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Transferring money to a French bank account from UK


Trevor
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Hi mmaddock

Just for the record, Moneybookers will transfer small amounts but it takes longer than your experience with Paypal as it usually takes 4 working days to upload funds to Moneybookers and about the same to then transfer it to France. So if you leave bills until the last minute it makes sense to use PayPal regardless of the benefits of using alternatives. Missing payment of a bill is likely to cost you more than you save!

Personally I prefer to minimise stress so just keep my CA account well topped up to meet the bills.

Andy

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I don't know if it would be worth it if you didn't live in France but we have an offshore account with Lloyds. (no we're not rich, our longtime English branch suggested we change.) Its actually 2 accounts a sterling one and a euro one. Our pensions our paid  directly into the sterling account. You can transfer amounts from one to the other by phone without charge, both acounts have debit cards but  only the sterling one has a cheque book. We use the Eurocard to pay for shopping and to get cash to top up our French account to pay bills.
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A lot of these " solutions" are only available if you live in the UK and can open the relevant accounts, unfortunately the Nationwide was not offering free ATM withdrawals when many of us came here and we cannot now open an account with them or many other UK bank accounts.

I would endorse Paypal for the original posters needs, the exchange rate is as good as many and a lot better than I get from HSBC or NatWest on the rare occasions that I have used their cards for € transactions.

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hi

Helen, I like the sound of your offshore account  Presumably you can monitor exchange rates and move sums backwards and forwards between the two accounts to increase your wealth. 

I can endorse using a Nationwide debit card.  For anyone who does not want to be visible via use of their french bank account, its a good way of obtaining cash.

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[quote user="bigears"]

hi

Helen, I like the sound of your offshore account  Presumably you can monitor exchange rates and move sums backwards and forwards between the two accounts to increase your wealth. 

 

[/quote]

It might be possible,if you were clever with bank rates  but we don't have any wealth to increase [:)]

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[quote user="bigears"]I like the sound of your offshore account  Presumably you can monitor exchange rates and move sums backwards and forwards between the two accounts to increase your wealth[/quote]Oh that it were that easy. It can be done but you have to seriously do your homework and be also be online virtually permanantly to take advantage of the constant shifts and changes.

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In my experience:

Smaller sums: Nationwide Flex      No fee and reasonable exchange rate (rate not critical for small sums)

Larger sums: Co-op Internet Bank (Smile)   Low fee, competitive exchange rate and very simple to arrange (once you have an account with them)

Co-op also seems to work out well with UK credit card purchases in France. (But Credit Agricole customers are encouraged to use their French card, rather than UK one, to offset account fees - small credit each time French card is used. So swings and roundabouts, there.)

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Which brings us full circle back to this earlier post

"A lot of these " solutions" are only available if you live in the UK and can open the relevant accounts, unfortunately the Nationwide was not offering free ATM withdrawals when many of us came here and we cannot now open an account with them or many other UK bank accounts"........... (now we live in France).

"

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Our experiences with HIFX have been pretty dire - they twice lost our money (once for 6 weeks!) sending our French account overdrawn and incurring us fees .  We had no refund of costs, apologies or anything.  Last time I checked rates HIFX were offering 1.38 - compared to 1.41 with the Co-Op and nearly 1.42 with Nationwide.  This was for a transfer of £5k.  Ok there was no fee with HIFX but for that sum of money the difference in rates was significant.

We would never use HIFX again.   

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I've used HiFX on about 4 or 5 occasions and found then quick and efficient. Like so many other things you only hear the bad bits from when it's gone wrong which are probably less than 1% of the picture. You should remember also that HiFX are big time currency dealers and do load small transactions, which £5k qualifies as, by way of poorer rates. I know this first hand because I once had to transfer a small sum in a hurry due to unforseen circumstrances.

Re exchange rates for larger amounts, HiFX offer the interbank rate (minus a tiny fraction which is where they make their money) and I fail therefore to see how anybody, be they the Co-Op or Nationwide etc. or anyone can offer significantly better, certainly not within in the wide margins you say the other organisations were offering.

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All I can say is that when I paid for the house nearly 3 years ago, I was surprised to find that Co-op gave me a better rate than offered by both HiFX and Moneycorps. Whether that still would be the case, I don't know, but it certainly pays to shop around for larger transactions.
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[quote user="cooperlola"]Got 1.43 from the cash machine today (no commission, Nationwide), so I would say pretty poor, Pads; sounds like tourist rate to me.[/quote]

Just for information the ECB reference rate on 26th November (It's set at 2.15PM each trading day) was 1.4265 (1.43). I can't see that the Nationwide account can be bettered for modest sums, unfortunately I ain't got one..........

Also for information if you use a Barclays debit card (Connect) you pay roughly 3% (in the exchange rate) on purchases and cash withdrawals, and no further fees to withdraw cash from BNP Paribas branches.

It would be very useful to know how regular monthly transfer rates from HiFX and the others compare with the ECB reference rate on the day of the transfer.

Each day's ECB reference rates are available here http://www.ecb.int/stats/exchange/eurofxref/html/index.en.html

and the past 90 days (in format for parsing, but easy to understand without doing so) here: http://www.ecb.europa.eu/stats/eurofxref/eurofxref-hist-90d.xml

Steve

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