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Moving to Canada but unsure on how to bring money

Moving to Canada but unsure on how to bring money

Old Feb 14th 2020, 9:21 am
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Default Moving to Canada but unsure on how to bring money

Hello everyone,

My partner and I are soon moving from UK to Montreal, Quebec (Canada) in the next couple of months.

We have a relatively large amount of money (£) saved across both our UK Bank Accounts (Barclays and Santander). We would like to bring this money with us, but we are having a hard time to find the most cost effective method to do so, without losing too much on conversion rate, or without having to bring it all by hand.

I was wondering if anyone here had a similar experience and how did you deal with this? I've heard about Scotiabank Startright Program, where you can open an international account and transfer up to $50,000 CAD before moving to Canada. But there is the limit of 50k, and I am unsure how their conversion rate works. Maybe there's another more recommended method?

Any tips?

Thank you so much!
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Old Feb 14th 2020, 9:59 am
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Default Re: Moving to Canada but unsure on how to bring money

Are you planning to take the whole lot £ in one go? I've been researching options too.

Have you opened a Canadian bank account yet? For $50k-100k, I'd go with transferwise. Mid market rates, but a lot better than the banks.
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Old Feb 14th 2020, 10:28 am
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Default Re: Moving to Canada but unsure on how to bring money

Originally Posted by Winterdiva View Post
Are you planning to take the whole lot £ in one go? I've been researching options too.

Have you opened a Canadian bank account yet? For $50k-100k, I'd go with transferwise. Mid market rates, but a lot better than the banks.
Thank you for the reply.

And yes, I would like to take the whole lot of £ in one go. Problem is that I don't have a Canadian bank account just yet. I've been reading about transferwise, which seems to be the best-ish option, however I don't know how to go around the canadian bank account.

One option would be with Scotiabank's StartRight account, but that limit us on $50k CAD per account. Do you have any other suggestions?

Thank you!
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Old Feb 14th 2020, 11:13 am
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Default Re: Moving to Canada but unsure on how to bring money

Are you in the UK now? If you have your visas sorted, its fairly easy to open a bank account with HSBC. Contact their international banking team at 03456 076 706.

I read this on reddit :
Open an account at Interactive Broker. It's not for the faint hearted, it takes time, it's complicated, but you'll be able to have stuff in many currencies. You can then fund in GBP, convert some to EUR or USD at ridiculously good rates (in around 0.05% iirc), and buy stocks or ETFs in almost any exchange in the world, with very reasonable fees. Only problem is that you can't have any of it in an ISA, and it's complicated to get stuff with them in a SIPP.
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Old Feb 14th 2020, 12:38 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Canada but unsure on how to bring money

Originally Posted by Winterdiva View Post
Are you in the UK now? If you have your visas sorted, its fairly easy to open a bank account with HSBC. Contact their international banking team at 03456 076 706.

I read this on reddit :
Open an account at Interactive Broker. It's not for the faint hearted, it takes time, it's complicated, but you'll be able to have stuff in many currencies. You can then fund in GBP, convert some to EUR or USD at ridiculously good rates (in around 0.05% iirc), and buy stocks or ETFs in almost any exchange in the world, with very reasonable fees. Only problem is that you can't have any of it in an ISA, and it's complicated to get stuff with them in a SIPP.
Yes, I am still in the UK until April and I am a British citizen, with Permanent Residency Status in Canada.

I will have a read about HSBC's bank accounts then and how easy it will be if I get a international account. I just don't like the "idea" of keeping a bank account opened in the UK as well, if my intention is to move for good to canada.

Thank you!
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Old Feb 14th 2020, 12:48 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Canada but unsure on how to bring money

Originally Posted by mpitillo View Post
Yes, I am still in the UK until April and I am a British citizen, with Permanent Residency Status in Canada.

I will have a read about HSBC's bank accounts then and how easy it will be if I get a international account. I just don't like the "idea" of keeping a bank account opened in the UK as well, if my intention is to move for good to canada.

Thank you!

If you don’t pay a fee for your UK account, I suggest you keep it for a while. Once you leave the UK, you wouldn’t be able to open a UK account, and from time to time, you may find it advantageous to have one. There are regular requests from folk on these forums wanting to open a UK account after they leave, because of unexpected circumstances.
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Old Feb 14th 2020, 12:57 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Canada but unsure on how to bring money

What is the hurry? Wait until you are in Csnada, ope n a Canadian bank account, then transfer money from your UK account durect to your Canadian one using Transferwise. I openedca TD Trust newcomer account, no limit on money held on deposit.

I have transferred £GBP hundreds of thousands that way over teo or three years. I do it £50,000 at a time and move the money to TW using my Nationwide faster payments online facility, which is limited to £10,000 in a single transaction (so I do 5 in a row). Arrives in my Canadian bank account in about 36 hours.

And yes, keep your UK account open with a nominal sum.
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Old Feb 14th 2020, 1:35 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Canada but unsure on how to bring money

Thanks, everyone! This has made me question a few things, which is good. I appreciate all the help.

