Trying to beat the bankers...

Birvidik_Bob

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Well – it looks like it’s all systems go. We’ve sold Birvidik to a good and deserving home and on Thursday we’re driving from Greece to France and Holland to look for our dream inland waterways boat. We’ve got a list of twenty brokers to look at, so that should keep us out of trouble for a while.

However, looking ahead I have one query – what’s the least extortionate method of transferring a boatsworth of money from a UK account in sterling to a French or Dutch account in Euros?

I’d be inordinately grateful for any expertise or suggestions on this matter.

Cheers

Ex-Birvidik Bob
 

Tranona

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Google foreign exchange transfers and you will get a choice of firms that will do it for you. Usually cheaper than going through the bank, but given the current volatility of the Euro against the £ you might also consider buying a forward when you have chosen your boat so that you lock into a sterling price. You will need to set up an account in advance to do this so best do your research now to find out what is on offer. Make sure the firm you choose will do the transfer exactly when you want it so that you exchange money for the documents and title at the same time. Probably best done in the prescence of the broker or private vendor so they can check the money is in before they hand over the documents, keys etc and good idea to take physical possession at the same time.
 

duncan99210

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I use Caxton FX, no idea if they're competitive against other fx types sites but they make no charge on the transaction, making their money by adjusting the rate slightly in their favour. Quick (typically less than 48 hours) and easy to set up. You can either transfer money to them from your bank account or use a debit card to pay for the transaction. Also possible to buy ahead and hold the €s until you need them. Recently used them to pay the yard bill, easier than using the bank website as well as cheaper.
 

sarabande

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I suspect that the UK bank may wish to satisfy itself that you are not money laundering . Best to check that they are happy about the provenance trail in case you want to buy / pay suddenly to snap up a bargain.
 

CAPTAIN FANTASTIC

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Talk to a hight steert bank, you will find that some banks will charge a flat fee (between £25 and £100) to transfer. Another way is to go HSBC, they will open an account within eurozone (not Greece) within two weeks, you can then put and transfer money.
 

TQA

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I have used Fourex and HSBC.

If the amount is substantial [ RV or boat money ] HSBC will go to their currency dealing room for you and get a a rate which they hold for a short time. It worked out better than Fourex the last two times. I am a Premier ac holder but I don't think that makes a difference.
 

Tranona

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Okay naive question, can't you just do a bacs transfer between a UK bank and a French bank?

Yes, you can and it is quick and convenient, but there is a fixed charge plus the rate you get is usually poorer than you would get by using a specialist. I used it for paying relatively small bills where the difference in rate was small in terms of total money, but any significant amount such as several thousands paying for a boat the savings using a specialist are well worth having.
 

KellysEye

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>However, looking ahead I have one query – what’s the least extortionate method of transferring a boatsworth of money from a UK account in sterling to a French or Dutch account in Euros?

When we went long distance sailing we opened a dollar and euro account with Barclays in Jersey, we had an offshore account but a UK account will do. When you transfer pounds they convert it into the currency of the account at that day's exchange rate, with a commision, the full details are here with charges: http://www.barclays.co.uk/Otheraccounts/Currencyaccounts/ForeignCurrencyAccount/P1242557963858

I would expect French or Dutch banks to be much the same but if you have UK account why not use it and keep it simple.
 

Whitelighter

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Well – it looks like it’s all systems go. We’ve sold Birvidik to a good and deserving home and on Thursday we’re driving from Greece to France and Holland to look for our dream inland waterways boat. We’ve got a list of twenty brokers to look at, so that should keep us out of trouble for a while.

However, looking ahead I have one query – what’s the least extortionate method of transferring a boatsworth of money from a UK account in sterling to a French or Dutch account in Euros?

I’d be inordinately grateful for any expertise or suggestions on this matter.

Cheers

Ex-Birvidik Bob

There are two ways of doing this.

As already suggested Trasferwise is excellent if you want to make the payment now either to your vendors account or to your euro account. They offer rates that are less than a point off the mid market rate when commission is considered.

The other option is to take a forward contract with someone like HiFX. This means you lock the rate today for a set period and the euros can be drawn down at any time during this period. This is a good option if you feel that the currency is at the top of a curve or you are budgeting based on a minimum rate and you don't have an account where you can store euros.

