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Using our French bank to move money to UK


Carolski

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I went into our French bank today to try and find out how they would transfer our cheque from the Notaires when we sell our property in May to our UK bank account and how much they would charge. I had been told not a lot. seems that they charge 15€ and then a further 1% for every 1000€ that they send to the UK. I was quite surprised as I had been led to believe that their charges were much less than that. When we transferred our Sterling in to Euros 4 years ago from the UK, we paid about £20!

We have been told various prices by different people and seem to find it hard to have 'true' picture of what we can expect. maybe its better then to go through companies like moneybookers etc.

They also have said that it can take 8 days to clear a Notaires cheque, I assume that also we have to allow a few days to clear it in the UK on top of all of this. OOOOOh La La!

Thoughts much appreciated.

 

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Whilst on the surface the charges look very reasonable, it is the exchange rate offered by the banks that can be very expensive. Having been through this process I used a moneybroker company who transfered the amount in Euros and then converted the exchange into sterling before depositing the proceeds in my UK bank account. The rates of exchange were excellent, the cost far less than bank to bank and fast.

These points may help you to prepare for the event. Choose a Moneybroking Company and complete the necessary paperwork now, so they a ready to go immediately when you wish to transfer funds. Write to your French bank informing them of the pending transfer and ask them what they require. Unless the Bank of France money laundering have changed, you will be required to explain the need for transferring large sums of money. The reason I used and was accepted, that I had sold my Maison Secondaire to boost my UK pension fund. The French Banks are not always very fast in releasing funds and the prior preparatory work in conjunction with French Bank Manager is vital for a smooth process.

Baz

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Obviously there would be logistical problems to consider but I wonder if you have thought about trying to contact somebody about to purchase in France, through your Immo perhaps if you used one, and coming to some arrangement with them to buy some of your € from you with £.

By agreeing on a middle rate both parties stand to get the best possible deal.

As I say though, it's all in the logistics [blink]

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What I need to know then is what rate do the banks use as I have been told that they use the interbank rate for that day in which case how can that be 'costly' for us? I know its slower than using money brokers but these brokers seems to charge about 1.5 cents on top of the interbank rate. Can yo utell me which brokers you used that was better than the bank?

Thanks

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It's a long time since I've used a UK bank to transfer money but they used to be notoriously bad for giving you a specific rate when you want to transfer funds.

I had one telephone conversation with a regional "hub" centre (before lots of them were moved abroad) which went roughly as follows.

Me: Can you tell me what today's rate is for French francs?

Them: How much do you want to move?

Me: Let's say £ 5,000.

Them: So you want us to transfer £ 5,000 today?

Me: No. I want you to tell me what the exchange rate would be if I was to transfer £ 5,000 today.

Them: Well that will mean us contacting our Foreign Department and they don't like us doing tht unless you're definitely going to do it.

End of conversation.

To my mind either their staff aren't very well trained or else they don't want to commit to a rate which of course is changing minutely minute by minute.

I certainly wouldn't accept a bland "inter bank rate" statement from them as you have no idea what that might be.

If it was me I'd put the Reuters web page giving foreign currency rates on my screen and then 'phone the bank and insist they tell you what their mythical inter bank rate is so that you can check it in as good as real time as most of us mere mortals can get.

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I think Benjamin comments are very true. With money brokers you have control under one roof and can probably fix a rate, so any delay will not have a detrimental effect, You do not say whether your French bank is sending the money in Sterling or Euros and this will effect costings. As I said earlier and many others have agreed in the past, the cheapest and best way is via a reputable money broking company. If you do a search many companies have been recommended in the past and the only reason I am not mentioning company I used as it will now be treated as advertising.

Baz

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Well, I've asked this question and it seems that neither decide the rate, they use the interbank rate that day and also their charges are in fact less if you take into consideration that brokers also use the same interbank rate that day and then add 1.5 cents onto the rate for themselves. The only dissadvantage i can see with the bank is that its a longer process. Correct me if I'm wrong please!
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I would really like some one to tell me why I should use Money brokers as opposed to my French bank account over here to transfer our money from the house sale from France to the UK. I have just come off the phone with the bank in La Rochelle who confirmed that all I have to do is to deposit my cheque with them, give then the IBAN number for my account in the UK. It takes 3 to 4 days to arrive and en route is changed into sterling using the Interbank rate for that day. The maximum charge is apparently no more than 80€. Sounds good to me.

