Payment from UK to Germany
Thread poster: Lif
Lif
Germany
Local time: 05:30
English to German
+ ...
Sep 21, 2008

Hi everybody!

I will be moving from the Uk to Germany soon and was wondering how my UK clients that are currently paying by cheque or bank transfer into my Uk account will be handling the payment once I am in Germany. (because cashing in foreign cheques in Germany is quite expensive). Also for bank transfers there are usually fees. Can anyone give me information about that or knows a link to a previous discussion on the same topic?

Thanks in advance for your help!

Lisa


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Kai Döring  Identity Verified
Philippines
Local time: 11:30
Member (2007)
English to German
+ ...
Clarify with your German bank Sep 21, 2008

Lif wrote:

Hi everybody!

I will be moving from the Uk to Germany soon and was wondering how my UK clients that are currently paying by cheque or bank transfer into my Uk account will be handling the payment once I am in Germany. (because cashing in foreign cheques in Germany is quite expensive). Also for bank transfers there are usually fees. Can anyone give me information about that or knows a link to a previous discussion on the same topic?

Thanks in advance for your help!

Lisa


Normally the fee is charged by the bank which is receiving the money. I guess there is no fee for transfers in Europe anymore, however you need this to clarify with the German bank.

I am received already several transfers from Austria and there was no fee.

Regards,

Kai


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Sheila Wilson  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 04:30
Member (2007)
English
+ ...
Have you considered keeping a sterling account in the UK? Sep 21, 2008

When I left the UK to come to France, I kept my bank account open, and now find it extremely useful as I can provide UK customers the facility of paying in sterling. I adjust my sterling quotes to make sure that I don't lose out when the exchange rate is poor, and I do large transfers to my French account now and then when the exchange rate is favourable - the charge for a transfer is often fixed, regardless of the amount transferred.

For tax purposes, I simply convert the amounts received into Euros and declare them to the French tax office with my Euro earnings - I don't know how exactly tax works in Germany, but I doubt whether it complicates things too much.

If you get all your UK customers to pay in Euros, they're not going to be too happy, and as you say, paying a non-Euro cheque into a Euro-zone account is horrendously expensive.


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Paul Skidmore  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:30
German to English
Two bank accounts Sep 21, 2008

I would keep your UK bank account and use this for payments in Sterling whether by BACS or cheque payments. For all customers paying in Euro I would open a German bank account.

Then I would either withdraw cash every now and again directly from my UK bank account or transfer a largish sum every 6 months or so. You might also continue to have payments in the UK - pension contributions, voluntary NI contributions etc which you want to pay from your British account.

While you are still resident in the UK have a look if there are any banking/savings accounts there which allow you a certain number of fee-free withdrawals abroad. Might be worth opening one to enable you to make withdrawals from that account when in Germany. Certainly the other way round you can do this - I have a savings account in Germany which allows me to make 10 fee-free withdrawals per year worldwide from VISA ATMs.

International transfers are now cheaper and easier with IBAN and BIC - there is still a charge to transfer from the UK to Germany because of the currency conversion involved - this probably can't be avoided.

Paul


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erika rubinstein  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:30
Member (2011)
English to Russian
+ ...
As far as I know there are no fees for bank transfers between UK and Germany Sep 21, 2008

---

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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 05:30
English to German
+ ...
No general exemption Sep 21, 2008

Erika,
erika rubinstein wrote:
As far as I know there are no fees for bank transfers between UK and Germany


That depends - with the introduction of SEPA (which includes the UK), most interbank transfers in euros should indeed be free of charge, provided that certain conditions are fulfilled (using BIC & IBAN, for example). For sterling transfers, the situation is quite different.

Best regards,
Ralf


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Harry Bornemann  Identity Verified
Mexico
English to German
+ ...
Moneybookers Sep 21, 2008

My regular client in the UK, whom I charge in GBP, pays me via Moneybookers.com, because the bank transfer fees were really absurd.

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Lif
Germany
Local time: 05:30
English to German
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Thank you Sep 21, 2008

Thanks for all your informative comments.

I suppose I am just going to keep the UK account for the time being. Funnily enough, I hadn't thought about that...

So I am guessing that translation agencies in the UK are much more likely to accept applications from translators based inside the UK than from the ones from outside, because of these horrendous fees and payment procedures....

Lisa


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Marijke Singer  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:30
Dutch to English
+ ...
HSBC Sep 22, 2008

Ralf Lemster wrote:

Erika,
erika rubinstein wrote:
As far as I know there are no fees for bank transfers between UK and Germany


That depends - with the introduction of SEPA (which includes the UK), most interbank transfers in euros should indeed be free of charge, provided that certain conditions are fulfilled (using BIC & IBAN, for example). For sterling transfers, the situation is quite different.

Best regards,
Ralf


The HSBC is the only UK bank I know that will not charge for the actual transfer of sterling to a EURO account (they make money on the exchange rate).


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KSL Berlin  Identity Verified
Portugal
Local time: 04:30
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
You can have a euro-denominated account in the UK Sep 22, 2008

You might consider converting your existing UK account to a euro-denominated one or opening a second account there using euros. Then if you want to transfer between your own accounts in either and use BIC/IBAN to do so, there will be no fees. Of course you'll still pay currency conversions within the UK, but you can choose when to do this yourself depending on how you've set things up.

You might also look into correspondence banks as I think they are called. For example, at one point there were no transfer charges between Barclays, Bank of America and Deutsche Bank accounts (though currency conversion costs did, of course, apply).


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Gillian Searl  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:30
Member (2004)
German to English
As someone who has done the move both ways Sep 22, 2008

to Germany and back again (which I don't recommend!) keep two bank accounts and insist everyone pays you by bank transfer in the relevant currency.
British banks (I'm with First Direct, which is part of HSBC) will charge you to transfer the money to Germany so do irregular, large transfers if necessary or take out small amounts from a cash machine. Insist the UK people pay in pounds in the UK and the Germans in euros to a German bank account. Accounting for the money is not a problem.

Make sure you not only tell HMRC you are going by filling out the proper forms, but also complete ZERO self-assessment tax returns whilst you are in Germany - otherwise you might have my problem. They entered a county court judgement against me without my knowledge for 2 years' worth or tax even though they knew I was not liable for tax in the UK and they had my German address!!!!

Stay in Germany - don't come back! You'll pay less tax - Learn to tell the Germans how good they have got it, even if they don't believe you!!!!

Hope that helps
Gillian


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