How to send money to the UK using a money transfer service or foreign exchange broker to a UK bank account.
Transferring Money to the UK
When transferring money to the UK either to purchase an investment home, invest in a company or make a small overseas payment, there are a handful of ways to increase your chances of getting a great pound exchange rate, enhance service, and ensure you send money to Britain safely.
Ways to Send Money to the UK
- Bank Transfer – You can choose to transfer your money directly to the UK from your overseas bank account. Typically, the foreign currency rate to transfer money to the UK will be less competitive than the foreign exchange rates on offer by a foreign exchange broker. You may have to drop by your bank to transfer a significant amount. When sending money to the UK via a bank, you will be charged a transfer fee or charge of around £10-30 or foreign currency equivalent.
- Debit Card – when paying for items on the web or via an E-tailer, you might have the freedom to pay using a bank debit card but are unlikely to be offered a competitive currency exchange rate when sending money to the UK. You may also be charged an administration fee from your bank to process the payment. Those needing to send money to the UK to invest in a property or pay a legal bill for a business purchase might be obliged to transfer money to the UK, meaning they will need to use their bank or, ideally, a foreign exchange broker. Typically, a currency exchange broker will accept debit cards as payment, meaning you enjoy the convenience, avoid being charged a transfer fee, and benefit from a better pound exchange rate.
- Credit Card – Ideal for renting accommodation in London or other UK cities to financial recourse and potential reimbursement from your card provider. Credit cards normally offer uncompetitive exchange rates, but this can be offset by air miles or points.
- Swift – Swift payments are relevant to money transfers outside to or from outside the EU. Within the EU, SEPA payments are applicable when transferring money to the UK from Europe. Meaning transfers are faster and cheaper when being sent to the UK.
Required Bank Details to Transfer Money
Identification – when you send money via a banking institution, you will need 1-2 forms of photo Identification. You will need to have your bank card close by. Transfers to the UK normally will have to be made in the branch. If you have the option to send out money to the UK using your online current account, you could need your debit card reader to hand in and relevant logins, etc., to access the account.
When opting to use a foreign exchange specialist your documents will all have been kept when you opened the account. Your account manager will ask you a few easy questions to verify the account over the phone. Their online systems are similar to those of retail banks, just with far better online currency exchange rates pricing.
IBAN – a UK IBAN will begin with GB and be followed by 20 further characters. You’ll also need the name of the individual or UK company you send the money to credit their bank account.
Time Needed to Transfer Money to the UK
- Typical time – for a foreign exchange provider to receive your foreign currency, convert to GB Pounds, and move your cash to a United Kingdom bank account or UK beneficiary, you need to allow between 1-2 working days. Occasionally the beneficiary bank may take some time to assign funds transferred from overseas. If using a bank to transfer, you should allow for 1-2 days more as there processing is normally slower.
- Same-day transfer – if funds are in your foreign exchange provider’s account, you have a good chance of transferring your money to the UK and pounds clearing on the same day. A currency exchange broker will typically quote 1-2 days. It might take the beneficiary bank account 1 day or more to process funds. Banks will take longer, typically 2-4 days working days.
Cost of Making a Money Transfer UK
- Commission – Commission taken by international banks differs from one institution to another. However, one commonality is they remain uncompetitive when compared to foreign exchange brokers. A foreign exchange broker will typically save their clients between 1-4% when sending money to the UK.
- Transfer Fees – An overseas bank will typically charge anywhere between £10 -£40, or currency equivalent when transferring your money to the UK. The majority of foreign exchange brokers don’t charge fees. None featured on Foreign Exchange Live charge.
- Exchange Rate – A bank will work using a ‘day FX rate’ set when the branch opens. To manage any currency market fluctuations in GBP, a margin or spread will be added to cover any daytime Pound volatility. Foreign exchange specialists, contrarily, work from live pound exchange rates, meaning you benefit from positive movements and receive guidance if the rate moves against you.
Fees for Receive Money in the UK
The United Kingdom is part of the SEPA payments service. If you send money from Europe, you are unlikely to be charged an intermediary fee or charge. If you are charged a fee, this is one taken by your UK bank, and you can normally address this with them. It is, however, highly uncommon.
Limits on Money Transfers to the UK
You shouldn’t be limited on how much you can transfer to the UK, providing you or your business can explain the payment, and your foreign exchange broker is happy to make the transfer. There is no written restriction on how much you can trade.
Normally if a transfer surpasses ₤ 500,000+ or currency equivalent, your foreign currency broker could ask for a copy of a bank statement to prove the availability of currency funds or a document explaining the reason for transfer (e.g., investment home purchase agreement).
