How to send large sums of money to the UK from abroad

1. What is the best way to transfer a large amount of money to the UK?>
2. The steps involved in sending money to the UK >
3. What bank details are needed to send Sterling to the UK >
4. How long does it take to transfer money from EU to a UK bank? >
5. Why your high-street bank may not be the best choice for sending large cross-border payments: >
6. How Fexco can help >

Sending money to the United Kingdom from abroad can be a straightforward process once you understand the steps involved and the associated costs. You now have more options beyond traditional banks, offering cheaper, easier, and often faster ways to send money internationally. 

Overseas payments to the United Kingdom can be made using these methods:

MethodDescriptionSpeedAdvantagesDisadvantagesSuitable for large amounts
International Money Transfer Service Convenient services offering various payout options Quick- Lower fees and rates are often more favourable than the traditional bank.

- Often more accessibility to banks worldwide.

- Streamlined payment options.
Client is required to sign up to tradeModerate to Large amounts
ACH (Automated Clearing House) Using in country payment systemsSimilar to money transfers but through a network of banks. Requires bank-specific instructions.ModerateWide accessibility, lower feesSlower processing compared to some methodsModerate to large amounts.
Traditional Bank transfersDirect transfer between banks, requiring recipient's bank info. Quick, fees depend on institution.ModerateSpeed and reliabilityLittle transparencyLarge amounts.
Cash-to-Cash TransferDrop off cash for pickup at a transfer centre.QuickQuick access for the recipient, convenienceFees can be relatively high, limited to cashModerate to large amounts.
Prepaid Debit CardsTransfer funds via a debit card for recipient's use.QuickConvenient for recipient, versatile usageActivation or monthly fees may applySmall to moderate amounts.
Foreign Currency ChequeIssue cheques in foreign currency, sent to recipient's local bank.SlowSimple process, local bank accessibilitySlower processing, processing feesModerate to large amounts.

 

1. What is the best way to transfer a large amount of money to the UK?

When transferring a significant amount of money to the United Kingdom or vice versa, opting for a specialised money transfer service is often the best choice. 

This choice is primarily driven by the likelihood of securing a more favourable exchange rate in comparison to what a typical high street bank would offer. 

According to a recent survey conducted by Swift.com, which involved over 4,205 consumers globally, individuals prioritise trust, security, and transparency when selecting an international payment provider for their overseas transfers.  

Specialised payment providers are generally considered superior for international payments involving substantial sums due to their solutions that enhance security and reliability. 

These providers offer dedicated and easily accessible support, a feature often lacking at digital banks and typical high street banks. 

Payment FX specialists utilise extensive relationships with banks and financial institutions to provide their clients with competitive exchange rates and reduced fees, outperforming the services of traditional banks. 

Their in-depth understanding of the foreign exchange market ensures clients can access personalised solutions, making them the preferred choice for cost-effective and streamlined cross-border transactions between Ireland and the United Kingdom.  

  

2. The steps involved in sending money to the UK:

Step 1 – Identity Verification 

Before initiating the money transfer from abroad to the UK, your identity needs to be verified to comply with global anti-money laundering regulations. Typically, verification is quick and easy. You may be asked to provide: 

  • A copy of your passport/driver’s license and a recent utility bill as proof of address. 

It is advisable to complete this step well in advance, even if you are not ready to transfer immediately. 

  

Step 2 – Lock in an Exchange Rate (i.e. EUR to GBP) 

 The next step involves locking in an exchange rate for converting your local currency to British Pounds (GBP). You will need to specify the amount of GBP you wish to purchase. 

Your money transfer specialist will then provide a live quote for the your local currency/GBP exchange rate. 

Remember that no transaction will occur without your authorization. If you decide to proceed, the specialist will secure the agreed-upon exchange rate for your transaction. 

  

Step 3 – Submit your local currency to be exchanged (i.e. CAD/EUR/USD/AUD to GBP)

Before the money transfer to the UK can take place, you will need to send in your currency to be convert to the designated bank account of your payment processor. 

  

Step 4 – Currency Conversion and Transfer 

Once your bank or money transfer specialist receives your currency, the converted funds will then be transferred to the UK bank account you have specified.  

