The World bank studies the global remittance industry closely and its data is often revealing, especially because it is not always easy to track the real amounts of money sent overseas from one country to another – there are many different ways it can be done, and many different reasons for doing so.
Finder.com recently used World bank data to reveal that Nigeria is the most popular destination for outward remittances from the UK. The country accounts for almost 15% of all money sent abroad from the UK, followed by India (14.1%), France (6.7%), Pakistan (6.7%), and Germany (4.9%).
In 2016, UK citizens sent more than $25.4 billion overseas, a significant uplift from just 6 years previously, when, in 2010, the figure was $21 billion, more than 20% less.
The volume of remittances sent from the UK has increased every year since 2010, reflecting both a more modern, globalised world, perhaps, but also the increasing ease with which money transfers can be completed today versus just 5 years ago, with cheaper fees and vastly improved exchange rates on offer today.
Technology has improved money transfer services for the better. Before the industry began experimenting with new techniques , those sending funds abroad had to choose between a bank and a money transfer operator, such as Western Union or Ria Money Transfer. Today, however, there are many other options, such as TransferWise, Azimo, Revolut, or a dedicated broker for sending larger amounts, who use disruptive, agile technologies that are more efficient than the systems used by banks and traditional MTO’s, meaning the firms can reduce fees per transaction, and ensure the money reaches its destination faster.
Finding the best money transfer deal on the market has also become much easier – just take a look at The Money Cloud’s unique price comparison platform – where you can find the best rates offered by a selection of curated, hand-picked brokers, chosen on the strength of their reputation, efficiency, and prices.
Interestingly, Nigeria owes its spot at the top of the remittance rankings to a surprising drop in the volume of remittances to India; in 2016, remittances to India fell to $3.6 billion, the lowest since 2010, and some way below the high of 2012, when volumes grew to $4.3 billion and India claimed top spot from Nigeria.
Other remittance flows from the UK that seem to fluctuate strongly include those to Bangladesh and Pakistan. Between 2012 and 2013, for example, the amounts sent to Bangladesh fell from $870m to $450m. Over the same period, remittances to Pakistan dropped from $1.5bn to $1.1bn.