Sending money abroad is a huge industry in the UK and navigating the various systems can be a headache. You want to ensure that your money is safe throughout the transaction, but you also want to pay the lowest fees to make the transfer as painless as possible. Your hard-earned money can’t be ‘played’ with lightly, especially given the turbulent political landscape that is the UK right now. The pound has fallen significantly against most other currencies since the Brexit vote and will continue to do fluctuate up and down in the future.
You definitely don’t want to seek out the best exchange rate by jeopardising the security of your money. The last thing you need is to lose your money to a high-risk transfer agency or firm. So you need to do your homework in order to make a transfer that is at a good rate, for a low cost, and is secure enough for you to have confidence in the transaction.
First, consider how much you’re sending and how often you’re wanting to send it. You might want to set up recurring transfers to a family member. Perhaps you’re working in the UK but your family is in another country and you want to help support them. Or, perhaps, your child has gone abroad to school and needs you to help with expenses in another country. You may be investing in another property in another country and you need to send funds to purchase that and pay the fees to the various parties. People in the UK send money abroad for all sorts of reasons; finding the best way to send these funds takes a bit of work but will be worthwhile, in the end.
There are three main ways of sending money: a High Street bank, a transfer firm or a foreign exchange broker. The safest way would be through a bank but you’re unlikely to get good exchange rates and the fees might not be worth it. Bank transfers can also take up to a week to process.
Money transfer firms are good for sending money quickly but the fees will be high and the exchange rates fluctuate widely.
A foreign exchange broker is probably your best bet. Their fees are often low or non-existent, they are fast and their currency rates tend to be highly competitive. The software available to these brokers have advanced wonderfully over the years, allowing them to do money transfers for you at a low rate and quite quickly. Ask around, look for ratings for different brokers on the internet as part of your homework. Don’t go running to your bank just because it seems the easiest way to transfer your money. A little investigative work now will pay off for you in the end.