Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Bank Hurdles Hold Us Back; Export Focus: France

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Bank Hurdles Hold Us Back; Export Focus: France

Article excerpt

UK FIRMS attempting to do business in the euro zone are seriously handicapped by the British banking system, according to one Hartlepool exporter.

Alex Carter of energy firm Durable Technologies, which started in UKSteel Enterprise's incubator units two years ago, says he will be forced to offshore the company's account, if attitudes do not change.

Although he is not convinced that it would be in Britain's best interests to join the euro zone, he and his wife-and-business partner Lorraine, say restrictions placed on the operation of euro accounts by the big four banks make it difficult to trade and the company loses out as a result.

With a growing percentage of its energy-lite technology exported, Alex makes a point of selling in euros to avoid exchange rate penalties.

"The biggest problem we have is trying to operate a euro bank account with a UK bank - it's a bit like driving a Formula One car blindfolded.

"It doesn't matter who you go to, you cannot operate a euro account in the same way you can a sterling account. …

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