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Transferring funds from France to UK
Thread poster: Decipherit

Decipherit  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:08
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Jul 20, 2011

Apologies if this has been covered elsewhere, the only post I could find was dated 2004 since when a lot might have changed.
..
I need to find a cheaper (and simpler) way of transferring funds from my Euro account in France to my sterling account in the UK. I've tried depositing a Euro cheque in a Natwest account here (for which there was a steep charge of £30). Until very recently my bank in France only charged a modest fee of €3.90 to do a bank transfer and they accepted instructions over the 'phone or by e-mail. They now want a signed letter sent by post. Their internet banking only allows for transfers between accounts held with them, not for accounts held elsewhere (which rules out Moneybookers etc.). Does anyone have any better suggestions?


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B D Finch  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 09:08
Member (2006)
French to English
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A suggestion Jul 20, 2011

Have you tried Moneycorp? I use them for transfers in the opposite direction and find them efficient.

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Decipherit  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:08
Portuguese to English
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TOPIC STARTER
Website not working Jul 20, 2011

Thanks for the Moneycorp suggestion. I've just googled them but their website appears to be down. How does it work though? Will it by-pass the fact that the only way I can currently get money out of my account in France is to send them a letter by snail mail?

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Peter Linton  Identity Verified
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Euro & GBP account at same UK bank Jul 20, 2011

Lisa Simpson wrote:
Their internet banking only allows for transfers between accounts held with them . . .

My solution is not ideal, but worth investigating.

I have 2 accounts at the same UK bank (Barclays) : one EUR, one GBP. My customers pay in EUR using IBAN etc to my EUR account, and the sum I receive is what I invoice. No cost (though the interest earned is trifling).

There are disadvantages – no online access, but from time to time I visit my local branch and ask them to transfer funds from EUR to GBP. I get a good exchange rate (better than tourist rates).

One convenient aspect is that I can go to that branch and withdraw EUR in cash for holidays etc. Cash is safer than credit cards.

I also have a PayPal account for receiving EUR and USD, and I have set up a link from PayPal to my GBP account which enables me to transfer funds at will converted into GBP from PayPal to my GBP account.


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Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
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Get a better bank? Jul 20, 2011

Perhaps try to change your French bank? Not easy when you don't live there, I know. My French bank requires a signature for transfers, but they will accept a signed and scanned transfer request form, i.e. I don't have to send anything in the post. If the transfer is more than EUR 1000 they ring me up and ask security questions.

I bank with Credit Agricole's Paris International branch. I had to go there in person to open the account but it's been well worth it over the years.

Alternatively, maybe try asking someone more senior at your bank whether it's really necessary to request a transfer by post instead of by email or fax. It may be that someone is interpreting the rules too strictly.


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Decipherit  Identity Verified
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Do they charge for your Euro transactions? Jul 20, 2011

Peter Linton wrote:

I have 2 accounts at the same UK bank (Barclays) : one EUR, one GBP. My customers pay in EUR using IBAN etc to my EUR account, and the sum I receive is what I invoice.


I confess to being reticent about Barclays having had a shocking time trying to open an account with them - eventually I gave up. Do they charge you any fees for having a Euro account?


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Decipherit  Identity Verified
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It IS Crédit Agricole Jul 20, 2011

Angela Dickson wrote:

I bank with Credit Agricole's Paris International branch. I had to go there in person to open the account but it's been well worth it over the years.

Alternatively, maybe try asking someone more senior at your bank whether it's really necessary to request a transfer by post instead of by email or fax. It may be that someone is interpreting the rules too strictly.


This was my old branch in a small rural town in the south-west where I lived. Having moved around in France before I know that CA is completely fragmented and one branch doesn't necessarily apply the same rules as another. Do you send the transfer request form by e-mail?

[Edited at 2011-07-20 15:14 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-07-20 15:35 GMT]

[Edited at 2011-07-20 15:35 GMT]


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Peter Linton  Identity Verified
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No charges Jul 20, 2011

Lisa Simpson wrote:
Do they charge you any fees for having a Euro account?

No. The sum I invoice is what I receive. They send a monthly statement by post. No sign of charges ever. On the other hand, last month I earned interest of EUR 2.26 gross, = a paltry 1.81 net on a balance well into 4 figures.


