Personal Finance: Internet Investor

EUROPE HAS a new currency but not one you can actually touch. The euro is but a virtual currency for the next two years, until the notes and coins actually come into circulation. However, anybody who is used to handling their finances through the Internet is unlikely to be dismayed at the prospect of dealing with the virtual reality of the euro. The question is whether you really need to.

For all practical purposes, unless you have significant income or outgoings in euros, you are not likely to need a euro bank account. However, if you are a frequent traveller in Europe or you own a holiday home on the Continent, then you are probably going to be joining in the single currency sooner than the rest of us.

If you do decide you need a euro account, the new Citibank Euro Account, launched in December, may fit the bill. Through its website, the bank is now offering customers the option of online euro current accounts and euro savings accounts. Current account customers get a Visa Delta card. Citibank is offering to clear cheques and drafts drawn in any EMU-participating country free of charge. This month, the bank is adding euro bankers drafts and euro time deposits, accounts offering more attractive interest rates in return for notice of withdrawals.

Citibank also has an EMU bulletin service on its global website which offers a pan-European perspective. It includes a euro calculator and some euro price comparisons and a list of FAQs - frequently asked questions. If you are looking for greater depth and more general information about the new single currency, check out EmuNet. The site offers a mix of daily news, official documents, practical information, commentary and analysis. It is not selling anything, other than the supposed benefits of the euro.

Of course, for the seriously rich, a Swiss bank is still the obvious port of call. Switzerland may not be part of the euro zone, but geographically it sits at the heart of what's already being called Euroland and that's also where UBS claims to be. It is in fact Europe's largest banking group and offers detailed euro commentary for well-heeled private clients.

If you are not feeling the financial pinch after the festivities, Shelter (the charity for homeless people) is now able to receive donations over the Internet. The Charities Aid Foundation and MM Group are piloting a scheme enabling spontaneous and tax-effective donations to be made using a single, secure charity website. Secure donations to Shelter can be made by credit card and the CAF CharityCard for tax-effective giving.

Citibank Euro Accounts: www.citibank.co.uk

Citibank EMU bulletins: www.citibank.com/uk/ custinfo/index

EmuNet: www.euro-emu.co.uk/

UBS: www.ubs.com/pbeuro

echarity:www.echarity.com

Robin Amlot can be reached at RobinAmlot@aol.com

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

    £20000 - £25000 per annum + uncapped commission : SThree: Hello! I know most ...

    Recruitment Genius: Graduate Web Performance Consultant Trainee

    £22000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Consultant trainee opportunit...

    Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - (Full marketing mix) - Knutsford

    £22000 - £25000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Knu...

    Ashdown Group: Web Developer - ASP.NET, C#, MVC - London

    £45000 - £55000 per annum + Excellent benefits: Ashdown Group: Web Developer -...

    Day In a Page

    Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

    The future of GM

    The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
    Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

    Britain's mild winters could be numbered

    Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

    Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
    Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

    The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

    The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
    Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

    Cowslips vs honeysuckle

    It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
    Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

    A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss
    Tony Blair joins a strange and exclusive club of political leaders whose careers have been blighted by the Middle East

    Blair has joined a strange and exclusive club

    A new tomb has just gone up in the Middle East's graveyard of US and British political reputations, says Patrick Cockburn
    Election 2015: Meet the top 12 wacky candidates seeking your vote in May

    Election 2015

    Meet the top 12 wacky candidates seeking your vote in May
    Countdown to the election: Operation Save Danny Alexander shifts into high gear as the SNP target his Commons seat

    Operation Save Danny Alexander shifts into high gear

    The Chief Secretary to the Treasury didn’t forget his Highland roots in the Budget. But the SNP is after his Commons seat
    The US economy is under threat because of its neglected infrastructure

    The US is getting frayed at the edges

    Public spending on infrastructure is only half of Europe’s, and some say the nation’s very prosperity is threatened, says Rupert Cornwell
    Mad Men final episodes: Museum exhibition just part of the hoopla greeting end of 1960s-set TV hit

    New Yorkers raise a glass to Mad Men

    A museum exhibition is just part of the hoopla greeting the final run of the 1960s-set TV hit
    Land speed record: British-built hybrid rocket car aims to be the fastest on Earth

    British-built hybrid rocket car aims to be the fastest on Earth

    Bloodhound SSC will attempt to set a new standard in South Africa's Kalahari desert
    Housebuilders go back to basics by using traditional methods and materials

    Housebuilders go back to basics - throwing mud at the wall until it sticks

    Traditional materials are ticking all the construction boxes: they are cheap, green – and anyone can use them
    Daniel Brühl: 'When you have success abroad, you become a traitor. Envy is very German'

    Daniel Brühl: 'Envy is very German'

    He's got stick for his golden acting career and for his beloved restaurant - but Daniel Brühl is staying put in Berlin (where at least the grannies love him)
    How Leica transformed photography for ever: Celebrating 100 years of the famous camera

    Celebrating 100 years of Leica

    A new book reveals how this elegant, lightweight box of tricks would transform the way we saw life on the street and in fashion, on the battlefield and across the world