How to send money to Greece using a money transfer service orÂ foreign exchange brokerÂ to a Greek bank account.
Transfer money to Greece
When transferring money overseas to Greece either regularly or once in a blue moon for a significant purchase, there are several measures you can take to ensure you get a great rate, service and ensure you are transferring money to Greece safely.Â
Ways to send money to Greece
- Bank Transfer â€“ You can elect to transfer your money directly to Greece from your GB Pound sterling account in Britain. Typically the exchange rate to transfer money to Greece will be less competitive than the exchange rates on offer by a foreign exchange broker and you may have to visit your local bank branch to transfer a significant amount. When sending money to Greece via a bank transfer you will also incur a transfer fee or charge of around Â£10-30.
- Debit Card â€“ If paying for goods online or via a retailer you may have the ability to pay using a debit card but are unlikely to be offered a great exchange rate when sending money to Greece using a debit card. You may also incur an administration charge. Those looking to transfer money to Greece to purchase a second home or pay a legal bill for an overseas property purchase might be obliged to send money to Greece via bank transfer, meaning they will need to transfer via their bank or preferably foreign exchange broker. In many cases a foreign exchange broker will accept a debit card as payment, allowing you to enjoy the convenience, avoid a transfer fee and benefit from a better exchange rate.
- Credit Card â€“ Ideal for renting holiday accommodation or rental property in Greece to get financial recourse and guarantee from your card provider. Not the most competitive in terms of the exchange rate offered but sometimes air miles or bonus points can be more of an attraction.
- Swift/SEPA â€“ Swift payments are relevant to money transfers outside the EU. Within the EU and therefore applicable when sending money to Greece is the SEPA payments system. It’s for this reason that currency transfers to Greece is quick and seamless.
Required Bank Details
Identification – To send money via bank transfer you will need 1-2 forms of a photo ID and need to have your bank card in your possession when visiting the branch. If you can send money to Greece via your online bank account you might need a card reader and logins etc.
If using foreign exchange broker all of your documents etc will be stored when you opened the account, and they will just ask you a few simple questions to validate the account via phone. Their online systems are very similar to those of a bank just with better online exchange rates pricing.
IBAN – The IBAN will start with GR and be followed by 25 characters. You’ll also need the name of the individual or business you are sending the money to credit a beneficiary.
Time taken to send money to Greece take?
- Typical time â€“ For a foreign exchange broker to receive, convert your currency to euro and transfer your money to a Greek account or beneficiary you should allow between 1-2 working days. Occasionally the beneficiary bank makes take a while to process and allocate funds. If using a retail bank you should allow for 1-2 days more as there processing is typically slower.
- Same-day transfer â€“ Providing funds are in your foreign exchange brokers account you have a good chance of transferring your money to Greece, and funds clearing the same day. Typically a foreign exchange broker will quote 1-2 days as it might take the beneficiaries to account a day or so to clear funds.
Your bank will take a lot longer, typically 2-4 days
Cost to Transfer Money to Greece
Commission -Fx commission taken by international banks varies from one organisation to the next. Nonetheless, one shared resemblance is they remain uncompetitive when compared to fx brokers. A Foreign exchange broker will generally have the ability to save their clients around 1-4% when sending out money to Greece in addition to various other areas of Europe.
Transfer Fees – An overseas financial institution will normally bill anywhere between â‚¤ 10 -â‚¤ 40, or local currency equivalent to transfer your money to Greece. Many foreign exchange brokers do not charge transfer fees. None included on Foreign exchnage Live do.
Currency exchange rate – A financial institution will normally make use of a ‘day-to-day FX price’ which will be established when the branch opens up in the morning. To ease any kind of FX market rate variations in Euro rates a margin or spread will be added to cover any kind of sort of daytime euro cash volatility. Fx brokers, on the other hand, work from live market euro currency exchange rates allowing you to make the most of advantageous patterns together with acquiring aid if the euro price drops.
