Low-cost currency transfers
Owners and buyers of overseas properties should look to specialist currency transfer services, including a new Post Office facility, rather than banks, for sending funds abroad to settle bills and make foreign mortgage repayments. It claims to offer exchange rates up to 4 per cent better than those from banks, as well as savings on a range of other charges.
What’s wrong with the banks?
Apart from uncompetitive exchange rates banks charge transfer fees of £30 and there can be commission of 1.5 per cent plus charges levied by the receiving bank of another 0.5 per cent.
Where to go
The Post Office’s Overseas Property Money Transfer Service (www.postoffice.co.ujk/moneytransfers; 0800 180 4702) offers "no fee" transfers.
The online and phone-based facility, which is operated by currency transfer firm HiFX (www.hifx.co.uk), has no separate commission or other charges - the quoted exchange rate includes all transfer costs and charges made by receiving banks. The minimum transfer amount is £500, or £250 directly through HiFX.