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
Buy to let mortgage lenders are sighing with relief after the European parliament voted to exclude landlord loans from tough new lending rules.
The UK’s Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML) has campaigned long and hard for
buy to let to be treated as a commercial loan rather than a residential mortgage, which was the initial thrust of the European directive on credit agreements relating to residential property (CARRP).
After intensive lobbying, the European Parliament’s ECON committee voted to
leave buy to let lending outside of the directive.
“We’re pleased to see that many of the long standing issues we have been
lobbying on have reached a positive outcome for the UK. So for example, the UK
would be able to exempt buy to let from the directive,” said a CML spokesman.
“However, some provisions have been included which only emerged at a late
stage of negotiations but which may not have had their full implications considered and we will continue to work on these issues as the directive goes into its next stage of discussions.”
CARRP is aimed at implementing a Europe-wide mortgage policy, but UK lenders
claimed this was unfair on buy to let landlords as the UK market differs significantly from the rest of Europe.
In most European countries, the buy to let market is either fledgling or developed through lending to companies rather than individual investors.
UK residential mortgages will come under the CARRP rules.
As a result, mortgage lenders will have to strengthen underwriting for loans, offer a cooling off period to borrowers and will have less power to repossess properties if homeowners fall in to arrears on mortgage repayments.
“Parliament has given a qualitative breakthrough regarding the initial text. We now have more ambitious legislation which establishes the international golden standards bringing in the principles recently adopted by the Financial Stability Board”, said the directive’s main champion Antolin Sanchez Presedo after the vote.
“We introduced a new chapter on financial education, strengthened information
to consumers, established a reflection period and the possibility to receive
good advice as well as fair principles for crisis situations.”
House prices and the state of the property market have probably hit rock bottom, according to banks and building societies.
Property values are about to level out and then show a modest increase, says the Council of Mortgage Lenders (CML), which speaks for all Britain’s major mortgage lenders.
Mortgage availability is also ‘broadly stable’ and has remained at around the same levels for two years, adds the CML.
The housing market analysis is based on the latest economic figures released by the government and the Bank of England.
The CML backs a Treasury forecast that suggest house prices have bottomed out and will stabilise over the next 18 months or so before beginning to rise in line with wage inflation.
“Despite the weakness of consumer sentiment associated with ongoing pressure on household incomes and the uncertain economic outlook, there are no signs of significant house price falls,” said CML chief economist Bob Pannell.
“Values continue to be strongly underpinned by the limited volumes of new build and forced sales. While current survey data suggests that house prices nationally may be drifting modestly lower in nominal terms, the prevailing view among economists is for house prices to stabilise through 2012 and then revert to growth of four to five per cent per year from 2014 onwards.”
Meanwhile, research by the Intermediary Mortgage Lenders Association (IMLA), the trade body representing lenders that market products through brokers, has revealed 34 per cent of intermediaries believe standard mortgage business levels will improve during the fourth quarter of the year, with 26 per cent expecting business levels to increase between three per cent and seven per cent.
IMLA chairman John Heron said: “This positive attitude from intermediaries is a reflection of the general improvement seen recently in the mortgage market. The pickup is slow but market conditions are gradually improving, particularly in the buy-to-let and remortgage markets.”
Now could be the time to look at your mortgage payments and re-mortgage for a better deal before the rates start to climb. Contact me for a quote LINK