A bank will typically charge anywhere between Â£10 -40 to transfer your money to Greece. The vast majority of foreign exchange brokers won’t charge a fee. None featured on Foreign Exchange Live charge do.
- Commission â€“ Commission rates charged by banks vary from bank to bank but are invariably uncompetitive when compared against those from a foreign exchange broker. A broker will typically be able to save between 1-4% when sending money to Greece.
- Exchange Rate â€“ Banks will typically work from a â€˜day FX rate’ which will be set when the local branch opens. To cover any market fluctuations with the Euro a healthy margin will be added to cover any daytime volatility. Foreign exchange brokers, on the other hand, work from live euro rates allowing you to benefit from positive movements and seek guidance if the euro exchange rate works against you.
- Fees for Receiving Money in Euro â€“ Greece is part of SEPA payments service and therefore if you are sending money from a European country you shouldn’t incur an intermediary fee or charges. If you are charged a fee this is one taken by your bank and you can normally address this with them, it is however highly uncommon.
Limits on money transfers to Greece
You should not be restricted on how much money you can move to Greece you or your business can justify the euro money transfer. If your foreign exchange broker approves the money transfer, there is no written limitation on simply just how much you can trade.
Normally if a transfer exceeds â‚¤ 500,000+ or currency equivalent your international currency broker can request a duplicate of a financial statement to confirm your ability to financially meet the currency contract, they could additionally ask for documentation to reveal the reason for the transfer (e.g Greek residential property acquisition).
Transfer deposit to open Greek banks account
A global financial institution or currency broker will certainly be happy assist with transferring funds to a brand-new Greek account. Simply ensure any paperwork and your Greek account details are to hand, your bank or broker can then assist with your bank down payment transfer as well as move your money to Greece.
Greek financial institutions will anticipate you to credit your account without delay and expect in between EUR50 as well as EUR300 to be sent immediately.
Safely Send Money to the Greek
Providing you have made all the due diligence on the person or company you are transferring to, you should encounter no issues. Normal rules apply, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is and if beneficiary details do not tally with the company or individual you are dealing with, ask questions. If you are dealing with a developer or property promoter, check their trading history and research the overseas property forums before committing to sending money to Greece.
Reasons to send money to Greece
- Bills – Your Greek holiday home or company will have reoccurring costs. These can consist of regional state property tax, renovation costs, or power costs. A forex broker will be more than happy to establish repayments to top up your Greek account and care for any type of continuous cash transfers to Greece.
- Loans – If you have been financed by a loved one in Greece you might want to clear the financial debt if euro prices trend in your favour. Alternatively, if you have a home loan on your Greek second residence as well as the euro rate is in your favour you might want to consider sending out cash to Greece to pay off your holiday residence euro home loan.
- Family – Birthday parties and also family members occasions, as well as different seasonal getaways, are never far. Your fx broker account can be a fantastic method to send financial gifts to members of the family in Greece.
- Property – When the Euro currency exchange rate moves in your favour, you might think about capitalising and make building renovations to your Greek home.
- Inheritance- Unfortunately many experienced friends and family members dying overseas. You may need to repatriate inheritance funds to Greece. A broker can sensitively take care of the procedure.
- Car – If starting a new life in Greece you might choose to lease or acquire a car to commute or uncover the Greek countryside.
- Holiday – If leasing a home or condo for a holiday in Greece your fx broker will supply a far much better euro rate than a financial institution or debit cards.
- International wholesalers – When getting oversea items or materials you can get find several solutions from an fx broker to minimize FX risk when purchasing items from suppliers that market in euros.
Foreign Exchange Brokers
Considering the services of a credible foreign exchange broker is the best way of guaranteeing to save money when sending money abroad. Savings between 1-4% are feasible which will be significant on regular transfers and a Greek property purchase money transfers. They can also provide you with several solutions to maximise the amount of currency you receive in Greece.
