Sending money from the Uk to Germany
Thread poster: Louisa Berry

Louisa Berry
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:12
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
Oct 12, 2010

I need to send a client back some money paid to me in error. Both sides are partly at fault. I thought it would not cost me but maybe i misunderstood the European regs on money transfer within the EU. Barclays would charge me £15 and Nationwide £20! This is nearly 20% if the total sum. Normally I would just tell my client to take it off my next invoice but this client is not regular and I have only done one job for them. Does anyone know if there is a uk bank that would not charge for this?

Thanks

Louisa


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David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 12:12
German to English
+ ...
Are you sure Oct 12, 2010

There is an EU rule stating that transfers within the EU should not cost more than an in-coutnry transfer, i.e. nothing at all. I can transfer money to teh UK at no cost to myself from my Austrian bank account. The process is known as an EU internal transfer and is not restricted to the Euro countries.
However, I am aware that online banking in the UK is pretty primitive as compared with the rest of europe (I can do all these transfers online from Austria, my UK account is by no means as flexible). Still, it should be free or cheap
see

http://www.europebanks.info/ibanguide.htm


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Madeleine MacRae Klintebo  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:12
Swedish to English
+ ...
Before you even think about sending money back Oct 12, 2010

How did the client pay you? Unless it was by bank transfer and you're sending the money back to exactly the same bank account, I suggest you read a number of threads in the Scam forum.

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Alexander Onishko  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:12
Russian to English
+ ...
are you sure it's not fraud? Oct 12, 2010

Louisa Fox wrote:

I need to send a client back some money paid to me in error. Both sides are partly at fault. I thought it would not cost me but maybe i misunderstood the European regs on money transfer within the EU. Barclays would charge me £15 and Nationwide £20! This is nearly 20% if the total sum. Normally I would just tell my client to take it off my next invoice but this client is not regular and I have only done one job for them. Does anyone know if there is a uk bank that would not charge for this?

Thanks

Louisa


"return of money" is a popular fraud scheme and as you say this is one-time client, I tend to belive this may be your case too.


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Louisa Berry
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:12
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Def. not a scam, more info from others about their experiences pls Oct 12, 2010

Thanks for the warning, it is definately not a scam. I know about the Eu rules and am confused as to why noone in the bank knew anything. I will have to go back with more information. If anyone can tell me which banks make this easier and if anyone has experiences with Barclays and Nationwide.

Thanks

Louisa


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Louisa Berry
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:12
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
def not a scam Oct 12, 2010

Why I know its not a scam

My client is a translation agency (I know this doesn't mean its not a scam).

What happened was I did a job and the agency had another file to be done under the same job number, I didnt realise and sent my invoice. We agreed I would send a revised invoice with all the work one. Due to my invoice numbering system they looked like two separate invoices and the fact that they were for two different amounts their accounting department paid both of them.

I would ask them to deduct the amount from my next invoice but I do not know when they will have more work for me so I don't think they would go for it.


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Paul Skidmore  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:12
German to English
is currency conversion involved? Oct 12, 2010

According to the European Commission's consumer rights pages, the rule on money transfers is not quite as straightforward as David suggests.

They write: "For international payments in euros within the EU, banks should charge you no more than they would for a national transaction of the same value in euros." (My emphasis)

On the same page it states further:

"International payments in currencies other than the euro are not subject to these provisions."

see

http://ec.europa.eu/youreurope/citizens/shopping/banking/day-to-day-banking/index_en.htm?profile=0

This may in part explain Louisa why you have had to pay such transfer fees. I don't know what it costs to open and maintain an account denominated in euros with a British bank, but this could prove a cheaper option in the long run.

HTH Paul


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David Wright  Identity Verified
Austria
Local time: 12:12
German to English
+ ...
to Paul Oct 12, 2010

But surely you can make a transfer from a UK bank in Euros, or are they really still in the middle ages?

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Gillian Searl  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:12
Member (2004)
German to English
Middle ages - as far as the fee is concerned Oct 12, 2010

So there's no way to avoid it. Unless you have a EUR bank account - or possibly know someone who does. Here in the UK you got to pay the charges.

Gillian


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Louisa Berry
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:12
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
short term solution Oct 12, 2010

Just had an idea which will help me in the short term but not in the long run. I'm going to Essen next week for a trade fair, so I'll just pay the money in over the counter. I will revisit the question again in the future if I have to start regularly sending money.

@ David you can make a payment in euros but only if its from an account in euros. if its from an account in sterling the eu rules dont apply as the transfer is made in pounds and only converted into euros at the other end.


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RobinB  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 12:12
German to English
Oct 12, 2010



[Edited at 2010-10-12 20:43 GMT]


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Claire Cox
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:12
French to English
+ ...
First Direct Oct 12, 2010

Hi Louisa,

I recently asked First Direct how much they would charge to make a payment to a bank in France and they quoted me £9 for up to 50,000 Euros, so that's cheaper than the other banks you mentioned, although not free, admittedly. My old bank, NatWest, also quoted in the region of £20 - daylight robbery, I know. Perhaps PayPal might be cheaper. depending on the amount in question? I think they charge on a percentage basis. I have investigated holding a euro account in the UK in the past and you have to keep a prohibitively large amount in the account to avoid charges - obviously only suitable for fat cats, not people who need their euro income to pay their bills! However, the situation has improved over here from what it was a few years ago - at least incoming euro payments into my First Direct account are now free of commission charges and at a reasonable interest rate, although that's still not the case with many of the UK banks.

Hope you manage to get it sorted. I was caught out in the other direction when a client in Austria charged me for their bank charges. They admitted it was an error when I queried it and promptly transferred the difference across, but I was with NatWest at the time and ended up paying two lots of commission at this end rather than just the one - grrr! Yet another reason which eventually pushed me to change banks.

All the best,

Claire


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