Foreign currency

Dealing in foreign currency

Among other benefits, Santander's currency accounts help businesses expanding overseas to balance their cashflow, reveals Simon Payne, Senior Manager, Foreign Exchange and International Banking at Santander

Q: What are the types of currency accounts offered by Santander?

A: Santander currency current accounts are available in 19 currencies. The first currency account is our working capital based product for day-to-day receipt and movement of currency funds. The accounts are supported by our international payment solutions and offer online banking access.


Our Euro and US Dollar current accounts also pay interest of 0.05% on your working capital, with no minimum balance and Santander is one of the few UK banks paying interest in these currencies.

Santander’s currency call accounts are effectively instant access savings accounts with a higher rate of interest and are a good place to put surplus working capital over the short-term. Finally, we offer a range of term deposits, which lock up funds with great rates of interest.

Q: When would a business require a currency account?

A:Typically when a business has funds going in and out in different currencies, in the purchase or sale of goods, it is useful to hold currency accounts. Alternatively, this solution is useful if a company is receiving large amounts of currency which it wants to amass before transferring in a lump sum.

A business must be a Santander Corporate & Commercial customer to be able to access currency accounts, which means they need a turnover of over £250,000.

Q: Is cashflow a particular challenge for these businesses?

A: Cashflow is a significant consideration for any business which is expanding into overseas markets. Holding a foreign currency account enables a business to hold funds in currency which, although they need to be aware of exchange rate risk, allows them to take advantage of funds coming in to pay for goods and services invoiced in the same currency. Our payment products are efficient with Euro and US Dollar, paying the beneficiary bank on the same day, with obvious benefits to a customer’s cash flow.

Q: Are there other Santander solutions which complement currency accounts?

A: We have a great range of current accounts, which are ideal for managing customers’ day-to-day banking needs and which support the making of payments overseas. We are also able to offer a range of working capital solutions on our currency accounts. We have a foreign exchange capability – both simple foreign exchange in Santander Corporate & Commercial and our structured foreign exchange risk management team, which we partner with Santander Global Banking and Markets to provide. Structured foreign exchange risk management tends to be more advantageous to a customer with larger currency turnover. Also going hand-in-hand with our international banking capability are our trade finance and supplier payments solutions.

Q: What is unique about Santander’s approach?

A: International banking is very much about understanding the risks that our customers face in their day-to-day operations, whether that is the unpredictability involved in trading overseas and the impact that can have on cashflow, or the currency market risk our customer’s can be exposed to by operating some of their business in another currency. Providing a dedicated Relationship Director, supported by our Product Specialist teams, means we get an in-depth understanding of our individual customers and can proactively advise when they may benefit from accessing certain solutions, such as currency accounts, foreign exchange risk management, trade or international payments solutions.

Other Articles

When you’re an established business, recruiting top talent in all the areas you need can seem like a never-ending challenge.


If you’re a start-up or small business, how can you put together an attractive employee package to appeal to top talent – graduate and…


Mexico is predicted to become one of the world’s top 10 economies in the next 10 or 20 years.

Stop fraud

More than one million incidents of financial fraud occurred in the first six months of 2016, according to official figures released by…

Santander’s Head of SME International Mark Collings discusses why exporting to new global markets may provide businesses with new and…

Where Next?

Focus On

Making it in china

John Carroll - Helping businesses achieve International success. Head of Product Management & International Business, Santander UK