[Osmf-talk] OSMF looking for a bank account

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Fri Aug 19 20:39:00 UTC 2016

Hi all,

   the OSMF currently banks with Barclays Bank in the UK, and we also
have a PayPal account.

We continue to have issues with both these accounts which sometimes seem
to stem from money laundering regulations, but mostly from how banks
implement these.

I'd like for the OSMF to open up a secondary bank account in Euros,
ideally with a bank that is willing and able to carry accounts in all of
our major currencies EUR/GPB/USD so that if the EUR account works well
we can maybe move all our banking there.

The biggest issue for us at the moment is that

(1) whenever we want to grant access to our bank account to a new
person, that person has to physically show up at a Barclays branch and
identify themselves with suitable paperwork (and sometimes Barclays in
England don't agree with the non-England branch about exactly what
paperwork is required). This makes the process of transferring treasurer
obligations to a new board member unnecessarily difficult and expensive.

(2) whenever there is any new member on the board, that board member has
to fill out a "personal information" form and send to Barclays even if
that board member doesn't access the bank account; Barclays will
otherwise threaten to freeze our account.

In addition, the total amount of bank charges we pay is relatively high
(transfers to the Eurozone cost £5 and bank transfers to e.g. Canada
cost £25; incoming monies also incur a fee).

(Paypal isn't much better, and also very twitchy when it comes to
locking our account - one time I tried to make a transfer to Russia and
the account was promptly locked and they wanted me to submit a document
that proves I really live at our company address before unlocking the

I'm wondering: There must be a better way for an international volunteer
organisation to bank? Not everyone is wealthy enough to hire an
accountant and let them do all the bank interactions. Frequently
changing board members can't be *so* unusual really?

We've talked to two banks in Germany and one in Switzerland and neither
had anything easier to offer. (I have a suspicion they might have had an
offer if we were 100 times our actual size...)

Does anyone have a recommendation of which bank I could try and talk to?
Ideally one in a country where you don't have to fear for your money, too ;)


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

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