If you’re planning to transfer currency for an overseas investment, you’ll probably
talk to your high-street bank. Don’t! You’ll save money by going to a specialist
currency exchange dealer.
Send all your international transfers through currency dealers rather than banks. Why?
They give you a better exchange rate, lower costs and a speedier service. This is a constant source of annoyance to the banks but they can't compete with dealers.
An average high-street bank will probably offer spot rate (the real, interbank, rate of exchange), less 4 per cent. An average currency dealer will offer an ordinary customer spot rate, less 2 per cent. On a £100,000 transfer you save £2,000 on the exchange rate alone.
The dealers will be quicker too. In the days before currency dealers became popular, the money would be send by a UK bank to another country via another bank in the local country who would then eventually send it to the end bank. There were three banks involved but, more crucially, there would be a bank in the middle that didn't really care how long it took them to send the money!
Check the Charges
When it comes to comparing dealers, it is worth remembering that, in addition to
exchange rate differences, there are also differences in charges. Currency dealers typically charge less than high-street banks for transferring money abroad. In fact, many of them don't charge anything at all or, more accurately, they incorporate the fees into the exchange rate.
One example of this is - two transfers to Turkey done through a well-known high-street bank. The first for £100,000 and the second was for £200,000. The high street bank charged fees of £535 and £1035 respectively. This is a total of £1,570 just in bank charges.
A currency dealer would have charged either nothing or a nominal amount such as £20 (i.e. a saving of £1,550). And remember that this is in addition to the exchange rate differences (which probably amount to another couple of thousand pounds).
Link to our currency exchange partner page - LINK
Here’s how it works. When you’re on the beach, you’ll be offered scratch cards. They’re a euro or two, that’s all. But you could win a big prize. And guess what, you’ve gone and won a big one! All you’ve got to do is go along to a free holiday presentation to collect it.
Holidaymakers do. Heck, why not? It’s only a morning and it’s a real big prize! The
presentation’s slick and impressive and you’re offered the chance to join an exclusive holiday club offering exciting, value-for-money holidays all over the world. Only the very best accommodation and at really low prices – after all, you’re in the club.
And people sign up! Problem is you could get the same holidays at the same prices
online and even at your local travel agency. Even worse, by the time you get home, that holiday club has disappeared.
The OFT’s Advice
The OFT warns consumers about what happens. They’re saying that 400,000 UK consumers fall victim to these clubs at a cost of over £1 billion each and every year.
400,000! That’s a city the size of Bristol. This is a big scam and lots of ordinary people are being conned. The con-artists say that the special discounted offer is only valid for that day, encouraging people to sign up or miss out.
These scam-artists just won’t let you go. You’re never left alone to discuss anything
with your partner. And you are given a very limited time to view the contract!
The Bottom Line
The OFT says that if you go along to a presentation you should ask three simple questions. Do you give cooling off rights? Is everything you promised in the presentation in the contract? Can I take away the contract to consider at my leisure?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, walk away. That’s sometimes easier
said than done. Some presentations last so long that some people sign up just to get away.
The best advice is simple – don’t even buy the scratch card in the first place! Have a great holiday. Get a tan. Have a nice swim. Go and see the sights. And don’t get conned by this scam.
For the best holiday money rates follow the link - CURRENCY
Following a summer in which Britain tripped on its own shoelaces in economic terms, the Bank of England has ridden to the rescue and announced another £75bn in quantitative easing.
This could provide a much-needed shot in the arm. The BoE puts the impact of the previous round of £200bn quantitative easing (following the 2008 crash) at between 1.5 per cent and 2.0 per cent GDP. Of course, the bank cannot guarantee QE2 can provide an equal boost – but it is optimistic.
(For blog followers that don’t know, quantitative easing is the process of injecting funds – hence, shot in the arm - into the market in hopes that businesses use the cash to invest. This then prompts economic growth.)
BoE heroics aside, data from Britain in the last week has, in fact, been on the sunny side.
Output in the dominant Services sector leapt to 51.1 last month according to the latest PMI - beating expectations of a decline to 48.9. This tells us that Services continues to expand in spite of the economic doom and gloom. In addition, the latest Price Producer Index (measuring the change in prices charged on domestic output) jumped to 1.7 per cent last month against 1.4 per cent forecasts.
Turning to the Eurozone, economic conditions continue to resemble an old piece of bread that has been left in the sun too long: becoming rapidly mouldy.
Last month, EU retail sales dived -1.0 per cent - collapsing more than 0.2 per cent expectations. In addition, German factory orders dropped -1.4 per cent.
In fact, so dire has the situation become that French and German leaders Angela Merkel and Nicholas Sarkozy clubbed together over the weekend promising to announce a once-and-for-all solution to Eurozone woes at an upcoming G20 conference. The markets await this with baited breath.
In light of ongoing Eurozone turmoil, the US dollar has gone from strength to strength as investors flee to safe haven currencies.
This is although economic data from the US has been tepid at best. For instance, the latest Non-Farm Payroll data (measuring new jobs created in non-agricultural areas) beat expectations – jumping to 103k last month against 73k forecasts. This though is beneath the 125k figure needed to reduce the US unemployment rate.
Currency dealings - link
Governor King’s Inflation Report press conference will provide a timely update on how the Bank of England is viewing current financial market developments. The Inflation Report itself will contain medium-term forecasts for the economy. Lloyds TSB have argued that the Bank’s growth forecasts appear too optimistic and its central case is likely to be revised down from just under 2% this year and 2½% next. This is particularly true with the apparent materialisation of downside risks from the Eurozone. Lloyds TSB would also expect to see an associated softening in next year’s inflation outlook (although for 2011 should remain broadly unchanged) despite a boost from lower market rates that the Bank uses to condition these projections. Yet these forecasts still look likely to suggest a set of economic conditions very different from those that led the Bank to ease monetary policy to its historic lows. Nevertheless, with global financial markets threatening to reverse developed economies recoveries, the MPC’s discussions will be dominated by assessments of how much damage the current financial turmoil will wreak on the real economy. This week’s trade release will gauge the ongoing pace of rebalancing in the economy. May saw the deficit widen with trade (including services) breaching the £4.0bn mark for the first time this year. Much of this reflected a jump in imports that Lloyds TSB expect to reverse in June. Accordingly Lloyds TSB forecast the deficit narrowing to £3.8bn. However, Q2 looks unlikely to provide further evidence of an export led recovery. Export volumes look likely to have fallen in Q2 and net trade should have detracted from growth. As with the wider economy, one-off factors affected Q2. But with global economic activity seemingly slowing, export prospects have weakened.
The final release of the quarter is always somewhat historical, with preliminary estimates inferred from the GDP release. Official estimates for manufacturing that recorded a 0.3% contraction in Q2, consistent with a 0.2% rise in June. However, Lloyds TSB suspect that oil production staged a bigger rebound in June than assumed, something that would lead to a 0.6% rise in the wider industrial measure and result in a 1.3% quarterly decline (1.4% estimated). This will have little impact on Q2 GDP, but would provide some support for the expected rebound in oil in Q3. Given market developments, focus has now shifted to the likely pace of Q3 expansion.
Written by Ashley Ingle - Excel Currencies
August 8, 2011 at 10:57 AM
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