Bank charges
Thread poster: Spencer Allman

Spencer Allman
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:10
Finnish to English
Nov 11, 2002


Does anyone have any comments or advice?

I am in the UK and I did a job for an agency in Holland. The bill was 165 euros and the transaction attracted 3 lots of bank charges. One was for £10 (my bank, something I have come to expect) but the other two for 20 and 12 euros respectively seem to have been deducted before payment reached the UK. I complained to the Accounts Manager of the agency, who told me he also prepaid bank charges on the transaction, meaning it was hit with no less than 4 rounds of bank charges!

This had never happened to me before and I suggested to the agency that I was paying their bank charges. The guy rejected that but he did offer me a 50% refund of charges - which I turned down as I imagined that it would attract four lots of bank charges and leave me owing the banks!

I may well name this agency in any future correspondence because the accountant admitted he had had problems of the sort with other translators.

He was also extramely rude.

Any thoughts?


Arthur Borges
Local time: 07:10
+ ...
No real answer to that yet. Nov 11, 2002

Mine is simply to refuse small jobs.

If it\'s a regular customer, you can let him run up a tab till the amounts reaches critical mass.

Standard cheques are just as charge-ridden and can take 45 days to clear.

Or you might try Western Union.


David Sirett
Local time: 01:10
French to English
+ ...
Cool it... Nov 11, 2002

So, after the accounts manager told you he prepaid the sender\'s bank charges, you said he didn\'t -- and you\'re surprised he got rude?

You need a solution, not a slanging match or blaming. If the problem has also occurred with other translators, perhaps you could suggest the customer use a different bank for foreign transfers.


kbamert  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:10
French to German
+ ...
contract clause Nov 12, 2002


You could establish in a contract clause that you get the billed amount on your account and all transfer charges are paid by the agency.

Best regards


P.S.: Another possibility is to open an account with a bank in the country of residence of the agency (in the curreny of this country), some banks offer accounts free of charge for transfers, but without paying interests for this kind of accounts... The only thing you would loose is the commission for the exchange if the currency of your account of your country is different from the currency of the country of the agency...


Spencer Allman
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:10
Finnish to English
I don't need to be patronised Nov 12, 2002

The reason I posted this was to get some hard advice - not to be told to \'cool it\'. I did not tell the man I didn\'t believe he had paid charges beforehand.

And I did suggst the agency change its bank.


Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:10
English to German
+ ...
Nobody is patronising you Nov 12, 2002

This would certainly not be the first time that a row erupts over a misunderstanding or error of some sort. I\'m not saying that this is the case here, but your posting certainly came across that way.

There\'s no way that one could give you \'hard advice\' without knowing the precise facts involved:

- Payer\'s bank

- Recipient\'s bank

- Currencies involved (do you have a euro account, or would your bank have to convert the euro payment into sterling?)

- Payment instructions given (SWIFT or other)

- Details provided (IBAN & SWIFT BIC, or ordinary account number & UK sort code)

All these things have an impact on charges.

I strongly suggest not to post this here, of course - if you want, you can contact me through my ProZ profile and fax the credit note over, so I can take a look at what *may have* happened.


Russian to German
+ ...
Use PayPal or check payment. Nov 12, 2002

I found out that PayPal reduces most of your problems concerning international payment. Okay, you have to pay bank fees as well, but they are kept to a minimum as long as you receive small amounts.

Well, I\'m based in Germany, but this might also work for the UK:

If you have several clients throughout Europe and receive several checks within one month, collect them and hand them in as a bundle. This will reduce your bank fees significantly - at least in Germany.

As far as the \"client\" is concerned - let him go and search for fools who like to be treated like this. It is sometimes better to get rid of difficult clients than to work for rude, uneducated people icon_smile.gif

My \"two cents\"...

Best regards,



Spencer Allman
United Kingdom
Local time: 00:10
Finnish to English
Many thanks Nov 12, 2002

Many thanks for the comments



Antonella Andreella (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:10
German to Italian
+ ...
My only comment Nov 12, 2002

is that the same thing happened to me with an agency located in Holland, as you say...

... and I got the same answer!


This crazy world


OK, OK, I know that this can be the normal bank procedure, I mean there is nothing strange, but it\'s not compulsory, that is it is still possible to receive a bank transfer without having to pay one single cent, many agencies do that.

I just found it amusing that I had the same experience with a bank transfer coming from Hollandicon_smile.gif))

[ This Message was edited by: on 2002-11-12 19:14 ]


Tom Ellett (X)
Local time: 00:10
Norwegian to English
+ ...
EU Directive on Credit Transfers Nov 15, 2002

For bank transfers between EU member states, EU Directive 97/5/EC on Cross-border Credit Transfers states that all charges are to be paid by the originator (the person/organization making the payment) unless specifically agreed otherwise in advance.

To ensure this happens, the originating bank needs to enter the code OUR in the Charging Option field when ordering payment through Swift. For intra-EU transfers, this should be the default setting.

I believe any bank that has double-charged for a transfer (i.e. charged both originator and beneficiary) is obliged under the terms of the Directive to recredit the erroneous charges to the beneficiary\'s account.

It all sounds fine in theory, but in my experience it is almost impossible to obtain definitive information from the banks about what has happened in such cases, so pursuing a claim would doubtless be very time-consuming!



XX789 (X)  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:10
English to Dutch
+ ...
Dutch banks Nov 15, 2002

Dutch banks are renowned for this. In Holland, we often call them \"the mobs\" as their bank charges are insanely high (Japanese banks break all records though, by charging up to 50 USD for one transaction).

Anyway, until recently it was not possible to remit payments without having a substantial amount subtracted before they arrived at the beneficiary\'s account.

Lately though, some telebanking software has a new neat feature that specifically allows you to specify that all costs, no matter which, should be borne by the sender.

Ask the agency whether they use Officenet for Windows. If they do, they are very well capable of instructing their bank to have all costs borne by the payer.


Daina Jauntirans  Identity Verified
Local time: 18:10
German to English
+ ...
Tax deduction? Nov 15, 2002

I am sick of this, too! I have clients in Europe and they often deduct what they have paid in bank fees from my invoice amt. on top of which I pay $10 per bank transfer to my bank. It really adds up. I have found that there is nothing I can do about the clients deducting their bank fees - it seems to be the policy at a lot of places (even though I think we should each pay our own business costs). However, I have been able to work out deals with a few to pay by check in $ through their US offices. That means no fees for anyone. Not sure how that would work in Europe, though. I also bundle jobs and invoice some clients monthly, which helps. Finally, if nothing else check with your tax advisor about taking the bank charges as a tax deduction. We can do that in the States, and it helps.


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