 

Get a bank-beating FX rate for your overseas payments to the UK

Get a quote

 

 

3. What bank details are needed to send Sterling to the UK

When transferring money to a UK beneficiary Sterling bank account, ensure you have the following information: 

InformationDescription
Recipient’s Full NameThe recipients complete name as it appears on their UK bank account.
Recipient’s Sort Code & Account Number 

OR 

BIC/SWIFT & IBAN 
- A sort code is made up of 6-digits, serving as a bank code for identifying the bank location associated with a bank account. 
- An account number is made up of 8-digits. 

 

- The BIC (Bank Identifier Code) is typically 8 to 11 digits. It uniquely identifies the branch of the bank. BICs are also commonly referred to as SWIFT Codes.  
- The IBAN consists of up to 34 alphanumeric characters, such as the country code and bank account number.
 

If you’re interested in learning more about IBAN, read our in-depth article for a further explanation. 

 

What is a BIC?

A BIC (Bank Identifier Code) uniquely identifies the bank you are transferring money to. BICs are commonly referred to as SWIFT Codes. 

Some Bank Identifier Code examples within the UK: 

CodeFinancial institution
ABBYGB2LXXXSantander Bank
HBUKGB4BXXXHSBC
BARCGB22XXXBarclays Bank UK
BOFSGB2SXXXBank of Scotland PLC
NWBKGB2LXXXNational Westminster Bank (Natwest)
 

Learn more about SWIFT/BIC in our blog. 

 

4. How long does it take to transfer money from EU to a UK bank?

Depending on where you are sending money from, typically EU to UK transfers can take 1-5 working days with traditional banks. 

However, the duration may vary based on the receiving bank’s internal checks and the time of day the funds are sent. 

Some Irish high-street banks can charge up to €25 extra if you need funds to reach your UK account the same working day.  

At Fexco, we do not charge extra for same-day/next-day payment delivery. 

Trades booked with Fexco before the 2:00 pm cut-off time can be delivered to the UK the same/next working day, provided instructions and settlement funds are received on time. 

 

5. Why your high-street bank may not be the best choice for sending large cross-border payments:

Cap on transfer amounts

Some of the larger banks in Ireland have daily online limits to how much you can send abroad for personal customers. Fexco does not apply a daily limit on the amount you can transfer. 

BankDaily online limitCost per transaction
Permanent TSB€10,000Outside of the EU €31.50 + FX rate markup
Bank of Ireland (BOI)€20,000€5 + FX rate markup
Allied Irish Bank (AIB)€10,000€6.35 + FX rate markup for amounts over €127

Sources: Permanent TSB, BOI, AIB

 

Poor rates and fees

Traditional banks often offer less competitive exchange rates and higher fees for international money transfers. 

On average, traditional banks charge transfer fees ranging from €20 to €40 per transaction, and their exchange rates can have a markup of up to 5% above the mid-market rate. 

For example, if you’re purchasing a property in the UK valued at €500,000, a 5% markup on the exchange rate could cost you an additional €25,000. 

Opting for specialized providers like Fexco, on the other hand, can result in significantly lower fees and competitive transparent FX rates, potentially saving you thousands on large transactions. 

 

No dedicated support

Traditional banks lack specialized customer support for international transactions, as they offer a wide array of services, making their staff less knowledgeable in this area. 

According to the Irish Times, Irish bank customers have faced frustratingly long waits for telephone support, enduring delays of up to two hours. 

A review released by the Central Bank revealed that as many as 50% of one bank’s customers opted to disconnect their calls before reaching a human representative, underscoring serious inefficiencies in customer service within the banking sector. 

Neo banks, while technically advanced, may not always handle complex issues well via online channels. Customers often prefer direct phone or in-person assistance. 

For transfers over €5,000, using a specialist like Fexco ensures peace of mind. We provide real-time updates and immediate assistance over the phone for any concerns, ensuring a smooth transaction process. 

 

How Fexco can help

Fexco Corporate Payments Limited (t/a Fexco Corporate Payments) is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland and is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for the conduct of payment business in the UK  

Fexco specialises in facilitating cross-border bank-to-bank transfers for various purposes, including property purchases/sales, repatriating salaries/pensions/investments, regular transfers between bank accounts, and offering commercial FX solutions for business clients. 

If you are transferring a significant sum of money to a bank account in the United Kingdom, our team will assist you throughout the entire process. 

For those requiring regular transfers to the United Kingdom, our online payments platform, PayDirect, enables convenient transfers at your convenience, all from the comfort of your own home. 

 

Get a free quote for your GBP transfers today.


 

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