A No-Nonsense Guide to Sending Money to the UK

The Best Way to Safely Transfer Money to the UK:

1. Compare your local banks and money transfer services

2. Set-up an account with the bank or service you’ve chosen. Most of the time it can be done online but you will need to have some I.D. available

3. Transfer the money by confirming the exchange rate and fees. You’ll need the bank details of the person you want to pay in the UK. You also may need to pay for the transfer before the money is sent abroad


Exchange Rate Comparison Tool

 
 

UK Money Transfer Guide

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Transfering a Large Amount of GBP

Every Australian bank allows you to transfer money to and from the UK, and the transaction is very easy to set up.

It is important to consider that many banks do charge a high international money transfer fee, plus the best possible exchange rate is not usually on offer.

Using an online money transfer service is one way to avoid these hefty fees and the choices are varied.


With a global head office in the UK and Australian offices providing local support, TorFX are an ideal choice for anyone that has moved to Australia or the UK.

They also have exceptional AUD/GBP exchange rates for personal customers.

Winner: TorFX
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Transferring Money Back to Australia

If you are receiving money from overseas or need to transfer money back to Australia, finding the best option isn’t as simple.

 

The most important things to consider are having customer support both here and overseas, just in case you need some help and the exchange rate.


Consider using TransferWise, a company based in London that offers you the wholesale exchange rate that you see on xe.com or Google. They also reduce their percentage based fee for larger amounts.

Why: They have a global network of customer support hubs with extended hours. What we also like is that you can contact them by email, online, or via facebook. Also, the pricing is transparent and clear. They always offer the same exchange rate you see on google and the fee they charge is clearly displayed and stated so you know exactly how much the transfer will cost.

Winner: Transferwise
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family

Friends and Family

Transferring money shouldn’t be a negative experience. With the right information at your fingertips and a professional currency conversion expert at your disposal, you can boost the potential benefits and minimise your risks.

Look for a bank or company that has an online payment platform and that has a local customer support centre in case you need help.


With the right foreign exchange specialist, such as OFX it is possible to achieve a spread of 1% - and even lower, reduce or remove fees, create a strategy for purchasing currency and also access hedging tools.

Winner: OFX
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Buying or Selling Property

If you are buying a property in the UK or have sold your property and need to send the money back to Australia, look for a provider that has a strong presence both here and in the UK.

This will give you the flexiblity and support you may need leading up to settlement.


TorFX is an ideal choice for property settlement transfers because each customer has a local account manager who can guide them through each step.

They are fully licenced and regulated in Australia and also offer the extra peace of mind of a global support network.

Winner: TorFX
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Transferring currency for business

Business Currency Transfers

If your business is transferring money between Ausralia and UK, there are 2 things absolutely critical to finding the best option:

The exchange rate margin - this is the difference between the wholesale exchange rate you can see on xe.com and the rate you get.

The business products they offer like forward exchange contracts, foreign currency accounts and limit orders.


Consider using TransferWise, a company based in London that offers you the wholesale exchange rate that you see on xe.com or Google. They also reduce their percentage based fee for larger amounts.

Why: Their borderless account allows you to set up a local account in GBP, USD, EUR or AUD. Read our review for all the details

Winner: Transferwise
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Transferring large amounts of currency

Studying Overseas

Tutition payments these days aren't small. Yearly payments to education providers along with all the other expenses relating to studying abroad can add up.

For your larger payments, make sure you hunt down the best exchange rate. For smaller payments, keep an eye on the transfer fee that is being charged.


TransferWise is rapidly growing company based in the UK. It is perfect for students and their parents paying the bills.

Winner: Transferwise
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How much will it cost to transfer money to the UK?

Regardless of whether you choose to use a bank or an online money transfer specialist, there are two types of fees that may be included in your total cost:

1. Standard Fees

These are the most common fee types.

Money transfer fees

Transfer Fees

Also known as a TT, Telegraphic Transfer, Wire or Remittance fee. This is the fee that banks and providers charge to transfer your money across to another country.

Exchange rate margin fees

Exchange Rate Margin

This is the difference between the wholesale exchange rate you can see on xe.com and the rate you receive.

2. Bank Surcharges

These are fees that your bank may or may not charge you for.

Money transfer bank fees

Corrospondent Bank Fees

This is a bank charge for transferring money to an international account. The fee is deducted from the amount that you transfer to your receipient. Note: This fee is not always charged by your bank.

Money transfer receiving bank fee

Recieving Bank Fee

If you are paying foreign currency into an account, the receiving bank will charge you for it. For instance, if you send Chinese Yuan to your Australian bank account, your Australian bank will charge you to convert it.


OFX offer

Offer

Ready to go?

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How To Transfer Money Online


Frequently Asked Questions

Paypal and Western Union (cash pick-up) are the fastest options. The transfer can be done in minutes.
If you are sending the money to a bank account, it will take 1-2 days if you are using a bank.
Or 2-3 days if you are using a money transfer company.

Sending money using a money transfer company is similar to using a bank but there are some important differences. Here are the main steps to do it online:


Setting things up (only has to be done once)
  • Log on to their website and register your details. You'll need to have some I.D handy
  • Once your account has been approved, you'll get a login and password
  • Enter the banking details of where you are sending the money. They are usually called the "Beneficiary" or "Recipient"

Tranferring Money
  • Get a quote for the amount you want to send
  • Confirm the details including the rate and how much it is in Australian dollars
  • You'll get a deal confirmation. Finally you'll need to pay them the Australian dollars before the money is sent to the UK

1. A Bank

Banks in Australia have higher fees and uncompetitve exchange rates but this doesn't mean you should never use them. British banks tend to have more competitve exchange rates because their is more competition in the UK. Using a bank is the quickest way to transfer between bank accounts.
 

2. Paypal

This is a great option for anyone sending smaller amounts under $1000. The exchange rate you'll get are comparable to a bank but the fees are significantly lower. It is particularly handy when the person you are paying has a Paypal account.
 

3. A Money Transfer Company

Money Transfer Companies like OFX and HiFX are often the cheapest option when you are sending between $1000 and $1,000,000 at a time. This is because they offer better exchange rates and lower (and sometimes no) fees. The downside to using a transfer company outside of a bank is that you'll have to set up an account with them first. This can take between 10 minutes and 2 days depending on how much information they need from you. Also, the transfer itself will usually take 1 day longer than using a bank.
The banks and Paypal don't have a minimum transfer amount but most money transfer companies do. If you are sending less than $500 to the United Kingdom and intend to use a money transfer company, make sure you check their minimum transfer amount.
To send money overeas, you'll need the following information of the bank account you are sending the money to:

Beneficiary or Recipient Details
  1. The Account Name of your Recipient (person/business you are paying)
  2. Their sort code and Account Number OR their IBAN number
  3. The SWIFT Code of their bank

Sort Codes
A sort code is a 6 digit number that indentifies the bank in the UK. It's similar to a BSB.

IBAN Numbers
An IBAN numbers for the UK are always 22 digits long and start with GB. IBAN checker can help you make sure the IBAN number is valid.

Here is a list of SWIFT codes for the biggest banks in London:
HSBC : MIDLGB22
Lloyds Bank : LOYDGB2L
Royal Bank of Scotland (RBOS) : RBOSGB2L
Barclays Bank : BARCGB22
Standard Chartered Bank : SCBLGB2L

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