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Money matters

Money traders for transfer sterling to euro

No, really... it does!
But does it matter more in Malta than at home?

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Money traders for transfer sterling to euro

Postby cazinmalta » Wed 4 Mar 2009 16:23 GMT

Has anyone out here used a comercial trader for transfers of money for property buying?

Just contacted one and they give you comercial rate of exchange without bank charges.

Is this correct and does it work?
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Postby gozomark » Wed 4 Mar 2009 16:36 GMT

close to it yes - there is one affiliated to this website - currencyUK - their banner is on the RHS of the page - if you use them, the website earns some commission, but it doesn't cost you any more

edit - more info here
http://www.britishexpat.com/Currency.264.0.html
and here
http://www.britishexpat.com/Better-Curr ... 267.0.html
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Postby Kay » Wed 4 Mar 2009 17:56 GMT

Thanks, Mark.

I'd like to add that we have actually used Currency UK personally several times, both for our house purchase and for various other transfers (most recently in November last year). Obviously I can't guarantee their service but we've always found them to be efficient and customer friendly. I think it's a bit daunting to fire off all that money to people you don't know but compared to what our bank offered us, I thought we'd try them - I believe they're underwritten by LLoyds of London.

You need to register for an account and give proof of your identity (laws to prevent money laundering) and then you just email them each time with what you want to do. They send you a contract which you have to sign and fax back. They, like all the other similar services, require a hard copy with your signature. Then that's it.

Whether you choose this company or not, I still think you get a better deal changing money with a forex specialist rather than via the banks. I'll be interested in Mark's take on this.

[Edit: PS - the second of the two links Mark gives is the one which specifically talks about Currency UK.]
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Postby gozomark » Wed 4 Mar 2009 18:04 GMT

I've not used them as I prefer to transfer £ into a Maltese bank, and then time the conversion to € myself, but for a large sum that has to be converted by a set date, eg for a house purchase, on any given day, this type of company will give a better rate than a bank, on average probably around 1-2% better - I didn't use a company like them for our house purchase only because they didn't do Maltese Pounds back then - if I was buying a house now, I'd use this type of company.
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Postby Kay » Wed 4 Mar 2009 18:21 GMT

As you say, Mark, converting at the right time can be important if you have the flexibility to do it.

Forex specialists also offer deals where the rate is fixed when you make the contract so even if the rate changes meanwhile, you still get the rate you made the deal on. I'm not sure if banks offer this.

As for currency fluctuations, they can be scary. (Glad to say we didn't lose out due to timing.) We bought a couple of years ago but if we were to do the same transaction today it would cost 40+% more GBP to buy something here for the same price. (Not in Malta, but the same principle applies.)
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Postby cazinmalta » Thu 5 Mar 2009 07:49 GMT

Thanks Guys

I have posted off a form today. I will also compare it with Travelex that I have used before for commercial changing here in Malta.
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Postby gozomark » Thu 5 Mar 2009 08:00 GMT

Hi Caz

to be able to compare properly, you will need to get their typical spread over interbank exchange rates, as well as their bank charges. Actually, if its a large sum like for a house, the bank charges is almost irrelevant, whether its £0, £10, or £ 20 or £ 30. Its the spread on the exchange rate thats key

eg right now rate is 1.124 - lets say to are bringing over £ 200,000

company A - spread of 0.4% - so get 1.122
company B - spread of 0.8% - so get 1.120

difference is worth £ 400 v maybe £20 difference in the bank charges.

of course, given the volatility of fx markets at the moment, even this is dwarfed by the fluctuating rate from one day to the next, which is often 1% = £2,000, but there isn't much you can do about that, but you need to bear in mind that comparing the rate given by company A yesterday, with a rate from company B today is meaningless - its the spread that matters
Last edited by gozomark on Thu 5 Mar 2009 14:26 GMT, edited 2 times in total.
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Postby gozomark » Thu 5 Mar 2009 08:07 GMT

a bank is likely to charge a spread of 3%, so rate would be only 1.107
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Postby gozomark » Thu 5 Mar 2009 14:16 GMT

I should add that having never used or looked into these companies in depth, I've no idea how safe they are, or indeed how to judge their safety. I'm not sure who they are regulated by. On the Currency UK website it states

"All Currency UK accounts are held with HSBC Bank plc.
HM Revenue & Customs Certificate of Registration for Money Service Businesses Number: 12120036 0000
Copyright © 2002-2009 Currency UK Ltd. "
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Postby Kay » Thu 5 Mar 2009 14:51 GMT

I would also add that I wouldn't give any personal guarantee of the safety. We've used their services and been happy, that's all.
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Postby JJ » Thu 5 Mar 2009 23:16 GMT

> HM Revenue & Customs Certificate of Registration for Money Service Businesses Number: 12120036 0000

This just certifies that the operators of the business are registered and claim to conform to the money laundering regulations. It is nothing like FSA registration which protects your money (up to a limit which I think is currently £50,000). They don't state that client's money is held in client accounts (thus ringfenced from the firm's creditors) but that doesn't mean that it isn't.

Be careful, do all the sums and read the small print. Post here again if there's anything you don't understand.

JJ
[Disclaimer: I am merely a bar room lawyer who's spent most of the last twenty years doing backoffice and fund accounting IT for investment banks and hedge funds. The value of your investment may go down as well as up. You may lose your house if you use it for security in an investment. You should not invest more than you can afford to lose. May contain nuts.]
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Postby Mr Kriss » Thu 5 Mar 2009 23:52 GMT

JJ, the last part of your caveat is perhaps the most scary.

I have generally been very cautious of such companies but, then again, I trusted banks :cry:
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Postby cazinmalta » Fri 6 Mar 2009 06:33 GMT

Seems we shall all have to have extra hard beds then and use bartering again..... any one want 10 sheep for 1 cow?????
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Postby chris green » Fri 6 Mar 2009 10:28 GMT

Are the sheep pretty?

Any photo's? :shock:
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Postby Gregozo » Fri 6 Mar 2009 11:05 GMT

All sheep are pretty, just some are prettier than others :wink:
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