A reg­u­lar thing

Need to pay pen­sion in­stal­ments or mort­gage pay­ments into your French bank ac­count? Louisa Heath ex­plains how to make reg­u­lar cur­rency trans­fers work for you

French Property News - - Contents - Louisa Heath is a cur­rency an­a­lyst for TORFX Tel: 01736 335250 torfx.com

Trans­fer­ring pen­sion, mort­gage and other rou­tine pay­ments to France

Re­lo­cat­ing to another coun­try is an ex­cit­ing step, but with such a big move comes stress and a long check­list of mun­dane things to con­sider. It’s easy to think, for ex­am­ple, that the sim­plest way to trans­fer your funds abroad is through your own bank. How­ever, while you al­ready have an ac­count with your bank, us­ing their ser­vices is of­ten not the most cost-ef­fec­tive way to deal with your cur­rency trans­fer needs.

Many peo­ple ben­e­fit from the ser­vices of a ded­i­cated cur­rency bro­ker, a com­pany which is en­tirely fo­cused on the busi­ness of fa­cil­i­tat­ing in­ter­na­tional money trans­fers. This spe­cific fo­cus means that you will al­ways be deal­ing with peo­ple who know how to en­sure you have the smoothest trans­fer pos­si­ble.

Bro­kers use a num­ber of tools to take the stress out of man­ag­ing your money across borders, from on­line trad­ing plat­forms to a va­ri­ety of trans­fer op­tions tai­lored to your in­di­vid­ual needs.

Swap to a ROP One of the most use­ful tools for ex­pats is a Reg­u­lar Over­seas Pay­ments (ROP) ser­vice, which al­lows for re­cur­rent trans­fers to be made au­to­mat­i­cally with­out any ad­di­tional has­sle. This is very use­ful if you have to man­age on­go­ing mort­gage pay­ments or need to move pen­sion in­stal­ments to your French ac­count.

If you need to reg­u­larly move funds of be­tween £500 and £10,000 over a pe­riod of six months or more, then a Reg­u­lar Over­seas Pay­ments ser­vice is per­fect for you. With a ROP in place, your funds will be moved for you au­to­mat­i­cally on a spec­i­fied date with­out you hav­ing to do any­thing be­yond the ini­tial set-up, mak­ing the process as fuss-free as pos­si­ble.

Set­ting up ROPS is as sim­ple as telling the bro­ker which cur­ren­cies you wish to ex­change, the amount you need to move, the fre­quency of pay­ments and when you need the money to ar­rive.

Each trans­fer will be made at a com­pet­i­tive ex­change rate, set at the best rate avail­able on the day of trans­fer and fixed so that it doesn’t di­min­ish dur­ing the time it takes your funds to clear.

If you need a spe­cific amount of money in eu­ros each month – say to meet a mort­gage pay­ment – then you can also set up a ROP that will en­sure that the amount of ster­ling trans­ferred will match your de­sired quan­tity, re­gard­less of what the ex­change rate is do­ing.

Once you’ve put the wheels in mo­tion you’re free to re­lax and en­joy the French sun­shine.

Save on trans­fer fees One of the ma­jor ben­e­fits of us­ing a cur­rency bro­ker and their ROP ser­vice is in the sav­ings you can make com­pared to us­ing a bank thanks, in part, to the fact that you won’t have to pay any trans­fer fees. Many banks will charge a fee on each for­eign cur­rency trans­fer you make, av­er­ag­ing about £30 at a time. If you’re reg­u­larly mov­ing money from the UK to France, these charges can rapidly stack up. Based on that av­er­age trans­fer fee, if you use a cur­rency bro­ker you could in­stantly save up to £360 a year in trans­fer fees alone.

Banks and cur­rency bro­kers buy cur­rency from the ‘in­ter­bank’ mar­ket, ap­ply a mar­gin and sell it on to con­sumers. The mar­gin ap­plied can vary sig­nif­i­cantly and make a mas­sive dif­fer­ence to how much you re­ceive. Cur­rency bro­kers are gen­er­ally able to se­cure you more com­pet­i­tive ex­change rates than banks – so you get more for your money.

Ex­change rates are also vo­latile, mov­ing on an hourly ba­sis in re­sponse to all man­ner of stim­uli. If you don’t keep an eye on the rates, you could move your money when the mar­ket has moved against you, un­der­min­ing how much you’re able to re­ceive.

Some cur­rency bro­kers will send you reg­u­lar mar­ket up­dates, keep­ing you up to date with the ex­change rate news that mat­ters to you and help­ing you plan your cur­rency trans­fers ef­fec­tively.

What else can a cur­rency bro­ker of­fer?

Bro­kers also pro­vide ac­cess to many other ser­vices that set them apart from the banks.

If you need to move a sin­gle, larger sum of money to fund your move to France or a French prop­erty pur­chase, then you may wish to take out a for­ward con­tract, an agree­ment that can lock in the cur­rent ex­change rate for up to two years in ad­vance of mak­ing the trans­fer. This is es­pe­cially use­ful for those pur­chas­ing prop­erty abroad, as it al­lows you to bud­get ef­fec­tively and re­lax in the knowl­edge that you know ex­actly what your trans­fer will be worth no mat­ter what the mar­ket does.

Un­like a bank, a cur­rency bro­ker will also as­sign you a per­sonal ac­count man­ager, who will mon­i­tor the mar­ket, keep you up to date with ma­jor move­ments and pro­vide guid­ance on which trans­fer ser­vice suits you best. Some bro­kers also have on­line trad­ing plat­forms which al­low you to make cur­rency trans­fers 24/7, mon­i­tor the sta­tus of trans­fers, amend your ac­count in­for­ma­tion and view your trans­ac­tion his­tory.

No wor­ries If the cur­rent ex­change rate isn’t to your lik­ing then you could make use of ei­ther a limit or­der or stop loss or­der. A limit or­der in­structs your ded­i­cated ac­count man­ager to ex­e­cute your trans­fer as soon as the tar­get rate you’ve spec­i­fied be­comes avail­able.

A stop loss al­lows you to set a worst-case rate. If the mar­ket falls to this level your trans­fer will be trig­gered au­to­mat­i­cally, pro­tect­ing your funds from any fur­ther de­te­ri­o­ra­tion in the ex­change rate. Some opt to use both of these or­ders in con­junc­tion to guar­an­tee that their trans­fer will oc­cur within a set range, cre­at­ing greater peace of mind.

While money mat­ters have a bit of a rep­u­ta­tion for be­com­ing stress­ful, cur­rency trans­fers re­ally don’t have to be com­pli­cated. By look­ing into the op­tions for man­ag­ing your in­ter­na­tional money trans­fers ahead of time you can save time and money and keep those stress lev­els down.

A Reg­u­lar Over­seas Pay­ments ser­vice al­lows for re­cur­rent trans­fers to be made au­to­mat­i­cally with­out ad­di­tional has­sle

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