Overseas investment; property, financial, or business related; supporting family and relatives overseas; moving and living abroad; importing or exporting goods over the medium to long term.
These are all good, and prominent reasons for taking extra care that you are managing currency exchange rate risk effectively. Failure to do so; using a high street money transfer company last minute to make a significant transfer of funds from pounds into euros, dollars, or renminbi, for example; can result in paying way over the odds, in fees and charges, or exchange rates skewed in the vendors favour. It could cost you 5% extra each and every time you make such a transfer, research shows.
Using a dedicated broker via an international money transfer comparison site like The Money Cloud is a great way to avoid overpaying on your overseas transactions. You can check the rate, fees, and speed of the transaction, and thanks to The Money Cloud’s new Digital Dashboard, you can easily upload your KYC and AML documentation and keep track of all the transfers you have made, as well as having the ability to constantly compare the latest real-time rates being offered by a selection of the best, FCA Authorised, brokers and money transfer experts.
However, if you are making a permanent move overseas, or have a sophisticated overseas investment portfolio or financial setup, or are already based overseas but haven’t yet got around to opening an overseas bank account, you may want to consider opening an expat bank account.
We have conducted some research and found 3 services that may suit your needs, listed below.
HSBC Expat account
Based in Jersey, HSBC’s expat account offers bank accounts denominated in sterling, dollars, or euros, plus savings accounts, either fixed term or instant access, in up to 19 currencies. The account also provides foreign exchange consultancy and flexible lending arrangements, such as remortgaging your account whilst overseas.
HSBC also provides a strong support network, helping open accounts before relocating abroad, in your destination country, tax advice, security measures, and a credible level of experience, which includes country guides for most popular expat countries and cities.
Good option for?
Flexible and experienced overseas banking support
Barclays International Bank Account
Barclays International bank account gives you the option of holding bank accounts in either the UK, Jersey or Isle of Man. You will require a minimum balance of £25,000 or the equivalent in foreign currency. Deposits can be made in euros, sterling or dollars, and the account permits trading in up to 60 foreign currencies.
Barclays does not provide assistance with tax calculations, and also charges a £20 per month fee if your account balance drops below £25,000, or currency equivalent. The account is supported by international online and telephone banking. You can also use the Sterling contactless card to make withdrawals wherever you are in the world.
Good Option For?
Saving or spending overseas
TransferWise Borderless Account
TransferWise claims its borderless bank account facility is up to 8x cheaper than rival bank services. The account permits users to hold and manage money in more than 40 currencies, and convert money into more than 50 currencies.
Each account comes with own UK banking and sort code, but users can also open accounts, with all the relevant standard banking identifiers, all around the world, from Australia, to the US, to Switzerland. There are zero fees when receiving money. TransferWise automatically tops up accounts by moving money from other currencies, always selecting the cheapest currency transfer option.
Good Option For
Flexible and regular international money transfer
This content is sourced and brought to you by The Money Cloud – comparing the best rates for sending money overseas offered by hand-picked, regulated brokers and money transfer agencies.