The €/£ exchange rate is highly volatile at present. Predictions are all over the place but the accept value range is 1.35-1.41 (which is a big spread). Lots of news coming in the next 5-10 days that will affect the exchange rates one way or another. GDP and Productivity figures expected from the Eurozone are likely to be positive and drive Stirling lower. On the flip side positive info from the US due on wed/thurs could well drive Stirling higher as it will depress the euro.

All of this is academic if Greece even half suggests it will default on its €1.6bn payment due on June 30th. If you are going to need the euros in June id be tempted to fix tomorrow at what will be 1.36-1.37 range. If you need I the money later in the summer you could hang on but if the news is positive out of the EU and the Greeks pay the next instalment then the euro will likely strengthen and stirling will slip below 1.30.

If the default and/or EU GDP figures are less than the market expects then Stirling will likely gain north of 1.40.

Your decision depends if you are a shopper or a currency speculator.
 

dunedin

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The cost of a payment transfer itself is peanuts in the wider scheme. It is the Sterling to Euro exchange rate you get that can make a huge difference

We compared a few Fx companies (looking into the regulatory status of each company, checking against the regulators records) first. Then registered for 2 companies. Then compared the rates with both when making the FX deal.
My own bank didn't come anywhere close on rates.

The tricky bit if you want to buy ahead Is opening a Euro account if you don't have one. Most bank seem to have stopped opening thee for new customers, not sure why
 

charles_reed

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There are two ways of doing this.

As already suggested Trasferwise is excellent if you want to make the payment now either to your vendors account or to your euro account. They offer rates that are less than a point off the mid market rate when commission is considered.

The other option is to take a forward contract with someone like HiFX. This means you lock the rate today for a set period and the euros can be drawn down at any time during this period. This is a good option if you feel that the currency is at the top of a curve or you are budgeting based on a minimum rate and you don't have an account where you can store euros.

The €/£ exchange rate is highly volatile at present. Predictions are all over the place but the accept value range is 1.35-1.41 (which is a big spread). Lots of news coming in the next 5-10 days that will affect the exchange rates one way or another. GDP and Productivity figures expected from the Eurozone are likely to be positive and drive Stirling lower. On the flip side positive info from the US due on wed/thurs could well drive Stirling higher as it will depress the euro.

All of this is academic if Greece even half suggests it will default on its €1.6bn payment due on June 30th. If you are going to need the euros in June id be tempted to fix tomorrow at what will be 1.36-1.37 range. If you need I the money later in the summer you could hang on but if the news is positive out of the EU and the Greeks pay the next instalment then the euro will likely strengthen and stirling will slip below 1.30.

If the default and/or EU GDP figures are less than the market expects then Stirling will likely gain north of 1.40.

Your decision depends if you are a shopper or a currency speculator.

TransferWise have always been close to or above the mid-market rate, in my experience, which is better than Visa, Mastercard or any of the FX companies who all charge 1-8% on bid/offer rates. Their commission rate, on larger (£800) transactions works out @ 1.5%, though they do have a minimum €1 charge.
Just looking at the commission charged is a no-brainer - you have to look at the rate of exchange you're offered.
 

Whitelighter

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TransferWise have always been close to or above the mid-market rate, in my experience, which is better than Visa, Mastercard or any of the FX companies who all charge 1-8% on bid/offer rates. Their commission rate, on larger (£800) transactions works out @ 1.5%, though they do have a minimum €1 charge.
Just looking at the commission charged is a no-brainer - you have to look at the rate of exchange you're offered.

Yes, I totally agree did you want the euros now and have a Euro account to hold them in transferwise is often the best option.

However they will not firward contract and in a volatile market this may be worth the commission. Transferwise operate a matching service, so if you are exchanging a large amount you wait for them to match it with currency going the other way. The bigger the amount the longer it takes and the rate moves during this time. You'll note they only give an estimated rate. A firward contract is instant and guarantees a rate for up to 2 years.

As I said, there are pros and cons to Botha but it hasn't all about the commission and fx rate. It's also about when you want the money and if you have the facility to hold them yoursft
 

Sailfree

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The tricky bit if you want to buy ahead Is opening a Euro account if you don't have one. Most bank seem to have stopped opening thee for new customers, not sure why

Anyone know of any banks with reasonable charges that will offer a Euro account with debit and Euro credit card ( currently use halifax credit card that offers cheapest exchange rate)
 
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