Finding a reputable Foreign Exchange Broker
Clients can compare the offerings of transfer services and foreign exchange brokers in many ways when they need to transfer money to Greece.
- Regulation â€“ always ensure the foreign exchange broker you use is regulated, in the UK, for example, brokers must be authorised by the FCA (financial conduct authority)
- Length of time in business â€“ typically indicating knowledge of the market, number of clients they’ve helped, stability in the market. They are most likely to have helped many other clients transfer money to Greece and dealt with many different scenarios.
- Transfer fee or no transfer fee â€“ especially worth considering when the payments being transferred to Greece are small. A transfer fee can typically outweigh the advantages of sending the money to Greece via a bank or broker even if the rate offered is competitive. All brokers promoted on Foreign Exchange Live work on a fee-free basis.
- Online transfer, telephone transfers or both â€“ online Apps are great for small transfers to Greece. Recourse can be slow if the money goes astray. Customer service when dealing solely online can vary. Much of this service is via a chat/text box or email. An established foreign exchange broker will operate both an online and telephone dealing service. Meaning you speak directly to an account manager who will be assisted by a back-office team or customer service division.
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Specialists such as Moneycorp and Rational FX have vast experience in advising and assisting clients all over the globe and saving them thousands of pounds in the process.
- Customer Service â€“ Banks are cumbersome and hard to contact from overseas. Transfer apps can be convenient for smaller payments, but don’t offer prompt customer support if an issue arises. Foreign exchange brokers offer a consistent service. All clients receive a personal account manager with a direct email address and phone number to enable easy contact and customer service if required.
- Safety And Security â€“ All top foreign exchange brokers will hold client funds in segregated accounts. All transactions are conducted following the FCA regulations and guidelines, we strongly advise to check with your broker on the exact details.
- No Expensive Fees Or Charges â€“ Depending on the bank, for each transaction, it could cost anywhere from Â£10 to Â£4o or local currency equivalent. A foreign exchange broker will process your transfer to Greece with no transfer fees and narrow margin (or spread).
- Better Exchange Rates â€“ A bank will, as a rule, be making a spread of between 2-6% whereas the rates on offer from leading providers will be around 1%. Once your trade is executed, you will be provided with a deal notification showing clearly the base currency amount and the number of Euros purchased.
Foreign Exchange Contracts
A foreign exchange broker offers several supplementary services not available in banks or on many money transfer apps. These include:
- Spot contracts â€“ Arranging a transfer and agreeing on a rate and sending the money to Greece shortly after
- Forward contracts â€“ fix today’s exchange rate for payment up to 2 years in the future. guaranteeing the cost of your purchase and avoiding foreign exchange volatility.
- Stop-loss â€“ If your currency pair is trending lower a stop-loss protects your currency from depreciating too much, the currency is traded automatically when it hits the agreed level
- Firm order â€“ target a rate superior to the current foreign exchange market rate. Once the desired exchange rate is reached, the currency is purchased automatically day or night.
- Option contract â€“ as with the forward contract but also having the ability to opt for a superior rate is the market rate improves. Typically for businesses rather than private clients.
- Regular international transfers â€“ A payment plan to send money overseas regularly
Documents needed for a foreign exchange broker account
The application to open your foreign exchange account can be completed within minutes. The first step is to apply online giving personal details and a brief overview of transfer needs. Once complete you will typically need to supply the following to get your account approved
- A valid form of photo ID
- Recent utility bill or address proof (less than 3 months old)
List of Foreign Exchange Brokers
- Boutique brokerages such and Newbridge FX offer tailored services to cater to their clients’ needs and work tirelessly to limit their clients’ FX risk.
- Midsize brokerages such as Rational FX operate both corporate and private client operations with a focus being on key markets such as France and Spain.
- Large multi Geographic operations such as Moneycorp operate in multiple jurisdictions and have many local offices to best serve their global clientele.
