Banking question

Old Nov 13th 2015, 9:57 pm
  #1  
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Default Banking question

Hi all,

Coming back over to KSA to work in the next week or two.
However, this time I will be getting paid in SAR, not in GBP.
I badly need advice on how I can transfer my salary back to my UK account, as cheaply as possible?
I'm currently with Santander, but they are less than useless and don't recognise the SAR. I may transfer my account to HSBC?
Could I open a SABB account and transfer my salary back in GBP??
Any advice welcome.

TIA
DS
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Old Nov 15th 2015, 6:34 am
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Default Re: Banking question

Yes you can.
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Old Nov 15th 2015, 6:38 am
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Default Re: Banking question

I just do a bank transfer. If you find some where cheaper that's great. But you're arguying about 50quid, not 5000quid
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Old Nov 16th 2015, 3:36 am
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Default Re: Banking question

Banking system i9n Saudi Arabia is surprisingly modern and is geared up to make rapid international transfers. Your SAR salary will be paid into a bank in Saudi Arabia. Get them to transfer to a bank in the UK - or anywhere else.
It would be sensible to open an account with the bank that your employer uses. Banks in Saudi routinely offer electronic banking and have a helpline where you can dal with Engli9sh-speaking advisors.
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Old Nov 17th 2015, 8:34 am
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Default Re: Banking question

do not send it via the bank. Yes, it's incredibly convenient but they will hammer you on the exchange rate. You'll easily lose £200 on a £3000 transfer.

Get a SABB account and use GCEN to transfer SAR out of the country to GCEN's SAR account in London and then to your bank. The staff in your SABB branch will probably tell you that this is impossible, but they're wrong. If they try it, it will work. AFter that, they'll know what you're trying to do. The only downside is that you have to go into the branch to send the cash. If you have a Premier account though, you can beat the queues and get private service which makes it a very quick 10 min job. I've been doing it for two years and even old timers could not find a rate to beat it when we compared historic exchange rates for the methods they were using.

Google GCEN. It's based in the UAE.
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Old Nov 18th 2015, 5:15 pm
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Default Re: Banking question

Thanks for all the replies guys, much appreciated.
I did suspect that using the banks themselves would be prohibitively expensive, between the poor exchange rates and the transfer fees!
I was with SABB before and they were great.....but going into the bank to close my account was a nightmare, took me over 2 hours with only 3 people in front of me!!!!!
I'll look into the GCEN sicklyman, thank you.

Regards
DS

Edit: I don't see SAR in their list of currencies though!

Last edited by david999; Nov 18th 2015 at 5:19 pm.
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Old Nov 18th 2015, 6:50 pm
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Default Re: Banking question

Xe.com does SAR exchanges. You might find a slightly better rate elsewhere, but xe.com belongs to Western Union, a well established and reputable company.
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Old Nov 28th 2015, 6:46 pm
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Default Re: Banking question

Just an update in case this info is of use to anyone else.
XE.com DON'T do SAR transfers from a Saudi bank account, confirmed by email.
I've opened an account with GCEN, they don't do it yet, but will in a couple of weeks and their rates seem pretty competitive.

Regards
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Old Nov 28th 2015, 7:01 pm
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Default Re: Banking question

Look at setting up a foreign currency a/c with HL.co.uk. Don't know if they do SAR, but worth investigating.
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Old Nov 29th 2015, 4:23 am
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Default Re: Banking question

I had a text last week to say Al Moudi Exchange have started transfering back to the UK and Europe again (they stopped for six months, no idea why), if you're in the Western Provinces definitely the best and easiest way to transfer, on an average transfer home I can save about 500-600 SAR against doing a transfer with the bank.
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Old Nov 29th 2015, 8:00 am
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Default Re: Banking question

Originally Posted by david999 View Post
I've opened an account with GCEN, they don't do it yet
they definitely allow you to transfer Saudi riyals out of the country and have for at least the last two years. Are you talking about something different than walking into a bank such as SABB and transferring cash out via a cash transfer form?

If something new is happening at GCEN that saves me having to go to an actual bank, it would be good to have details.
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Old Nov 30th 2015, 7:01 pm
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Default Re: Banking question

@Sicklyman

Email from GCEN:

"We do normally trade this currency but we recently have changed treasury providers, so we currently do not have a SAR account open at the moment.
When our new accounts open we will be trading SAR again, so this should be open in the next few weeks, all of our clients will be notified when all the new accounts are open."

I would have thought it should be possible to do an online transfer from some type of bill payment, but would depend on the Saudi bank probably. I don't remember what you could/couldn't do with SABB's online banking! For example, would be nice to set up a bill payment to GCEN's account and do it online, same as you can do in the UK.
Would definitely beat going into the bank once a month!!!!

Regards
DS
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Old Dec 1st 2015, 8:12 am
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Default Re: Banking question

thanks for that. Yes, I received an email saying things were in flux but the email I received seemed to indicate that there was still the opportunity to trade:

"Our RBS bank accounts are now closed so when sending funds please ensure that you have the correct GCEN bank details. If you have sent funds to RBS, the funds would have been returned back to you. If this is the case, you would need to contact your account manager, who will happily provide GCEN's new bank account details. "
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