BACS vs CHAPS payments, and Halifax Bank

Last post Wed, Nov 02 2011, 11:32 AM by marine1. 4 replies.
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  •  Wed, Nov 02 2011, 11:32 AM

    Re: BACS vs CHAPS payments, and Halifax Bank

    for the potential benefit of any future reader:

    max was right when he said he couldn't understand why CHAPS was employed, when for overseas transfer of funds SWIFT (wiring) would have been more appropriate.
    The 10k was in fact rejected by the target american bank, and returned to my account (they kept the 25GBP fee).
    I spoke with Halifax and they will refund the 25GBP.

    Word of warning to anyone else; if you do plan on moving several thousand pounds abroad, do a bit of research into the various methods at your disposal, because your banker might not be as well informed about it either.
    • Post Points: 35
  •  Mon, Oct 31 2011, 2:25 PM

    Re: BACS vs CHAPS payments, and Halifax Bank

    Only UK banks are members of the Bank Automated Clearing System (BACS) so, even if the reciving account was a sterling one, it wouldn't be part of the BACS system.

    Another time, you could consider writing a cheque and sending it to the US. This can take a long time (weeks?) to clear but there wouldn't be fees to pay in the UK although the US bank might charge.

    • Post Points: 50
  •  Mon, Oct 31 2011, 1:25 PM

    Re: BACS vs CHAPS payments, and Halifax Bank

    okay max, thanks

    The funds were sent as GBP
    • Post Points: 50
  •  Mon, Oct 31 2011, 1:13 PM

    Re: BACS vs CHAPS payments, and Halifax Bank

    Both CHAPS and BACS tend to be for UK sterling accounts. CHAPS tends to come with a fee but is faster than BACS. It is possible that there is a monetary limit on BACS. The Faster Payments System is likely to replace both these options in time.

    As the receiving account is overseas (and a foreign currency?), I cannot see any way that you could have done the transfer without fees although I would have thought that SWIFT or another international service would have been used rather than BACS or CHAPS.

    • Post Points: 50
  •  Mon, Oct 31 2011, 10:39 AM

    BACS vs CHAPS payments, and Halifax Bank


    Quick question.
    30 minutes ago I walked into my local Halifax branch and asked them to transfer £10,000 from one of my accounts, to an American account. I did not give any deadline, nor did I imply that it needed to be done within a certain time frame.

    I was told I would face a £25 "CHAPS" fee. I reluctantly agreed. I asked what "CHAPS" stood for (the banker didn't know) and I told him I was a little frustrated that I was losing £25 to simply move money from A to B. He nodded in agreement.

    I just googled CHAPS transfer, and the search results also show there to be something called a BACS transfer. The difference between them, as far as I can tell, is that CHAPS payments take place on the same day, where possible, and cost money (£25 in my case).
    The BACS transfers apparently take 2 or 3 days to complete, but are usually free.

    My query;
    If I had asked for BACS, would Halifax have done it for free? Do Halifax only move money via CHAPS and not BACS?
    I was in no particular rush to move the money, and the banker didn't inform me that there was a free alternative method of moving the money.

    If it turns out Halifax shafted me on that, that will be the end of my account with them. I will drip feed all of my money away to another bank.
    The branches are chronically understaffed (when my online banking completely fails me and I have no choice but to go in personally) and their adverts are like clips from the X-Factor. Banking for the lowest common denominator.

    Thanks in advance for your help.
    • Post Points: 50