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I'm not sure you're looking at the whole picture. Even if your bank sends your € for free, and at the interbank rate that's only half the transaction. You have to factor in what rate the receiving bank in UK will apply and what, if any, fees they levy.

I'd be be extremely surprised, shocked even, if they applied the interbank rate and without charge so this is where UK brokers such as Moneybookers and HiFx etc. come into play.

Just phone your UK bank and ask the question. I'd be very interested to hear the answer, as I suspect might a few others [:)]

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Have just come off the phone with the Abbey in the UK; seems that its all pretty straight forward and having now issued me with my own IBAN number, all I now have to do now is pay the cheque into our French bank, give them the IBAN number and UK bank name..and its transferred using the Interbank rate for that day. The charge is no more than 80€ and I was assured by the Abbey that there was absolutely NO CHARGE  from their end as she said..why should we? we're only to happy to have receive your money!!!

So far, seems like the way to go...please tell me if you think other wise and WHY!!!!!

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[quote user="Carolski"]? we're only to happy to have receive your money!!![/quote]But did you ask/did they tell you what price they would give you for your €, that is the crux of the matter. If you send say €100,000 you can't just walk into Abbey and collect them, you'll have to convert them to £ at whatever rate they sell them for.

Will somebody tell me I'm wrong in this ?

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Carolski, I think Ernie is raising questions you need to ask. If you want to go the Bank route then that is your choice.

 You raised the topic and I responded as someone who has been through these transfers and was in involved in Financial Services for nearly 30 years so I took every precaution before proceeding and can assure you that it would have cost me hundreds of pounds going bank to bank. The company I used are now rebranded as Baydon Hil http://www.baydonhill.com/WebForms/Public/frmCMSPage.aspx?SiteID=201  why not telephone them or any other Money brokers and they will soon tell you why you are far better off using them and take you through the process. Ask them how they will protect you against and downward currency changes during the process, in other words how to buy a forward a fixed guaranteed exchange rate at the time your monies are available and even before you  start the transfer process.....Banks do not do that and you could leave yourself open to hourly fluctuations. The broker work on finer margins than most banks so you should also benefit from better interbank rates.

It is now up to you to decide.  Do remember as I previously indicated get all the  French bank clearances in hand before the Notaire makes the payment to your bank otherwise you could be held up for days and days. I hope it all goes smoothly and your forward planning will prove worthwhile

Baz

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[quote user="Carolski"]

Have just come off the phone with the Abbey in the UK; seems that its all pretty straight forward and having now issued me with my own IBAN number, all I now have to do now is pay the cheque into our French bank, give them the IBAN number and UK bank name..and its transferred using the Interbank rate for that day. The charge is no more than 80€ and I was assured by the Abbey that there was absolutely NO CHARGE  from their end as she said..why should we? we're only to happy to have receive your money!!!

So far, seems like the way to go...please tell me if you think other wise and WHY!!!!!

[/quote]

Carolski, Hope this may re-assure you, some of the posters on this forum are convinced that the only way to transfer money is thorugh a broker.  When we transferred from UK to France to buy, we investigated brokers, and the tarradiddile to get it all to the right person at the right time made us give up.  We told the UK bank what amount had to arrive, they told us the rate they would send it at, we decided it was within the ballpark figure of interst rate I had been keeping an eye, and off it went safely to the notaire arriving withiin the week.  To send via a broker we would have had to allow extra time, to get the money into the broker, then for it to clear, and then for it to be transferred etc.  We decided on keeing it simple.  It cost £20 to do the transfer - peanuts compared with the amount we were transferring.