Transfer a Deposit to Open a UK Bank Account
An overseas bank or foreign exchange provider will help transfer funds to a new UK Bank account. Just make sure any required paperwork and your UK current account info to hand, and your bank or broker can assist with your bank deposit transfer to the UK.
Normally a new UK bank account provider will expect you to credit your account with £50 or more once the account is opened. This naturally relies on the account and also the bank account specialist you choose.
Do Foreign Exchange Brokers Transfer Money to all UK Banks?
Providing your foreign exchange broker is holding a foreign currency. Your bank is reputable; there will be no limits on the UK banks you can send money to.
Safely Transferring Money to the UK
When dealing with sums of money, you are correct to be prudent and do your research. Fortunately, foreign exchange brokers and transfer providers are extremely conscious of money transfers fraud. On top of being diligent on your behalf, they will cross-check questionable beneficiaries through their systems and flag any suspect transfers.
- FCA – Always confirm your foreign exchange broker is financial conduct authority (FCA) authorised. A foreign exchange provider should never be reluctant to share their FCA number or send a link to its reference on the FCA’s register as well as publicise it on their website.
- Guarantees – Whilst no reputable foreign exchange broker will have the ability to supply money guarantees. Their accounts must be held with tier 1 financial partners. All client funds transferred to these accounts must be set apart from their own capital. If something happened to the foreign currency broker, you could redeem the funds directly from the tier 1 bank.
- Protection- Reputable foreign exchange businesses adhere to strict anti-money laundering protocol to ensure they are just dealing with legitimate customers and companies. This is continued when convert and transfer funds to the UK; Currency exchange brokers might request additional information on transfers whose beneficiaries look dubious. Broker’s currency trading systems are digitally encrypted. They apply high levels of online security to avoid the possibility of their data being corrupted.
- Fraud- Despite these safety measures, fraud can occur within the international payments sector. You can, however, take some simple measures to dramatically reduce your chances of becoming a victim. Never send your security login over e-mail or be pressurised to make an international transfer by a foreign exchange specialist. Ensure written communication with your broker is from the correct e-mail address. If you are contacted by an unfamiliar member of the team or new currency account manager, agree to call them back to guarantee they are an employee of the currency exchange broker you use.
Reasons to send money to the UK
- Bills – Your UK rental property or investment home will have ongoing prices. These might include UK council tax, property repair costs, or regular utility bills. A foreign exchange provider will be happy to help arrange payments to top up your UK bank account to manage these ongoing payments.
- Loans- If you have been lent money from a family member in the UK, you may wish to clear the loan. Additionally, if the GBP rate is in your favour, you might consider sending money to the UK to clear a portion of your mortgage.
- Family – Birthday celebrations and other seasonal holidays are always just around the corner. A foreign exchange provider can be used to send small financial presents to family members in the UK.
- Property – When the GBP currency exchange rate moves to your benefit, you might consider capitalising and make home improvements.
- Inheritance – Sadly, many encounter relatives dying overseas. You might at some stage need to transfer overseas inheritance money back to the UK. A broker can sensitively deal with the process.
- Car – If relocating to the United Kingdom, you may want to lease or buy a vehicle to commute or travel around the UK
- Holiday- If renting an apartment in London or property elsewhere in the UK, your foreign exchange broker will get a better price than your bank or bank card.
- International wholesales – When buying UK products or items, you can enlist a foreign exchange specialist’s services to manage the currency risks associated with purchasing good from worldwide wholesalers that trade in a foreign currency.
Foreign Exchange Brokers
Considering the services of a credible foreign exchange specialist is the best way to save money when sending money abroad. Savings between 1-4% are feasible, significant on regular transfers and UK property purchase money transfers. They can also provide you with several solutions to maximise the amount of currency you receive in the UK.
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 the UK.
- Regulation – always ensure the foreign exchange provider you use is regulated. In the UK, for example, brokers must be authorised by the FCA (financial conduct authority)
- Length of time in business – 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 the UK and have dealt with many different scenarios.
- Transfer fee or no transfer fee – especially worth considering when the payments being transferred to the UK are small. A transfer fee can typically outweigh the advantages of sending the money to the UK 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 – online Apps are great for small transfers to the UK. 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 e-mail. 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.
Find The Right Broker to Transfer Money To UK
Specialists such as Moneycorp and Rational FX have vast experience in advising and assisting clients worldwide and saving them thousands of pounds in the process.
- Customer Service – 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 e-mail address and phone number to enable easy contact and customer service if required.
- Safety and Security – 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 you to check with your broker on the exact details.
- No Expensive Fees or Charges – Depending on the bank, for each transaction, it could cost anywhere from £10 to £40 or local currency equivalent. A foreign exchange provider will process your transfer to the UK with no transfer fees and a narrow margin (or spread).
