In the global economy, there are a whole host of different reasons why money might need to be transferred from one country to another. Often, it’s for business reasons – and it’s common practice for firms which have an international presence.
But for expats who are moving to the UK, there’s another reason. Settling down for the long-term requires cash reserves: whether you’re planning to sell your home in your own country in order to buy one here in Britain or you simply need to make sure that you’ve got enough cash in your account to buy the necessities during your first few months here, it’s essential to transfer enough cash to your new British bank account to cover your expenses. This article will explore some of the main pitfalls and challenges you may face as you go about doing this.
Why do it?
All expats will need to think about moving cash from a foreign bank account into a British bank account. One of the most common reasons to transfer money is for accommodation: perhaps you’ll need to put down a deposit for a property or cover your expenses until your first salary payment comes through. You may also be required to transfer money back in the other direction for some reason. Perhaps you’re planning to send money home in order to support family members, or maybe you have a business interest back home which requires cash injections. Whatever your reasons are for transferring cash, you’ll need to think carefully about how you go about it in order to get it right.
Resources to use
When transferring money from one currency to the next, there’s plenty to think about. That’s why using some of the many online resources available is wise. They can, for example, break down some of the hard to understand information about currency conversions. They can also show you where to find the best deals for your specific requirements, based on the currencies in question and other factors too. It’s a good idea to not send money Internationally online until you’ve compared the best exchange rates and fees available on the web, as there may well be a better deal out there than the one you’re currently considering.
If you’re looking to make a particularly large transaction, it may be worth speaking to a financial advisor about what your options are, in order to ensure that you have as much information as possible before authorising the transfer. That way, you’ll know you’re getting good quality information and that you’re not missing any obvious routes.
There are, however, some major issues which you might fall foul of while trying to transfer money from one country to the next. The first is the issue of exchange rates. Say you get a job in another country at a time when your domestic nation’s currency is performing badly compared to the currency of the new place. In that scenario, you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place: converting your home currency into the new currency would lead to a significant financial hit and loss of value, but failing to convert it would lead you to having no spending power in your new place. The best way to avoid this outcome is to use a price comparison site to find the lowest fees: that way, you’ll be able to at least save on the costs of the currency conversion.
Another problem is the risk of scams. Scams are sadly very common in the foreign exchange world: just last year, British forex trading executive Mark Johnson was found guilty of fraud in the US after he artificially inflated the value of the pound in order to ensure the bank profited when a client later made a pre-planned deposit. Given that organisations such as HSBC are so high profile and are trusted household names, there’s clearly no way to entirely avoid the world of forex scams. However, by asking your broker for as much information as possible and ensuring that you shop around for advice and services, you’ll be able to reduce the risk of being caught out by a scam.
Sending money either from your home country to Britain or vice versa requires some research before you go ahead. The fees can be off-putting enough, and it can also be tough to understand some of the jargon involved. And that’s before the headaches involved with scams and exchange rates are taken into account! But by using the information available online, you can make a smart decision which won’t damage your bank balance.