Whether relocating to Greece or investing in a second home there are several banks to choose from. During the global economic crisis, Greek banks were scrutinised and stress-tested meaning your funds these days should be in safe hands.
Leading banks in Greece include
- Piraeus bank
- Alpha Bank
- National Bank of Greece
When choosing your Greek bank its worth reviewing all of the products and services on offer. Some banks will debit a fee if you withdraw money from ATM’s that aren’t owned by the bank. Others will charge you a Monthly fee and nor charges, therefore it’s worth reviewing which best suits your needs.
The majority of the leading Greek banks will operate online and telephone services in English. Most ATM’s will also opt for you to withdraw money in English.
Opening a Bank account in Greece
To make the first steps toward owning a home in Greece you will need to deposit the funds in full before starting the legal process. Thankfully you needn’t be intimidated by the process, thankfully once opened the majority of major banks operate in English.
If you have allowed your solicitor to work on your behalf by power of attorney, they might be able to open an account for you. However, if this isn’t the case the following documents should cover the opening process:
- Recent mobile and landline telephone bill
- Recent utility bill (electricity, water or gas)
- Last tax return (UK p60 or p45)
- Any document which states your national insurance number or social security
- Proof of occupation (payslip)
- 12 months’ worth of bank account statements
- Copy of birth certificate
- Copies of passports
- Marriage certificate
- Tax residency certificate from HM revenue or IRS
Your bank will normally wish to meet you at least once and therefore it’s worth combining your viewing trip with an appointment at a local bank.
Greek bank details
An IBAN (International Bank Account Number) is an internationally-agreed bank code composed of as much as 34 letters and numbers that aid financial institutions to make certain that international transfers are processed accurately.
The IBAN code for Greek accounts is composed of 27 characters
- 2 letter country code for Greece – GR
- 2 digit check number – 16
- 3 character swift for the Greek bank – xxx
- 4 digit bank branch code – xxxx
- 16 digit bank account number – 0000000123456543
Relocating to Greece
Greece has a total population of just 11 million and roughly the same landmass as the United Kingdom, meaning if you decide to buy a second home or relocate there you shouldn’t be short of space. Its cost line reaches for 17,000 kilometres four times that of Spain. Despite the country’s economic troubles tourism continues to increase. The property market as with tourism has also enjoyed somewhat of rebirth and prices have improved along with the economy.
Whilst the islands such as Corfu and Crete once again prove popular with English second home buyers and retirees. Other nationalities including, Germans, Scandinavians and French opt to relocate to other areas of the country. The country has also proven attractive to foreigners from the middle east, India and Israel who purchase via golden visa. The investment threshold in Greece is â‚¬250,000 which offers golden visa investors a five-year residency.
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When considering purchasing a second home or relocating to Greece it’s worth thinking about what your objectives are. Islands closer to Athens tend to be more expensive as demand is high from wealthy Athenians buying second homes. It is also worth considering when you plan to spend time in Greece, despite government efforts to encourage resorts to remain open longer you will be hard pushed to find anything open long after October. Meaning relocation to a resort can be a non-starter for those planning on spending winter months there.
Popular Areas in Greece & Greek isles
- Crete â€“ has proved a popular area with British second homeowners for many years with many opting to buy in Chania and Rethymno. The island caters for all budgets with village properties changing hands for as little as â‚¬60,000. Crete geographically is one of the most southern Greek islands meaning the climate is exceptional with temperatures touching 29c in august and rarely falling below 10c in winter. The island also benefits from two international airports offering great accessibility.
- Aegean islands â€“ islands such as Mykonos and Santorini prove popular with party goers and newlyweds. The picturesque locations provide perfect postcard backdrops. These islands are far from the cheapest with traditional sugar cube houses selling for around â‚¬150,000 and contemporary beachside villas running into the millions.
