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Old Oct 30th 2017, 2:09 pm   #1
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Default Repatriating SAR back to UK. Help!!

Dear all - I have done a search on the forum and was unable to find this issue so am posting with the hope of resolution (big sigh).

I have just started working in KSA and have opened a current account at Riyad Bank, but I am having an awful time getting my salary transferred back to the UK at a decent rate.

Of course Riyad Bank can do it for me but the rate is truly dreadful.

I have engaged several UK based FX brokers (Caxtons, TorFX etc) and the rates are great, but the road block that I face in all instances is that these brokers hold their SAR accounts at UK banks and my bank does not support the transfer of SAR from a KSA account to a SAR account in another country. Computer says no.

Given the thousands of UK expats who must have gone through this problem already, there must be a solution and one that you can all help me with.

Thank you so much in advance
Andy
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Old Oct 31st 2017, 7:11 am   #2
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Default Re: Repatriating SAR back to UK. Help!!

What rate are you getting with Riyad if you don't mind me asking?

I'm with SABB and the rate for transfer is normally about 0.1 SAR higher than that shown on XE.

I did one the other day while XE was at 4.93 SAR / 1 GBP and the bank rate was about 5.03 SAR. If it's much worse than that it may be worth changing banks.
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Old Oct 31st 2017, 7:29 am   #3
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Default Re: Repatriating SAR back to UK. Help!!

Thanks for responding.

Bloomberg shows 4.9560 and I have just logged onto my Riyad Bank account and they are offering me 5.0760

Typically FX brokers will take 0.025 margin giving you a rate of 4.9810 but of course I need to get the SAR to a SAR account in the UK.

How does everyone do it today??
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Old Oct 31st 2017, 10:38 am   #4
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Default Re: Repatriating SAR back to UK. Help!!

Fill out a telegraphic transfer form and stipulate that it MUST go in SAR. Insist that they try and that you will pay any fees if the payment is rejected. It will work and once they know that, they'll do it for you.

I've been transferring for over three years with TorFX and another company. The first time, SABB refused. TorFX assured me they had customers with SABB doing it, so I went back and insisted (nice and politely). They did it, it worked, they learned something and since then I've transferred on a regular basis. Use the same branch so the same people get to know you.

TorFX has the best rates I've ever found in five years of transferring SAR.
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Old Oct 31st 2017, 11:24 am   #5
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Default Re: Repatriating SAR back to UK. Help!!

Thank you Sicklyman for the response - very much appreciated.

I have a bit of a story:
  • I tried to add the UK SAR account as beneficary as part of on-line banking and it did not work.
  • Got it raised with Riyad Bank IT who had a look and told me to do it manually
  • Went to my branch of Riyad Bank and filled out the telegraphic form.
  • Computer said no
  • I even took one of my Arab colleagues with me

I guess I am just looking for a precedent that I can lay before these chaps in a logical manner to prove that it already occurs.

Can I ask who you bank with? (I am willing to change banks in order to save myself £500 a month)
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Old Nov 1st 2017, 10:11 am   #6
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Default Re: Repatriating SAR back to UK. Help!!

SABB - and their online banking doesn't accept the SAR UK account either. I have to go in to the branch and do it via the transfer form. Gets me out of the office for a bit...

If they've tried it and it doesn't work when they do it in the branch, then you need a new bank if you are committed to this.

I know you've sent me a PM but it's probably best keeping the info here so that others can learn from it... unless it's personal of course.
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