London, UK. BFC Bank are very proud to announce that they are now members of Single Euro Payments Area (SEPA).
SEPA allow bank customers to make euro payments across Europe as easily, securely and efficiently as they do today within their own countries.
SEPA was the outcome of European efforts to create a single Euro payments area for the non-cash payment instruments such as credit transfers, direct debits, and credit cards. Until SEPA was inaugurated in 2008, organisations that wanted to make payments across national borders within the Euro area found that this was simple when cash was used but difficult when electronic methods were required. SEPA has addressed this problem and represents a step towards integrated euro area retail payments market.
Now that BFC Bank has become a member of SEPA they are able to send funds in Euros on behalf of their customers directly to third parties. This speeds the settlement process and makes payments easier and quicker for customers.
Robert Greene, General Manager of the Corporate Banking Division, said “We are really pleased to become official members of SEPA. For BFC this is a major step towards rationalising our foreign exchange payments within Europe, delivering a reduction in processing costs and operational risks. This is another great milestone on our journey and will enable us to deliver even better value and faster services for our customers.”
Membership of SEPA is further evidence of the innovative, cost-effective and customer-focused services that BFC Bank delivers to its SME customers.
BFC Bank is a London-based UK bank, part of the BFC Group, a 100 year old financial institution that provides services in more than 55,000 locations across 40 countries worldwide. BFC Bank specialises in international payments and foreign exchange services for SMEs. In addition the bank provides services for Payment Services Providers and for wholesale foreign exchange dealers. BFC Bank received its UK banking licence in September 2016.
You can find out more about SEPA here: https://ec.europa.eu/info/business-economy-euro/banking-and-finance/consumer-finance-and-payments/payment-services/single-euro-payments-area-sepa_en
BFC Bank Launch, 7 March 2018
On 7 March 2018, BFC Bank launched for the first time in the UK as a Specialist Provider of International Payments and Multi-Currency Accounts, for Small to Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Payments Service Providers (PSPs).
BFC Bank is the latest bank to launch in the UK and provide reliable, safe banking services for SMEs and PSPs. International payments, multi-currency accounts and foreign exchange (FX) are BFC Bank’s core competencies.
BFC Bank is not another so-called ‘challenger bank’, it definitely challenges perceptions about how banking for SMEs should look, but it is not new.
BFC brings more transparency and fairness to the SME market when it comes to international payments.
Do you consider yourself a challenger bank?
No we don’t consider ourselves another challenger bank. We are definitely challenging perceptions about how banking for SMEs should look. We are not new and have entered the market to specifically service the SME segment. We are part of an established Group with a proud 100-year history.
Why do SMEs need a new bank for international payments as opposed to the payment services they can get from the already existing banks?
SMEs need help controlling costs, we offer transparent pricing and margins together with innovative fees.
How specifically is your service different/better than what the established players offer?
Each client is provided with an experienced dedicated relationship manager who will meet them regularly to ensure that high services are maintained. There is additional support from an expert payments team.
Is it any cheaper?
We offer low international payment fees and favourable FX spreads.
How long have you been operating in the UK and how many SME customers do you have today?
We have only just launched and will now start onboarding SME clients.
Do you plan to expand your offering, for example into trade finance?
We will provide loans and overdraft facilities for trade purposes. If an importer or exporter has a gap in their trade cycle then we will look to assist. It is early for us to think about more complex trade products given that we have just launched however it is something we will consider. To provide trade products will be a goal for us but it is interesting to watch the blockchain developments and how they will play a part in international trade.
Does the fact that you are a Bahraini bank have any influence on your focus and approach?
We are a UK bank authorised by the PRA and regulated by the FCA and the PRA. We are part of a Group (BFC Group) that has its origins in Bahrain and that go back 100 years. We help small businesses find ways to solve problems. Our people are creative and driven to solve problems for customers as if it were their own business.
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