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A UK bank that doesn't charge for incoming foreign transfers?
Thread poster: Melina Kajander
Melina Kajander
Finland
English to Finnish
Feb 9, 2006

Does such a thing exist in UK..? If any of you would happen to know of one, I'd really appreciate your help!

I've researched the matter and all seem to charge £6 - £10 (for incoming transfers over £100 in value). My current bank charges £7. I wish I didn't have to lose that much every time I get paid by a client, but there really doesn't seem to be an option... Or is there? (Before you suggest Paypal, it's not an option for all clients, unfortunately. Or maybe not so unfortunately, given some of the troubles some have had with it...)


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Ronnie Halpern  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:43
Member (2003)
French to English
+ ...
Set up a foreign currency account Feb 9, 2006

If you have a number of clients outside the UK, as I do, I would suggest setting up a foreign currency account linked to your sterling account. Mine is a euro account, but I imagine in principle it could be any currency. My charges amount to no more than 2 or 3 pounds per month; it is something like 60p per transaction, regardless of the value, if the payments are bank-to-bank. I did this because, like you, I was faced with ridiculous charges otherwise. My bank is HSBC, but I imagine all the main banks have this facility.
I also use Paypal, mainly for US clients, and I have never had any problems with it.

HTH,

Ronnie


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Alan Johnson  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 03:43
German to English
No charge for incoming transfers Feb 9, 2006

Melina Kajander wrote:

Does such a thing exist in UK..?


My bank (Lloyds TSB) does not charge me anything for wire transfers from my German account (euros) to my GBP account. I often transfer smallish amounts (few hundred euros at a time) and recently transferred over 3000 euros, at no cost. I never need to transfer from outside of the Eurozone, so I don't know about that.


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Daniel Bird  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 02:43
German to English
Abbey National Business account Feb 9, 2006

OK if you are Ltd Company - free banking forever as long as you stay within transaction limits.
DB


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Melina Kajander
Finland
English to Finnish
TOPIC STARTER
Thanks Feb 9, 2006

Thank you all for replies.

Yes, I've looked into all different foreign currency accounts (which I had imagined to be the optimal solution), but the thing with them is there's usually a monthly fee, which in most cases seems to add up to as much or more than the fee 'normal' accounts charge for incoming transfers, so it doesn't seem like a viable option...

Thank you Alan, I will check with the Lloyds TSB! (Although, if this only concerns eurozone it wouldn't be that much help, as I often get transfers in dollars.)

And as for business accounts, they mostly seem to have a monthly fee as well (also, I'm not an Ltd, and I'm afraid one would have to have a much bigger turnover than mine currently is, to be perceived as a valuable business customer by the bank).

So, I'm still waiting for the "miracle solution", although I doubt that exists...


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Armorel Young  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:43
Member (2004)
German to English
My bank doesn't charge Feb 9, 2006

I have an ordinary current account with HSBC and get charged nothing for euro payments into my account - in fact I was surprised to hear that other people have problems, because I thought the HSBC approach was standard. HSBC simply convert the euros into sterling at the current rate and credit my account with the sterling amount - there is no charge for this.

This only works if you are receiving money in a foreign currency (and since I invoice European clients in euros and they remit euros to me this is no problem). On the one occasion when someone sent me a sterling amount the bank levied a hefty transaction charge, even though it was a sterling amount (although from abroad) going into my sterling account. After several phone calls to them to establish why, an official eventually unearted the small print which said there was a charge for receiving foreign payments in sterling but not for euro payments - he agreed that this was utterly illogical! But for receiving euros on an everyday basis I have no problem whatsoever (and with every payment I get an automatic letter from the bank, again at no charge, detailing the transaction and the amount credited, so I always know exactly who has paid and how the euro amount was converted to sterling).


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Pat Jenner
Local time: 02:43
German to English
+ ...
Make sure your client quotes your IBAN/BIC numbers Feb 10, 2006

I'm with First Direct and the situation is pretty much as Armorel described. However, it is vital that your client quotes your account's IBAN/BIC numbers (these usually appear on your statement). Occasionally I receive transfers where these weren't mentioned and then my bank did impose charges. I find it useful to put them on my invoice.

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Melina Kajander
Finland
English to Finnish
TOPIC STARTER
* Feb 10, 2006

Thanks, Pat and Armorel.

Pat Jenner wrote:
I'm with First Direct and the situation is pretty much as Armorel described. However, it is vital that your client quotes your account's IBAN/BIC numbers (these usually appear on your statement).


They do, but the bank charges nevertheless... Actually, the charges for foreing transfers are on most banks terms & conditions (or 'fees & tariffs' etc.) on their website, and they don't seem to make a difference regarding using IBAN/BIC or not!

I will also check with HSBC, thanks for the tip, Armorel.

(By they way, I was also surprised to find out that even making internal bank transfers, i.e. within UK, can cost up to £20 per transfer! In Finland where I'm from they are free, as are receiving foreign transfers. But it seems that's why the UK banks can charge so much for international transfers - both making & receiving - they charge *a lot* for internal ones, too!)


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