If you’re buying a property overseas or making a large purchase of any kind in another country, you’ll need to transfer a large sum of money from the UK to the location in question.
Sounds daunting. But fortunately, there are plenty of ways to do this, either with the help of your high street bank or a specialist currency broker. But there are lots of things to consider before you arrange your transfer.
Here, we explain how to make a transfer, and why it’s important to keep a close eye on exchange rates as well as any transfer fees.
How do you transfer a large sum of money internationally?
If you want to transfer a large sum of money abroad, you need to find a bank or currency broker which can arrange the transfer on your behalf.
When the payment is made from your account, you can fix the amount of sterling that is taken, which in turn means the amount received at the other end will depend on the exchange rate applicable at the time. Or you can fix the foreign currency amount to be received, so that the amount of sterling paid by you depends on the exchange rate.
Remember too that the exchange rate you are offered when you make a large international money transfer can have a big impact on the amount that you transfer abroad.
When choosing which bank or currency broker you want to make the transfer on your behalf, always find out what the transfer fees are, as these can have a big impact on the amount you transfer. As a general rule, high street banks charge from around £15 up to £25 per transfer, while currency brokers’ fees are typically lower, from around £3 to 10, although they can be fee-free in some circumstances.
Some banks, usually those with overseas branches, also allow their customers to make fee-free transfers. There are other charges and costs to consider. You will usually have to pay a fee to the bank which receives the funds – this is typically around 0.5% of the amount transferred but will depend on which bank you use. Remember too that the exchange rate you are offered when you make a large international money transfer can have a big impact on the amount that you transfer abroad. Some specialist currency brokers use special financial tools to protect against sudden exchange rate movements. These allow you to lock into favourable exchange rates before you make the transfer.
Bear in mind, however, that there is always the risk that if the exchange rate then moves further in your favour, you won’t be able to benefit as you’ll already be locked in to another rate.
Make sure your money is safe
Ensuring sure your money is protected in the event anything goes wrong should be a top priority for anyone who is sending a large sum of cash abroad. High street banks and many of the larger currency brokers are regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, which means money up to £85,000 will be protected by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme (FSCS) in the event that the company arranging your transfer collapses.
However, you don’t have this protection from a broker who isn’t FCA regulated, so always check whether or not the company you are considering using is regulated.
Ordered on amount received - all quotes shown are for indicative purposes only
- Exchange rate 1.1315 rate updated 21.06.17
- Amount you'll receive 13,012.25 when transferring £11,500.00
- Description Whether you're at home or abroad, Halo Financial can help make regular international payments easy. Halo Financial have developed a simple, flexible and cost-effective payment solution to help you make monthly repayments for an overseas mortgage, receiving a pension, rental income, maintenance costs, school fees, payments to family, business payments or any regular money transfer with a solution tailored to suit you. For your convenience automated orders can also be set up protecting you against currency loss and maximising your currency gain.
- Great for
- Award-winning service from a dedicated, specially qualified currency consultant
- Online transfers, automatic rate watch and regular transfers services available
- Insights, updates and guides on how currency markets affect you
- But be aware that
- Minimum transfer is £250 per month
- Bank to Bank transfers only
- Exchange rate 1.1313 rate updated 21.06.17
- Amount you'll receive 13,009.95 when transferring £11,500.00
FC Exchange has been helping customers with their international money transfer requirements for over 10 years. They offer exceptional customer service and each customer has their own account manager to guide them through the process of sending money overseas. Customers can transact online or over the telephone in over 50 currencies and with their Best Exchange Rate Guarantee, FC Exchange help customers get the most for their money every time they transfer.more provider details
FC Exchange is a Global Reach Group company and is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority.
Complete transactions of at least £20,000 (or currency equivalent) within six months of registering and receive £50 in shopping eVouchers. T&Cs apply. Limited offer, ends 30th June 2017
- Great for
- Secure the exchange rate for up to two years in advance
- One-off or regular payments with a Best Exchange Rate Guarantee
- Transact online or over the telephone with a dedicated dealer
- But be aware that
- Payments by bank transfers only
- Minimum transfer amount of £1,000
- Exchange rate 1.1312 rate updated 21.06.17
- Amount you'll receive 13,008.80 when transferring £11,500.00
A privately-owned business in no doubt that client satisfaction defines its future success. Whether you are an individual or a business, Frontierpay will offer you great exchange rates and can transfer money to any account in the world through the company’s state of the art international payments systems. Authorised and regulated by the FCA, Frontierpay has traded over $1bn on behalf of its clients in 2015.more provider details
5* 'excellent' rating on Trustpilot - over 200 reviews
- Great for
- Helpful, impartial guidance rather than pushy advice - consultants not incentivised by commission
- No transfer fees or hidden charges - what Frontierpay quotes, it sends
- Ease of use - move money online, by phone or via email
- But be aware that
- Minimum transfer is £500
- Payment by bank to bank transfer only
- This service is not available to anyone domiciled in India