Don´t Bank on It

DON’T BANK ON IT Save up to €45 a month

The widening gulf between the pound sterling and the euro causes distress to many ex-pats, holiday makers, and of course those re-locating to euro-land. The more prudent among them transfer pensions and other income via currency exchange dealers like Excel Currencies, HiFX, Currencies Direct. The choice is yours; there are differences but all are cost effective alternatives to your bank. Use a dealership that is transparent about costs and guaranteed exchange rates.

Not so long ago anyone living on a British pension, even a state pension, enjoyed such an advantage many never bothered to pay attention to detail. Similarly those who for a variety of reasons transferred other income from the UK to Spain. However, because of the widening rates it is now more important than ever to count the pennies; complacency being the road to penury.


Currency transfer dealers came about because they knew banks charged for a service that cost them nothing: they charge for a computerised transfer which is virtually free of cost and which should be part of the service. A bit like your accountant adding a hefty surcharge for your use of their reception area.

Money going to Spain is more or less a one-way street. Pensions, private and state are pretty much obvious. Don’t make the mistake of thinking, as many do, that the amount transferred is so small the savings would be negligible. Banks make a disproportionate profit from the money transfer minnows.

Remember too that it is quite irrelevant as to the whether transfer payments are regular or irregular (in the legal sense of the word).


UK banks can be cumbersome and expensive when it comes to transferring funds overseas. Their commission and charges can add an extra £35 a month to your transfer costs. Another disadvantage: many local branches have staff with little or no experience of international transfers. Their mistakes can cause delays and cost you money.

Finally the funds may go through several links in a chain: from local branch to destination branch. Each link increases the chances of your funds being delayed or even going astray, resulting in late payment charges and an unforced overdraft which can affect your personal credit.

By using the RIT (Regular International Transfer) method the difference can be enough to cover your energy bills all year round. Still think it isn’t worth bothering about?

There are of course cash transfers other than pensions. You may have other forms of income. The returns from property you sold or rent out in the UK. Profits from an on-going business or partnership; an inheritance, an allowance such as a children helping you out by making regular (or irregular) payments to your account.


If for any reason you have money being transferred to your euro-land account it can pay substantial dividends to avoid the banks. It all adds up to a faster money saving service. If the supra rich avoid the high street banks they do so for a reason. Perhaps you should take a gold leaf out of their ledgers.

Setting up an RIT is so easy you may kick yourself for not doing it sooner. You register, which is so straightforward a child could do it. Usual name, address; photocopy of passport and utility bill. This is faxed or posted to the currency exchange dealer (all are tightly regulated by the way).

Your complementary bank account is set up within minutes, and costs you nothing. You will be assigned your own personal ‘manager’ who will take the details of the financial transfers: the source, regularity (or one-off) and of course the bank abroad to which it is being transferred.

Is there anything else you need do? Yes, my suggestion is that you take your dearly beloved out for a nice restaurant meal, including wine. Our advertising section offers an excellent choice. This will more than likely take care of your first month’s saving. Bet you are glad you thought of it. Good luck.

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Daring to engage readers in the challenging periodicals of Mediterranean Spain and the UK

Michael Walsh McLaughlin. Free Spirited Team Player

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