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Cashing a Euro check in the EU

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Posted 21 February 2012 - 11:12 PM

How open are the EU's banking borders?

I recently received in the US a Bank Check in Euros from Spain. The small sum (127 Euros) and the large fees (effectively more than 10% of the value) made me think that, if possible, it would be better to cash the check in the EU than in the US.

Unfortunately I am not traveling to Spain anytime soon, but I am going to Rome next week for about ten days. The Spanish bank (Santander) has no branch in Rome, but an on-line search did yield several affiliated banks. The other option might be to sign the check over to one of my Italian friends and have them cash it on my behalf. However I would not want to impose fees and collection delays on anyone if the banking system requires that.

Ultimately this is a practical question about the limits and effectiveness of the EU banking system in handling cross-country checking transactions on the small retail level.

#2 Orik


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Posted 21 February 2012 - 11:36 PM

My experience has been that their system doesn't handle this particularly gracefully - if you don't have an account with the bank and if there's no Italian location of Santander then they won't help you.

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#3 Rail Paul

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Posted 22 February 2012 - 01:55 AM

Sovereign Bank in the northeastern US is partly owned by Santander.

You might check with them, and see if there's a courtesy agreement to accept Santander's checks. It's possible they have some accommodation, esp for Spanish visitors to the US. Lacking that, you might open a hundred dollar account, then deposit the check, and close the whole thing out in a few weeks.
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#4 prasantrin


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Posted 22 February 2012 - 01:01 PM

Do you get charged the fees even if you're depositing it in a Euro-denomination account? If not, you could just open a Euro-denomination account, then withdraw the money (or close the account) later. You'd have to consider others fees involved (ex. if you're charged monthly fees for the account, the costs of closing the account if you choose to, etc. etc.), but it might be worth investigating.

#5 GordonCooks


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Posted 22 February 2012 - 02:10 PM

I maintain an HSBC account for such issues.
Always very cooperative regarding international business.
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