Hi, does anyone have recommendations on setting up euro currency bank accounts for coops on the UK? We’ve tried a few but get declined due to the coop model.
Unfortunately unity trust don’t provide any other currency accounts other than pound sterling, and are very unhelpful when receiving any other currency as they tell you there’ll be a charge but they cannot tell us what it is.
That’s pain. and as say Unity Trust are less than helpful with anything even vaguely 20th century (let alone 21st). Dare I say it I bank with the Co-operative Bank using a free Community Directplus account (which they target specifically at coops), and with that I had a dollar account for several years when I was transacting a lot of US currency. I don’t think they charged me for the account, and I got some pretty good rates when I had to buy USD to pay a big quarterly bill. Of course it means applying, which is never easy, but then most banks are going to make you jump through hoops on that front.
If it’s just about receiving and holding some euros and maybe paying some bills out in euros then paypal can do that if you’ve got one.
Well, the Bank of the Commons  was having a go at it. I have an
account there and it’s still operational but haven’t quite used it.
Don’t know about the status of the project, though. It seems stalled,
which is kind of expected, since it’s an offshoot from the Faircoop
FairCoop was an ambitious project that came out of the movement of the
squares and the experience of the Catalan Integral Cooperative.
It was very active for some years and spawned several other initiatives:
the Bank of the Commons, the FreedomCoop and the FairCoin (a
social crypto-currency, based on “proof-of-cooperation”).
It basically intended to carve out an economic space for autonomous
workers and their organizations, that interacted with regular capitalist
market but maintained privileged relationships inside that bubble, while
running the whole thing and its various parts through horizontal assemblies.
FairCoin was being used mostly locally, by people and small businesses,
mostly in Spain, and promised to exchange to the euro at any time. At
some point, liquidity problems arose and it could no longer keep that
promise and the currency lost all traction. The people and the
assemblies haven’t managed to solve the problems and internal strife
grew and disarticulated the project, affecting all the initiatives
related to it.
It was an important experience and there are still lessons to be learned
from it, maybe even some tools and resources to recover from the ruins.
Hi Liam, I reckon a lot depends on the form of co-op.
We managed to get a Starling account for a co-op but probably we were incorporated in a form they deem ‘acceptable’ - a company limited by guarantee.
We’ve now formed as a Co-operative LLP and got an account with MetroBank who offer foreign currency accounts. Maybe try them?
Personally wouldn’t use co-op bank again as they seem to be falling apart at the seams in terms of service. Last year a business account was compromised by a phishing attack - Google Adwords adverts pointing a fake sign-in landing page on a plausible URL - and it was almost impossible to contact them. Ended up using twitter, and then there was zero of the promised follow-up when I tried to secure the account. It was a total shambles really but also half-expected as they don’t seem to have enough staff to do the work. Pity.