Breaking old habits could save you thousands on international transfers

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If you use your high street bank to make payments overseas, then you may be paying more than you bargained for
Our financial affairs are exposed to many variables. Recent stock market movements have certainly served as a good reminder of this fact. Today, as increasing numbers of us conduct both personal and business transactions abroad, foreign exchange markets provide an added element of financial uncertainty. But while the currency market can be volatile, there are some things that can be done to ensure you are not paying over the odds to make international transfers.
 
Uncompetitive exchange rates cost us thousands
 
Many people still use a high street bank to make overseas transfers perceiving it to be the most convenient thing to do. Habits are, after all, hard to break – but it could be costing us thousands. While increasing numbers of individuals and businesses send money across borders, the service offered by some of the big institutions still has some catching up to do. Most notable are the uncompetitive exchange rates often offered by high street banks.
 
Unbeknown to many, a high street bank can typically cost up to 4 per cent more. Then there are the transfer fees. With a bank, these can cost up to £40 each time, and when you consider this in terms of a regular transaction – say a monthly conversion of a salary between two currencies or the conversion of foreign dividends into sterling – then this can really start to add up.
 
What are the alternatives?
 
Using a foreign exchange specialist can be a good option. A company that specialises in currency transfers is able to offer exchange rates and fees that are typically much more competitive than those offered by the banks. As such, City A.M. has teamed up with foreign exchange specialist moneycorp, to bring its readers City A.M. International Payments. The service gives you access to exchange rates that typically beat those of a high street bank by around 3-4 per cent. And for City A.M. readers online transfers are free, while transfers made over the phone are capped at £15.
 
What’s more, each individual or business will get a personal account manager as well as a convenient online account, where they can set up regular payments with the knowledge of receiving competitive rates every time a transfer is made.
 
Regular travellers have likely seen moneycorp at major UK airports. And while the company’s head office is in London, they have offices in Ireland, France, Spain and the US. Customers certainly get the peace of mind that their finances are in safe hands – moneycorp have been in the foreign exchange business for over 35 years and last year they undertook 9.2m customer transactions, trading £13 billion on behalf of their customers. moneycorp is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for the provision of payment services. All customer funds are safeguarded in segregated client accounts.