If you have checked the rates and costs at both ends and you are happy with it, go for it.  Life is too short to spend that much time trying to save the odd pound or two.  I don't like spending any more than I have to, but there are times when penny pinching is just not worth the extra effort in time it takes to save you pennies.  Obviously, if you are going to be widely out, the advice would be different, but less hassle wins it for me!

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The only thing I'm convinced of Judith is that you need to be in possession of ALL the facts before deciding on how to transfer your money.

I felt that Carolski was perhaps in danger of overlooking the UK receiving side of the deal and whilst it could turn out that the Abbey route is the best deal I'd hate for her to discover too late that they're exchanging her € at a much poorer rate than she was expecting - especially as she's at pains to get the best deal !

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Well, what more can I say apart from I am not unaware of ALL THE FACTS AND have DONE THE RESEARCH!!!! But forgive me, in my last post I did say that having spoken to the banks on both sides of the channel I have been assured that they use the interbank rate for that day (nothing more nothing less) and that only the French side charge! From what you seem to be suggesting ..then they are not telling the whole truth! So the big question now is (having done all my research and listened to all the responses on this forum)..who will give me the best deal? And from where I am sitting..the bank seems to be the simplest and just as (if not more) competitive. Am I missing something? But please dont assume that I (and my OH) haven't done our research, we're even signed up for one of these money brokers.

C

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Clearly you are doing your research otherwise you wouldn't be here asking questions but as you're getting bristly I'll make this my last post on the topic.

I think you're still missing the point.

The banks may well use the interbank rate to effect transfers between themselves, thats why its called "interbank", but that is not to say that Abbey will buy your € based on that rate.

There is one very very simple direct question to ask them:

If I had €xxx arriving in my A/C today and I wanted to draw it out in £ how much would you give me ?

Best of luck and do let us know how you get on [:)]

Bye

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Maybe I'm not making myself very clear

Both the banks have said is that the money transfer is exchanged from Euros to £'s by the local bank (i.e. France) Therefore they are giving us the interbank rate for the day of transfer. The bank in the UK receives the amount in £ sterling not €’s I also have already posed the exact hypothetical question that you suggested and they confirmed that it was indeed the rate of the day used for the transfer.

If I sound prickly, I’m sorry it’s not intentional. I just want to make sure we do this right as I know we’ll never have to hopefully do it again!

 

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[quote user="Carolski"]Oh just meant to add , not all of us can afford to forward buy![/quote]

Buying forward doesn't involve any early parting with money, but rather

the money broker agrees to an exchange rate ahead of the actual

transaction.  This agreed rate, valid for a specific duration and with

a limit on the funds to be transferred at that rate, will not be

affected by any changes in the commercial exchange rate.  It's a

contract, of course, so the transaction cannot be cancelled without

penalty.

It does mean that you don't benefit from any improvement in the

exchange rate, but you do know exactly what the result of the

transaction will be.  Because the money brokers gamble on what the

exchange rate will do over the next days/weeks/months, they are buying

and selling large amounts of many currencies and so they can often give

a better bottom line than a High Street (sic) bank.  (The banks do the

same thing, but don't subsidise the on-the-day rate with the profits

they make.)

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[quote user="ErnieY"]

The only thing I'm convinced of Judith is that you need to be in possession of ALL the facts before deciding on how to transfer your money.

[/quote]

Exactly, Ernie, which is why I posted.  It did seem to me that Carolski had done her research.  I felt she needed to know that others have also done so, and depending on which factors are most important at the time (and these CAN change so another time a different decision will be made), it was possible to go with her gut feelings and be happy that she had taken the right decision.

I'm fairly sure that with exchange rates you can never win, sometimes the gamble pays off and sometimes it doesn't.

Right, that's the last from me on this topic too!!!!

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[quote user="Benjamin"]

I certainly wouldn't accept a bland "inter bank rate" statement from them as you have no idea what that might be.

If it was me I'd put the Reuters web page giving foreign currency rates on my screen and then 'phone the bank and insist they tell you what their mythical inter bank rate is so that you can check it in as good as real time as most of us mere mortals can get.

[/quote]

I repeat what I said from three days ago.

It's also the last from me on this particular posting.

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