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Repatriating Money from Abroad – Foreign Exchange Considerations

Dealing with an overseas property sale or liquidation of assets can be extremely challenging, often you can find yourself dealing with an agent or realtor that you have probably met a handful of times. Often you will be liaising remotely and entrusting all to be processed by a solicitor in some case selected by the agent or new owner of your property. Then comes the next hurdle; how to repatriate your money home.

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Transferring money from a solicitor

Following an overseas property sale or liquidation of assets, after the initial paperwork is concluded the next thought will relate to the repatriation of funds. Typically, the solicitor or notary will insist on funds being paid to the vendors rather than the segregated account their Foreign exchange provider account, however where possible this should be insisted on especially in France where clients can typically sign a note approving the transfer to a broker.

Allowing the solicitor to send funds to your European current or checking account can be far from the most direct means of repatriating the money, particularly for clients who leave shortly after the sale or use a power of attorney in order to avoid travelling costs and interruption to a busy work schedule.

Foreign exchange rate aside there are a number of reasons that the money transfer should be considered before the conclusion of sale liquidation. Many European banks will have little or no local telephone support or transfer service meaning you may have exchanged a number of emails and even have to provide wet signature correspondence. This can take a very long time in many cases once you dial in a shorter working week or authorisation being sent to head office. Some may even insist on the funds being signed for in the bank potentially obligating the beneficiary to accept little or no currency consultancy. It’s also common for the bank to insist on all correspondence being in the local language testing your foreign tongue!

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Repatriating money from France

Once the sale date in France is agreed between vendor and buyer the notaire will start concluding the file and request account details for the beneficiaries of the sale. It’s at this point vendors should agree that funds are transferred to their currency account to avoid a potential administrative nightmare. French banks have extremely antiquated processes and very little in the way of online or telephone banking which can mean arranging transfer to your currency provider can be testing. When submitting your Foreign exchange provider details to the notaire you may receive some resistance and a few questions, your provider will no doubt be able to reply to any queries and may even have a French-speaking colleague to assist. Normally the matter is approved with the vendor signing a note indicating that they wish for funds to be transferred to the currency account and proof being provided by the Foreign exchange company as to their legitimacy.

Avoiding huge transfer charges in Spain when repatriating money

Also worth bearing in mind is that some European banks will have very different terms of business, for example, some Spanish banks will debit a very large transfer fee completely erasing any saving you may have achieved by using a more competitive means or currency expert. To combat these charges many currency companies have agreements in place with Spanish banks to avoid these huge hidden charges.

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Repatriating money from the US

US banks insist on all international wire transfers being signed off on location rendering the initial benefits of using a power of attorney useless. Luckily due to the global development of the Fintech industry, there are a handful of providers which offer local settlement bypassing this inconvenience. Therefore, providing clients with US-based dollar account allowing them to send the dollars locally and paid out of the provider’s other currency account locally.

If you are considering repatriating funds from overseas and would like a quote or guidance, please do not hesitate to email [email protected].

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