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 1.1391 rate updated 17.01.17
- Amount you'll receive 11,277.09 when transferring £9,900.00
The company is one of the largest and best known international money transfer specialists in the UK with a reputation for consistently offering highly competitive, bank beating exchange rates to both private individuals and businesses alike. To date they have transferred in excess of £100 billion!more provider details
5* ‘excellent’ rating on Trustpilot from over 10,000 verified reviews
- Great for
- Move money and make payments 24 hours a day, seven days a week
- Authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority
- Exclusive to MoneySuperMarket – transfer £5,000+ and you’ll be entered into a monthly prize draw to receive one of 10 £50 M&S vouchers
- But be aware that
- Minimum transfer £50
- No cash, bank transfers & debit/credit cards only
- Exchange rate 1.1389 rate updated 17.01.17
- Amount you'll receive 11,275.11 when transferring £9,900.00
As a Global Reach Group company, FC Exchange has over 15 years specialist experience in the personal FX market. Renowned for their exceptional customer service, achieving a five star rating with independent reviews agency, TrustPilot, each of FC Exchange’s customers have their own personal account manager who will guide them through their requirements, and will keep them informed every step of the process. FC Exchange help customers secure the best possible exchange rates with their Best Exchange Rate Guarantee, and no matter whether transactions are online or over the phone, their services are quick and easy.
5* 'excellent' rating on Trustpilot - over 600 reviews
- Great for
- Secure the exchange rate in advance
- Best Exchange Rate Guarantee
- Authorised FCA e-money licence
- But be aware that
- Payments by bank transfers only
- Minimum transfer amount of £1,000
- Exchange rate 1.1386 rate updated 17.01.17
- Amount you'll receive 11,216.06 when transferring £9,900.00
TransferWise is low-cost, award-winning money transfer. Founded by Skype’s first employee – and with Richard Branson among its investors – it has over a million customers, and moves over £500 million every month.
TransferWise never markup the exchange rate, then offset that hidden charge by advertising a low fee. They use the true exchange rate – independently provided by Reuters – and a clear, fair fee.
There’s no need to wait for a quote – just sign up and send. FCA authorisation and customer support make TransferWise simple and secure.
5* 'excellent' rating on Trustpilot - over 30,000 reviews
- Great for
- Great exchange rate - you get the true, mid-market rate, independently provided by Reuters, and free from hidden markup
- A low-cost, transparent transfer fee – shown clearly upfront
- Fast, online transfers 24/7 - plus phone support and transfers on the go with an award-winning app
- But be aware that
- You can only send money online, to another bank account