CURRENCY EXCHANGE FAQ'S
Q. Where should I buy currency?
You can obviously walk into any high street bank or bureau de change and exchange your currency. This may be convenient for your holidays but for larger amounts of currency it pays to get in touch with a specialist foreign exchange dealer.
Specialist brokers will almost always offer much more competitive rates than high street banks or tourist outlets, as their overheads are much lower.
Q. What will it cost me?
It's a good idea to compare the total cost of a currency trade as some currency dealers do not charge a transfer fee but more than make up for this difference in the exchange rate that they quote.
Q. How do I purchase currency?
Once you have set up your trading facility set up with your broker, you will be able to buy currency over the telephone.
Q. Can I hold out for a particular rate?
Yes, you can instruct your currency exchange specialist the moment the rates change to your desired level. Some currency exchange brokers, can place an order to purchase currency outside London trading hours, which will automatically trigger as soon as your desired rate is achieved. Just make sure you are being realistic about the rate you are looking for and be prepared to wait!
Q. What if the rate is good now, but I don't need to or can't make payment for 3 months?
You can fix an exchange rate for up to two years to make it easier to plan the cost of your currency payments. This is particularly useful if you are buying a new property "off plan".
Forward buying your currency is very straightforward. Simply book an exchange rate and send your dealer a deposit, usually 10% of the contract value. The 90% balance of your currency contract is payable when you wish to have funds transferred overseas.
Q. Will foreign exchange dealers offer advice about market conditions and rates?
Currency FX dealers are not regulated to give advice but many will provide you with information about prevailing market trends and currency movements.
However, remember that no one can predict the markets with absolute certainty. You will have to make your own decision about when to buy currency, but market knowledge and experience imparted by your currency dealer will hopefully make that decision easier!
Q. If I take out an Overseas Mortgage and have to make payments from the UK how can I do this?
Currency specialists will provide a Regular Payment Plan to assist those clients that need to make regular overseas payments. Such payments might include overseas mortgage payments or transfers of UK pension payments or any other regular transfers.
The Regular Payment Plan allows you to fix an exchange rate on regular overseas payments for a period of between 6 and 24 months, removing the worry caused by fluctuations in the exchange rate over that period of time.
Your currency specialist will deduct the payments from your account by Direct Debit each month and transfer your funds directly to the destination account of your nomination.
Q. How do I pay for my currency?
After booking an exchange rate with your currency exchange specialist, you will need to transfer funds to their client account. The easiest and quickest way is by CHAPS of BACS. Bear in mind that any cheque will have to clear before funds can be sent. Once they have received your cleared funds, they will transfer your currency to the account of your choice.
Q. How can I find out current exchange rates?
The Interbank rate can readily be found on the Internet and on Ceefax. Moneycorp'Your currency specialists website will also have currency charts where you can view historical exchange rates. Although a useful guide to current market levels, do bear in mind that unless you are trading millions of pounds on a regular basis, you will not receive the Interbank rate for your own transaction! For a live quote on the amount you are looking to exchange, it is best to call your currency exchange specialist.
Q. How long will my funds take to transfer to an overseas bank account?
Electronic Funds Transfer can generally get the funds into the destination account a good deal quicker than a high street bank.
Funds can be transferred by the next business day or the same day in some instances.
Bear in mind that there is sometimes a short delay in the receiving bank before your account is credited, this can usually be overcome with a "proof of payment" document that can be provide on request.