dollar

 

 

HK$/$

 

 

HKD

 

 

 

 

Japan

 

 

Japanese yen

 

 

¥

 

 

JPY

 

 

 

 

Libya

 

 

Libyan dinar

 

 

ل.د

 

 

LYD

 

 

 

 

New Zealand

 

 

New Zealand dollar

 

 

$

 

 

NZD

 

 

 

 

Russia

 

 

Russian ruble

 

 

руб

 

 

RUB

 

 

 

 

Saudi Arabia

 

 

Saudi Arabian Riyal

 

 

ر.س

 

 

SAR

 

 

 

 

Thailand

 

 

Thailand baht

 

 

฿

 

 

THB

 

 

 

 

Tunisia

 

 

Tunisian Dinar

 

 

د.ت

 

 

TND

 

 

 

 

Turkey

 

 

New Turkish Lira

 

 

TL

 

 

TRY

 

 

 

 

United Arab Emirates

 

 

Dirham

 

 

د.إ

 

 

AED

 

 

 

 

United States of America

 

 

US dollar

 

 

$

 

 

USD

 

 



Last updated: Sep 07, 2016