Transferring funds back to the UK made easier by currency brokers

  • 14 years ago
  • Uncategorized

As increasing numbers of Brits sell their overseas properties and move back to the UK, it is worth checking the best way to repatriate your funds.


Sending the proceeds of an overseas property sale back to the UK can be fraught with expensive problems without proper research. Banks automatically converting funds at poor exchange rates can make a difference of thousands of Pounds, and in some countries excessive bank charges will be applied unless transfers are made in a certain way. Occasionally, funds can even get stuck in an overseas account, with a trip on a plane required to get things sorted out.


Generally, if you are selling abroad, funds from the sale will initially be lodged with a local notary. The worst thing you can do is ask for money to be transferred directly back to your UK bank – as you lose all control over the exchange rate applied. It will come as no surprise that your bank will probably convert your funds automatically at an uncompetitive rate, which could cost you a small fortune.


Before lodging funds in your own overseas bank account, do make sure that you will have the facility to give transfer instructions from the UK. Otherwise you could find your money stuck in your own account in another country, with no option but to travel out to release it! Banking a foreign cheque in the UK can take up to 2 months to clear and attract high charges too, so writing yourself a cheque is not a fantastic option.


To avoid the problems of transferring funds directly to your bank either overseas or in the UK, you can use to a UK-based currency broker to help you achieve a preferential exchange rate. A reputable broker will be able to receive funds from your notary directly, and will help you avoid poor rates and high charges associated with high street banks. Using an FSA regulated currency broker means that transactions are safe and secure.


Currency brokers will also help you to avoid local charges in countries you are sending money back from. For example, Spanish banks will try to charge you up to 0.5% for a Euro transfer to the UK, which can be avoided by using several SEPA transfers of under €50,000 each. Transferring Euros back from Portugal or France, on the other hand, is less likely to attract excessive charges.


With the Pound starting to recover in recent months, it is also worth knowing that you can fix and thereby guarantee an exchange rate for up to 2 years ahead. If you have exchanged on an overseas sale, but are yet to reach completion, check the latest exchange rates and consider fixing to protect the sterling value of your sale. As before, a reputable currency company will be able to talk you through all the options for your currency transfer to the UK.


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