Intermediary charges for book transfers to US bank account
Thread poster: Shawn Morse

Shawn Morse  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:59
Japanese to English
+ ...
Mar 8, 2012

I have a bank account in the U.S. and routinely do business with overseas companies (such as SDL in the UK) that perform money transfers by "book transfer". Each time, I notice a charge being levied on the transaction (usually between USD10 and 25). The company says their bank doesn't make these charges, and I believe my bank does not levy this charge, so I'm guessing there is an intermediary that is responsible.

If my understanding is correct, a "book transfer" is a transfer between two accounts within the same bank or two banks with a "correspondent relationship", but if the banks don't have a relationship, the transfer goes through an intermediary.

I have noticed similar wire transfers from other overseas companies called "fed wire transfers", but these transactions do not have the additional charge of a book transfer.

Can anyone shed some light on the differences between these two types of transfers? Is it possible to specify the client to use a fed wire transfer instead of a book transfer?


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Shawn Morse  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:59
Japanese to English
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
Talked to a wire transfer expert Mar 8, 2012

A wire transfer expert at my bank confirmed that a "book transfer" is a transfer of funds between two international banks that have a relationship, and in this case, a charge of USD25 is assessed on the transaction and automatically withdrawn from the payment amount. In addition, the beneficiary (me) has to pay an incoming domestic wire fee.

A "fed wire transfer" is a transfer of funds between two banks within the U.S. This can be used to wire money to a U.S. bank account from a bank overseas if that bank has a presence in the U.S. (such as Citibank). In this case, the beneficiary pays only the incoming domestic wire fee.


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Alex Lago  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 05:59
Member (2009)
English to Spanish
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Specify who pays charges Mar 8, 2012

Shawn what you said is true, however the person sending the money can specify who pays those expenses, they can be paid by the sender, the beneficiary or shared, so you just need to tell your client to specify they are paying the expenses when they send the payment that way you will get the full amount. Obviously the agency or client may not be willing to pay the expenses in which case you will either have to try and negotiate with them, pay the expenses yourself or stop working with them.

Also bear in mind that any fees you do end up paying are business expenses and are to be treated as such for any possible tax purposes.


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Steven Capsuto  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:59
Spanish to English
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Similar situation here Mar 8, 2012

When my European clients wire money to my bank here in the States, an intermediary bank takes 7 euros and my bank takes 15 dollars.

You may find that it works out cheaper to use a service such as Skrill (formerly Moneybookers) or Paypal. If I recall correctly, Skrill's fees are lower than Paypal's, but Skrill now charges a fee if there's no activity on your account for a certain number of months.


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Trudy Peters  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:59
German to English
+ ...
Same situation here Mar 9, 2012

I regularly make transfers from my German (EUR) account to my $ account at my Credit Union here in the States. All outgoing fees are paid on the German side, my CU charges no fees for incoming W/Ts. HOWEVER, most of the time (not always!) $25 are taken out by a mysterious intermediary bank. Nobody has been able to explain to me what bank that might be....

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LEXpert  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 22:59
Member (2008)
Croatian to English
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Same here! Mar 9, 2012

Trudy Peters wrote:

my CU charges no fees for incoming W/Ts. HOWEVER, most of the time (not always!) $25 are taken out by a mysterious intermediary bank. Nobody has been able to explain to me what bank that might be....


Glad to know I'm not the only one! My own bank does not charge for incoming wire transfers either, but somehow a mysterious charge of ~ $10-25 always seems to have been deducted from the total by an unknown (or at least unacknowledged) intermediary.


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Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 23:59
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
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Please see my comment in a previous thread on the same topic Mar 9, 2012

http://www.proz.com/forum/money_matters/181460-bank_fees.html#1592617

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Intermediary charges for book transfers to US bank account

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