One quick question though - let's say that I follow the suggestion and wait until moving to Canada and opening an account, before transferring all the money. Would I be able to deal with everything online, using transferwise, or would there be requirements I will have to go through in person in the UK? As long as I don't have to be present in the UK at that point, I might follow this suggestions.

To be more specific, my current plan is to open two Scotiabank StartRight International accounts in Canada (for myself and my partner), while still in the UK. Use their 50k limit per account and transfer the money using Transferwise. Then once I am in Canada, I will open the proper Scotiabank account and finish transferring the rest online, while already in Canada. Would that work?

Are there any other specific Banks that you would recommend instead of Scotiabank?

Thanks!
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Old Feb 14th 2020, 1:45 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Canada but unsure on how to bring money

Originally Posted by mpitillo View Post
One quick question though - let's say that I follow the suggestion and wait until moving to Canada and opening an account, before transferring all the money. Would I be able to deal with everything online, using transferwise, or would there be requirements I will have to go through in person in the UK? As long as I don't have to be present in the UK at that point, I might follow this suggestions.
I can and have done verything online. I have an internet facility with Nationwide that does faster payments. I would have thought most UK accounts have this facility.

Originally Posted by mpitillo View Post
Are there any other specific Banks that you would recommend instead of Scotiabank?
Banks in Canada are all much of a muchness. Any will offer pretty much the same facilities. Flip a coin to choose!
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Old Feb 14th 2020, 2:13 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Canada but unsure on how to bring money

Originally Posted by Hurlabrick View Post
Banks in Canada are all much of a muchness. Any will offer pretty much the same facilities. Flip a coin to choose!
I'd avoid the TD. They seem to sell your transaction data to third parties. Every time I go to the bank someone phones afterward in the guise of being a customer survey but actually trying to sell stuff. I don't know whether or not other banks do this but there's a chance that they don't so I'd choose one of them. Scotiabank seem easy to deal with, I only have one account there but there's never been any sort of irregularity or improper behavior with that one. I gave up with Bank of Montreal as every statement had some inexplicable transaction requiring contacting the bank.
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Old Feb 14th 2020, 7:02 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Canada but unsure on how to bring money

Originally Posted by Twitcher1958 View Post
If you don’t pay a fee for your UK account, I suggest you keep it for a while. Once you leave the UK, you wouldn’t be able to open a UK account, and from time to time, you may find it advantageous to have one. There are regular requests from folk on these forums wanting to open a UK account after they leave, because of unexpected circumstances.
You actually can open a UK account from Canada - we just did open one with HSBC. I do wish we hadn't closed the one we had though. We want to pay voluntary contributions to NI and decided it would be simpler for that (and other reasons) to have a UK account, we have a GBP account here and can transfer money between the two for free. Obviously once we convert from GBP to CAD - or the other way then there is a cost.
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Old Feb 14th 2020, 8:12 pm
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Default Re: Moving to Canada but unsure on how to bring money

Originally Posted by Hurlabrick View Post
Banks in Canada are all much of a muchness. Any will offer pretty much the same facilities. Flip a coin to choose!
Agree for the main banks, however most of them charge a monthly account fee which can be avoided if you go to a credit union or online-only bank.
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Old Yesterday, 2:36 am
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Default Re: Moving to Canada but unsure on how to bring money

Don't close your UK bank account. You will need it in the future for something you would have never thought about.

All Canadian banks offer a special service to new immigrants. So your main priority is to build a credit history in Canada.

We opened an all inclusive check account with TD, stuck $5000 in straight away to eliminate any bank fees and got a cash back infinite visa for free with 3% cashback on all groceries. The big 5 banks are much the same. Most of our savings are with EQ bank earning 2.45% interest.

Tangerine is Scotiabank online service, similar to First Direct , HSBC online service in the UK.

Use TransferWise for all money exchange. It's easy to setup and monies will be in your Canadian bank within 24 hours. I would hold off transferring all your sterling in one go. Sterling is weak against the CAD at the moment and due to strengthen with a stable government in the UK. Canada has a weak minority government and is struggling to get the oil pipeline project on track.
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Old Yesterday, 2:45 am
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Default Re: Moving to Canada but unsure on how to bring money

Originally Posted by glendem4 View Post
Sterling is weak against the CAD at the moment and due to strengthen with a stable government in the UK. Canada has a weak minority government and is struggling to get the oil pipeline project on track.
It's your money and, if you wish, you can bet on the stability of the Cummings government. I wouldn't to that, no sir, I wouldn't do that.
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Old Yesterday, 9:23 am
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Default Re: Moving to Canada but unsure on how to bring money

Originally Posted by mpitillo View Post
Yes, I am still in the UK until April and I am a British citizen, with Permanent Residency Status in Canada.

I will have a read about HSBC's bank accounts then and how easy it will be if I get a international account. I just don't like the "idea" of keeping a bank account opened in the UK as well, if my intention is to move for good to canada.

Thank you!
What kind of Permanent Residency status? Are you landed already and what program did you immigrate under?

You realise as a new immigrant under most streams that you shouldn't be intending to move straight to Quebec, right? Not unless you were accepted for QSWP or became a PR as a spouse etc.
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