- Better Exchange Rates – 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, your broker will provide you 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 – Arranging a transfer and agreeing on a rate, and sending the money to the UK shortly after.
- Forward contracts – 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: 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 – target a rate superior to the current foreign exchange market rate. Once the desired exchange rate is reached, the currency is purchased day or night automatically.
- Option contract – as with the forward contract and having the ability to opt for a superior rate is the market rate improves. Typically for businesses rather than private clients.
- Regular international transfers – A payment plan to send money to the UK regularly.
Documents needed for a foreign exchange broker account
The application for a 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 as Newbridge FX offer tailored services to cater to their clients’ needs and work tirelessly to limit their FX risk.
- Midsize brokerages such as Rational FX operate both corporate and private client operations, focusing on key markets such as France and Spain.
- Large multi-Geographic operations such as Moneycorp operate in multiple jurisdictions. They have many local offices to serve their global clientele best.
Arranging a transfer to the UK
Once you have chosen the foreign exchange specialist you wish to work with and opened an account, you may wish to arrange a transfer to the UK. A transfer can either be booked online or over the phone. Once a GBP exchange rate is agreed, the broker will supply you with segregated account details to receive the foreign currency and exchange these funds at the GBP rate agreed. The broker will also request your beneficiary details to transfer the sterling.
In some case, the broker will offer the ability to pay by debit card on smaller amounts.
If trading online or via the broker’s trading platform, the process will be similar to a telephone transfer, except you will be prompted online.
Large Money Transfer to the UK
For clients wishing to make large money transfers to the UK, timing is key. Once you have selected which foreign exchange broker you wish to use its key, a large transfer is discussed at least two weeks before needing to be made. The difference on a $1000 transfer if the rate moves 3% is 30$. However, with the transfer of $100,000, a 3% exchange rate movement could spell a difference of $ 3000, meaning you receive far fewer Pounds when converted.
Instant Money Transfers to the UK
A handful of money services businesses will provide instant money transfers to the UK. Whilst these services can be excellent for saving someone who needs money immediately, they should be avoided for regular transfers. Essentially clients pay for the immediacy of the services. Instant money transfer services will charge a transfer fee comparable with banks. The exchange rates offered are extremely uncompetitive, similar to those on offer at airports and train stations.
When should I use an Instant Money Transfer Service?
We advise these instant transfer services only be used once all avenues have been exhausted. They don’t represent good value and should only be used to transfer money when somebody is very short of cash.
Banks in the UK
Over 45 building societies and 300 banks in the UK make it the largest banking system in Europe and the fourth largest on the planet. The different branches of the UK banking system include:
UK High Street banks services to the public. These can include current accounts, savings accounts and investments.
High street banks offer business banking solutions in the UK, along with normal accounts. They typically include added services and also fees.
The top 5 UK banks
- Lloyds Banking Group
- Royal Bank of Scotland Group
- Standard Chartered
- Opening a bank account in the UK
Whether relocating or buying an investment property in one of the UK’s major cities, you will need to transfer money and hold rental earnings in a UK bank. Opening a bank account can typically be done either online or face to face when visiting. To open a UK bank account, you’ll need to provide two pieces of documentation: one to prove your identity as well as one to prove your address. This applies both in-branch and also online.
Showing your identification document is easy. You just need your passport, driving licence or identity card (if you’re from the EU).
You’ll likewise have to prove your address by providing one of the following.
Every bank has its list of address proof examples that are acceptable as evidence. Generally speaking, these consist of:
- A rental contract or mortgage declaration;
- An up-to-date electricity or gas expense (less than 3 months old);.
- A recent (less than 3 months old) financial institution or debit card statement that’s not copied off the web.
- A current UK council tax receipt.
Can I Send Money from a UK Bank Account to Europe?
Sending money from the UK to a European bank will not pose an issue. The majority of brokers will make this transfer with the GBP/EUR currency pair more than any other.
Can I Send Money from a UK Bank Account to a US Bank Account?
As with sending money to Europe, sending money to the US will not be an issue for a foreign exchange provider, they will facilitate many GBP/USD transfer every year and be able to help.
UK bank account details
You can find your bank account details and sort code on your UK debit card in most cases. The sort code is six digits long, and the bank account number is eight.
SORT CODE – 12-34-56
ACCOUNT NUMBER – 87654321
GB relates to the United Kingdom’s IBAN, required for international money transfer or receiving funds from overseas locations. The GB code covers the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.
Sending Bank Deposits to the UK
Banks and foreign exchange specialist will be delighted to help you send bank deposits to the UK. All that you’ll need is the banks details and any additional documents for larger transfers.