Beating the bank when changing currencies

When there are ways to save a little bit of money, especially in these difficult economic times, I think it is worth shouting about.  And when you can save money by not paying the high fees and charges imposed by the big banks, it is definitely worth shouting about.

So, if you are like me and change money from one currency to another through your bank on a regular basis and unknowlingly (or knowlingly and lazily in my case) you might be paying over the odds in the currency conversion rate.

I know that the bank might seem at obvious choice due to the ease at which I can do it, but they offer a lower exchange rate on my money as opposed to that offered by a specialised foreign exchange service company.  At the Spectrum IFA group we work closely with a specialist foreign exchange dealer who can exchange currencies at preferable rates, sometimes saving approximately 3% over and above the high street banks rates.

Lets do some math:

If I bring a UK pension (in GBP) into Italy and convert to Euro every month, for this example lest assume £102 per week (£5304 pa), I could be paying as much as 4% in the currency conversion rate ( the difference between the buying and selling price).  Through the FX Dealer they can make the transfer for close to 1%.  Bank charge: £212.16, FX charge: £53.04 (excluding transfer fees) Annually, that is a saving of £159.12.  It might not sound much, but then think of the odd £10000 you might bring over for expenses on the house (possible saving of £300) and it soon mounts up.

Your motivation to set an a/c up might be low because it doesn’t seem enough to worth the bother.  I thought about how many billions the banks are making each year, purely based on the laziness of people like me, it was enough to jolt me into action.

These savings can be made on regular payments (eg pension payments) and also lump sum transactions (downpayments on a house).

If you would like to know more contact me on gareth.horsfall@spectrum-ifa.com or call me on +39 3336492356

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