Why are the banking transfer charges so high for offshore banking and how can this be avoided?
Even in the modern electronic world there are still some costs involved in banking and not all countries are as up to date as most european countries and the US.
having said that it is a case of shopping around. even for large payments in the uk the price can vary massively, faster payments is free but most banks limit the amount you can send.
your own bank might charge say £25 to do a same day transfer to your solicitor when you buy a house but the solicitor might then charge you £50 to send the money on because their bank charges more and they want to mark up the cost to you.
if you do regular overseas payments its best to try and reduce the number, ie instead of monthly, can you send double the amount every other month?
there are specialist foreign currency companies that deal in overseas transactions and can often beat the high street rates but if you use one you should check that they are FSA authorised and what protections are in place if they should become insolvent whilst in possession of your money.
generally you should send overseas payments in the local currency and not sterling. ie in europe send euros as although sending sterling from the UK will be cheaper, there will be interbank charges and the exchange rate might not be as good and you will end up worse off.
for more "exotic" locations you should check their preferred currency, for example in many carribbean countries the US dollar is the preferred currency.
generally the more remote or underdeveloped the receiving country, the more it will cost as every step/bank that handles the money on its journey will make a charge. | 01.04.11 @ 19:16