- Ionian islands â€“ normally very popular with sea lovers, islands such as Corfu and Kassiopi can command a premium with luxury properties surpassing â‚¬5m. This being said, it’s very tangible to purchase a 3-bed home in Kassiopi for â‚¬185,000 which might even include a sea view. Corfu is considered slightly more cosmopolitan and therefore commands a higher average price.
- Kefalonia â€“ considered one of the most rural Greek islands, you will have certainly seen areas like Myrtos used in countless travel brochures. The area won’t appeal to those coming from city life with things moving very slowly. Public transport is virtually non-existent therefore a car is a must to get about. The area has a strong Italian influence due to historic Venetian rule. Properties start at around â‚¬120,00 which will get a small apartment in good order with prices running into multi-million-euro villas with sea views.
Greek property buying process
Once you’ve settled on an area of Greece and potentially selected the town now the work begins. Before hopping on a flight its worth contacting a few agents, compare services levels and ask yourself the following
- Do they reply in a prompt and orderly fashion?
- Are the answers to your questions clear or dance your queries?
- Have they been in business long?
- Is their head office disclosed on the website?
Once you’ve found a company which you feel comfortable with, it’s now worth speaking to legal and financial professionals. Never agree to send money to Greece before you’ve seen a property.
If you are considering buying in a more rural location or one of the quieter islands it might be harder to find an English-speaking legal expert. In this instance, we advise speaking to an international solicitor who will likely be able to recommend someone. You must research this sufficiently as the solicitor will be the one that looks after your purchase, best interests and ensures you aren’t sold a headache.
If you are looking at financing a home in Greece with a mortgage its worth contacting a few brokers before you begin your search. Loan to value rates are roughly 70% and terms run up to 25 years, as with many mortgage calculations affordability will also be scrutinised. If you opt for a mortgage its worth discussing how to transfer money to Greece regularly to pay for your mortgage. Foreign exchange brokers typically offer a regular international money transfer plan, so you won’t forget to pay a mortgage.
Once you have a clear picture of your budget and if required have an idea of the mortgage you are opting for its worth getting in touch with a foreign exchange broker. These experts will guide you through the advantages of each solution and help you transfer money to Greece in a timely and effective fashion. They offer much more competitive rates and work hard to scope out the best time to execute your transfer. They also work on a fee-free basis. Meaning you’ll incur no charges to send money to Greece.
Once you’ve explored all of these avenues you are now prepared to start your property hunt in Greece. Once you’ve visited a property and lodged an offer which I accepted you will need to open a Greek bank account. See below
All funds including legal, registration and property funds must be sent to this account and the transfer is logged. This means the transaction will be compliant and approved by the Greek tax authorities. The transfer will then need to be recorded by the bank of Greece, you can then secure a Tax registration number. If you are in a couple or married, you will require two numbers.
You will then need to authorise a solicitor or attorney to work on your behalf. They will undertake and perform all checks on the property and raise any queries. An initial purchase agreement can then be drawn up which will trigger a transfer of 10% deposit to hold the property for you.
Your lawyer will then check all searches and ensure there are no charges on the property. They will also verify planning and ensure the property follows government building regulations. If all of these searches etc are in order closing takes roughly 4-6 weeks.
Top tips when buying a home in Greece
- Spend time locating a solicitor your feel comfortable with
- If you opt to purchase a new build property be aware of payment schedules â€“ transfer money to Greece to meet this schedule
- Speak to financial experts before your property hunt and know your budget and how you plan to pay for your property â€“ you can then send money to Greece with a clear budget in mind.
- If you are moving/purchasing on a rural island is it more cost-effective to take furniture or buy it once you are there.
- Be aware of any community charges â€“ if you are due to pay a fee your foreign exchange broker can help transfer money to Greece for this purpose
- How do you plan to navigate around the island â€“ do you need a vehicle?
- Be aware of all taxes and fees beforehand and ensure this meets budget
- Prepare yourself to learn the language â€“ whilst many speak English if in a rural location you could feel isolated without the language.