Savings accounts in Europe

You can keep your money in a savings account with a local bank, but online you can easily save money at a higher interest rate at banks in a different country. The differences between a local and a savings account in another country are sometimes significant, although there are some risks to watch out for.


Savings accounts in Europe

Saving money abroad is currently gaining popularity. Through Raisin Bank (Germany) you can easily open a savings account with several European banks. These often have a higher interest rate than what you receive in a local bank account. Banks that work with Raisin include:

French bank, founded in 2013, it is part of a multinational car manufacturer. Offers savings products and financing or insurance for the customers (networks) of car brands such as Peugeot, Citro├źn, FIAT and Opel. Currently offers 3.31 percent interest per year.

Nordax Bank, founded in 2003 and headquartered in Stockholm, is a Swedish bank with about 255,000 retail customers. It offers both an online savings account with variable interest rates of 3.29%, and deposit savings with great interest rates.

A&G Banco offers deposit savings, with a fixed interest rate of up to 4 percent per year. Durations range from 3 months to 2 years. Saving is possible with as little as 20,000 euros, with a maximum amount of 100,000 euros per account holder.

RCI Banque S.A., is a subsidiary of the Renault Group. This French bank specializes in car financing and services for Renault, Nissan and Mitsubishi customers and dealers. Unlimited deposits and withdrawals whenever you want. Automatic savings possible.

Norion Bank AB of Sweden offers savings accounts and deposit accounts abroad under the Collector brand name. Sweden levies no holding tax and is covered by the European deposit guarantee act. Fixed interest rates up to 3.95 percent per year. Automatic savings possible.

Inbank is an Estonia-based bank with some 850,000 customers. It offers deposit savings, which you can easily open and manage online. It also offers a variable-rate savings account.

The banks listed above all offer good savings rates, and even as an international client it is easy to open an account there. However, it is not possible to open a business savings account through Raisin. If you are interested in getting the highest savings rates, you could also consider other institutions than banks.

Best savings accounts with highest interest rates in Europe

Interest on European savings accounts

Banks in other countries sometimes offer higher interest rates on a savings account than your local rates. And if you consider other institutions, interest rates can be even higher. There are many different financial sites in Europe, such as peer-to-peer platforms or investment platforms. These platforms offer a fixed interest rate on your investment, which can be quite high.

European investment platforms sometimes offer high fixed interest rates.

Interest rates in countries like Spain, Poland or Estonia are often higher than other European interest rates. You could also start saving outside of Europe. But currency differences and economic or political developments sometimes pose risks. Also, a bank account from outside the European Union falls outside the guarantee system.

European p2p platforms

Both in and outside Europe, p2p lending platforms are booming. They often raise money from savers to lend out through small business and consumer loans. In return, you get a fixed interest rate on your investment. On these platforms, there is some supervision from governments, but it is not comparable to supervision that applies to banks. Popular European platforms currently include:

Mintos is a peer-to-peer platform for individual loans from Latvia. The broker is the European market leader for p2p loans with more than 500.000 investors. Mintos is an authorized investment firm under MiFID-regulations. The average interest rate is approximately 10 percent.

Irish p2p platform Esketit has been around since 2020. Investments are automatically spread across loans from individuals. By its own admission, the platform provides an average annual return of 12 percent. Investing is possible from as little as 10 euros.

Lendermarket is a platform for P2P consumer lending located in Dublin. The service has over 17 thousand users that have invested around 377 million euros to date. The average interest rate is 12 to 15 percent for loans that last between 1 and 53 months. Annual returns are up to 15,5 percent.

Pros and cons of international savings accounts

Saving money abroad can have both advantages and disadvantages. These differ by bank, platform, country or (savings) account. Some advantages are:

Higher interest rates: Interest rates on savings abroad are often higher than at local banks.
Exchange rates: Do you conduct a lot of business in another currency? By keeping your savings in the same currency, you will not run currency risks. Conversely, a different currency can sometimes generate additional returns.
Financial privacy: Money abroad can offer financial privacy, although the rules for this vary widely.

Some disadvantages of saving abroad are:

Fraud and security: There is a risk of fraud or a security breach at any financial institution, and this risk may be greater at foreign banks with which you are less familiar.
Currency Difference: The currency of the country where you open a savings account may depreciate against your own currency.
Political and economic instability: The money you store abroad may be affected by political and economic events in that country.
Regulations: Countries have different rules and regulations for foreign bank accounts, and these can change. You may face legal risks, and many foreign platforms are not covered by the European deposit guarantee scheme for bank accounts.
Access to your money: Sometimes it can be more difficult to access your money quickly, especially if you have to deal with time zones and other logistical issues.

Taxation on savings abroad

If you open a savings account at a foreign bank, this can create complex tax issues. You may have to pay taxes in both your home country and the country where you save.

Savings products from foreign financial institutions are not always recognized as savings. For example, tax laws in some countries view savings at a p2p platform as an investment. It taxes the returns on this in a similar way as investments you purchase with an investment account at an online broker.

A foreign savings account at an unauthorized bank is taxed as an investment for income tax purposes.

Withholding tax

In addition, you face an assessment of withholding tax in many countries. This means that you also pay taxes in the country where your money is placed. Sometimes you can avoid or reduce double taxation with a statement showing that you pay your taxes in your home country.

You can also make sure your savings account is without withholding tax, by opening one in a country without such a retention tax, like Germany, Estonia, France, Italy or Sweden.

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Frequently asked questions

Some frequently asked questions about saving abroad are:

Which foreign bank has the highest savings rate?

In Europe, Renault Bank, Inbank and Nordax bank offer high savings rates. Interest rates can vary from day to day, making it difficult to say which bank offers the highest interest rate today. In addition, with some banks you run a currency risk or you may not be able to access your savings for long periods of time.

Are you considering other financial platforms in exchange for higher interest rates? With some large European p2p platforms, you can receive above 10 percent interest per year.

How can I open a savings account in another country?

Through Raisin Bank, you can easily open an account with many European banks. Both via desktop and an app on your mobile. You can also save abroad on p2p platforms. Please note: on some p2p platforms, you risk losing your deposit, and your money is only covered by the deposit guarantee scheme with an authorized bank from the European Union.