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:08
French to English
Searches Jul 20, 2011

Lisa Simpson wrote:

Apologies if this has been covered elsewhere, the only post I could find was dated 2004 since when a lot might have changed.
..
Does anyone have any better suggestions?


Forum search is not brilliant, but searches on names of UK banks usually brings up the stuff. HSBC and Barclays have been discussed a lot.

As for CA, my personal Fr bk a/c is with them, and I regularly receive bumf about their UK operation. Maybe they could help.

FWIW & for sake of comparison, I still have to send a signed letter to Soc Gen for xfers to the UK > €4k, and before they would let me do internet xfers for under 4k, I had to send a signed authorisation that the recipient account (my UK one) was valid. So signing stuff, as I'm sure you're aware, is still very much the French way


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Decipherit  Identity Verified
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Interest? Forget it. Jul 20, 2011

Peter Linton wrote:

On the other hand, last month I earned interest of EUR 2.26 gross, = a paltry 1.81 net on a balance well into 4 figures.


I earn zippo interest on my current account in France so any interest is a bonus!


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Decipherit  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
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Snail mail? Jul 20, 2011

Charlie Bavington wrote:

I still have to send a signed letter to Soc Gen for xfers to the UK > €4k, and before they would let me do internet xfers for under 4k

Is that Soc Gen in France and is the signed letter by post or a scanned e-mail attachment? I must confess that the old system (just sending a bank clerk an e-mail) struck me as being overly lax but this 'new' snail mail system is frankly rubbish.


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Charlie Bavington  Identity Verified
Local time: 08:08
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Yes and Yes Jul 20, 2011

Lisa Simpson wrote:
Is that Soc Gen in France and is the signed letter by post .


Not only that, but they lost my "reference" signature once and it was right bugger trying to get the xfer approved. I find SG's service adequate, altho I'm not sure how you'd go about switching from CA to SG from the UK, so this info may be of limited use. I gotta say, having banked with CA for 15 years, I deliberately did NOT go with them when I opened my bus. a/c/ in Fr becos they do seem a bit amateurish.

I normally try to offer any advice on the basis of accepting the initial situation and keeping things simple, but in your case, I have to say, I would reconsider the start point of having your current CA a/c as a given.

(Just for info, I believe it's the case that it's against the regulations to offer interest on current a/c in France, but don't quote me.)


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Angela Dickson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:08
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CA Jul 20, 2011

Lisa Simpson wrote:

Angela Dickson wrote:

I bank with Credit Agricole's Paris International branch. I had to go there in person to open the account but it's been well worth it over the years.

Alternatively, maybe try asking someone more senior at your bank whether it's really necessary to request a transfer by post instead of by email or fax. It may be that someone is interpreting the rules too strictly.


This was my old branch in a small rural town in the south-west where I lived. Having moved around in France before I know that CA is completely fragmented and one branch doesn't necessarily apply the same rules as another. Does you send the transfer request form by e-mail?

[Edited at 2011-07-20 15:14 GMT]


Yup - they ask me to print it, sign it, scan it and email it, and then if it's above a certain amount they ring me up to confirm. But it all works, and doesn't take too long.

Maybe they'd transfer your account to the International branch if you asked? Never tried moving an account between branches, in France or the UK, so I don't know if this would be possible. Alternatively, perhaps a quick friendly chat with the manager would put things right.

Edited to add: I've generally been pleased with CA. They impose the usual French banking charges, but I get a named adviser and I can contact him about all bank-related matters. He's usually pretty quick to respond, and it's generally not complicated to run my account.

[Edited at 2011-07-20 15:57 GMT]


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Decipherit  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
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Euro account in UK Jul 20, 2011

Thanks Charles.

I was just wondering if the Soc Gen option was in the UK, which would have been a neat solution. Yes, I agree, opening an a/c with them in France from here would be... impossible.

It seems as if a Euro a/c in the UK might be the better solution although having researched that in the past I seem to recall everyone charged for receiving funds.

Yep, don't know if it's law but I've never heard of interest on a current account (or free banking) in France. Surrendered my bank card in the end - felt it was insidious paying c. €50 p.a. for the privilege.


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Decipherit  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 08:08
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CA UK Jul 20, 2011

Angela Dickson wrote:

Maybe they'd transfer your account to the International branch if you asked?


Thanks Angela. I'll speak to him and find out. What are we all going to do if the Euro does collapse - aren't things complicated enough already?


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Transferring funds from France to UK

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