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Transferring USD (offshore) to GBP (onshore) - best to use an exchange co?

Transferring USD (offshore) to GBP (onshore) - best to use an exchange co?

Old Aug 10th 2014, 6:02 am
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Default Transferring USD (offshore) to GBP (onshore) - best to use an exchange co?

Yo!

Back in the UK and buying a hideously overpriced house.

Got a fair amount of cash in USD in my offshore (Lloyds).

Should I (or can I):-

i - transfer direct to my UK current account (HSBC)?
ii - transfer to my UK current account using an exchange specialist (I'd use the one Meow has very kindly recommended in the past)
iii - somehow make the payment direct from offshore account to the vendor or solicitor

It's a big enough amount to do some proper research (OK...to ask BE)

Best

flares

ps hammering it down outside
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Old Aug 10th 2014, 9:09 am
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Default Re: Transferring USD (offshore) to GBP (onshore) - best to use an exchange co?

Use an exchange company. No question you'll get the best rates for larger sums and you also get the paper trail if asked.

Good luck with the house purchase.
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Old Aug 10th 2014, 9:56 am
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Default Re: Transferring USD (offshore) to GBP (onshore) - best to use an exchange co?

Yup, always check with reputable exchange companies - they usually beat bank rates.

I work with two UK registered and regulated FX companies who I recommend for my clients. I'd be very surprised if you can find better rates (with a paper trail as Meow mentioned) elsewhere.

N.
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Old Aug 10th 2014, 6:46 pm
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Default Re: Transferring USD (offshore) to GBP (onshore) - best to use an exchange co?

Thanks both
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Old Aug 11th 2014, 2:37 am
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Default Re: Transferring USD (offshore) to GBP (onshore) - best to use an exchange co?

check with all - exchange companies and banks. sometimes HSBC has surprised me (in a good way).

for this kind of money you need to do the sums (including fees for transfers both on sending side, but also on receiving side). I once got caught sending money back to Europe, and the European bank charged me almost 1000 euros simply to receive the money (as they have a charge to receive percentage).
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Old Aug 11th 2014, 7:13 am
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Default Re: Transferring USD (offshore) to GBP (onshore) - best to use an exchange co?

I suspect your over-priced house price in the UK back in 2009 is now properly over-priced in 2014 ! Just confirm what others have written here, definitely use an independent money broker who will always be much cheaper than the banks.
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Old Aug 18th 2014, 9:13 am
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Default Re: Transferring USD (offshore) to GBP (onshore) - best to use an exchange co?

Maybe too late for now, but in case it helps in the future... I've always found money brokers better for amounts less than about GBP30k, but last time I needed to make a larger transfer I discovered that the rates offered by HSBC (Jersey) got much better once the amount is more than that - though you need to speak to them by phone rather than try to do it all online. The rate they quoted me was almost identical to both the money brokers I tried, and they could process the entire transaction over the phone (as it was between my existing HSBC accounts in different countries) rather than requiring all the paperwork that the brokers needed. I think the amount that reached my UK bank was about GBP12 less than the money brokers' offering (on a GBP35 transfer), but a lot less hassle.
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Old Aug 18th 2014, 9:58 am
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Default Re: Transferring USD (offshore) to GBP (onshore) - best to use an exchange co?

archie - you can get the transfers done for free* if you are an HSBC Premier customer, and if you go to Global Transfers between accounts, anything above 30k GBP does attract a better rater. this is actually automated, since I transferred about 2k GBP to my UK account at a much worse rate than the 30 second later 30k GBP to my Jersey account. there's no need to call, since the person on the other end of the phone line checks the same computer as the online computer does

*free = nothing is ever for free, but at least you don't pay transfer fees and get hit by the exchange rate (which always happens with the buy/sell differentiator)
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Old Aug 18th 2014, 10:19 am
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Default Re: Transferring USD (offshore) to GBP (onshore) - best to use an exchange co?

No, that's not the case - or at least, the relationship manager I spoke to said (and proved) that she could always get a better rate than the one offered online if the amount was more than 30k. It took her about 20 mins, and involved her speaking to the HSBC treasury department (or some such name) to negotiate a rate, but she got a much better deal than the one I was offered by online global transfer.

The "free Premier Global Transfer" is nothing other than a con-trick. Yes, they won't charge you a 20 pound transfer fee (or whatever they call it), but they get the money back in the exchange rate they offer you. I've done this loads of times, and using a money transfer company is always significantly better value than the "free transfers" - apart from larger sums, over 30k as I said before, when HSBC seemed able to get very, very close to the money transfer company rates (Money Corp and Currencies Direct were the 2 I tried last time, as I have accounts with them and one other). But I repeat what she said to me, and proved when I tested it - the best rate needs to be negotiated over the phone. I don't know whether it helped that I already had rates from the money brokers, which I told her, and said she'd need to match or get very close to if she wanted the deal.
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Old Sep 1st 2014, 12:13 pm
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Default Re: Transferring USD (offshore) to GBP (onshore) - best to use an exchange co?

Used GCEN and all went through without hitch.

The rate I secured with them was a lot better than the one the bank gave.
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