Ex­change rate fees

Living France - - Les Pratiques -

Will you have to bud­get for fees for mov­ing your money to France? It de­pends on which ser­vice provider you use. High street banks are likely to charge you a fee to send money abroad. How­ever, rep­utable currency bro­kers usu­ally don’t charge a fee – be­cause of their size and sole fo­cus on for­eign ex­change, bro­kers can of­fer highly com­pet­i­tive ex­change rates as well, mak­ing sure you get the most for your money. In­stead of be­ing a ‘cost’, the ser­vices of a currency bro­ker can ac­tu­ally help you deal with the other out­lays in­volved in pur­chas­ing a prop­erty more eas­ily.

Depend­ing on the type of trans­fer you make, there may be up­front costs to con­sider. Many peo­ple in­tend­ing to pur­chase a for­eign prop­erty like to use a for­ward con­tract to pro­tect them from currency risk. With a for­ward con­tract, the ex­change rate at the time the con­tract is ar­ranged is fixed for up to two years.

When the time comes to trans­fer your money, you do so at the ex­change rate you se­cured and not at the cur­rent mar­ket rate. This can make a dif­fer­ence of thou­sands of eu­ros if the mar­kets weaken while you are ne­go­ti­at­ing your pur­chase. It also helps you to bud­get, as you’ll al­ways know ex­actly how much ster­ling you’ll need to get the re­quired sum of eu­ros.

You may have to pay a de­posit when you take out a for­ward con­tract – it’s a legally bind­ing con­tract that must be hon­oured – but this isn’t an ex­tra cost, as it’ll be trans­ferred into eu­ros at the same time as the rest of your money is sent to com­plete the pur­chase.

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