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Currency fluctuation issues

Anyone who intends to transfer money overseas must be mindful of currency fluctuations, experts have stated.

According to HiFX, the issue may sound like one that will only concern a small number of foreign exchange traders.

However, it told the Evening Standard that in the current global economic climate, it is actually an "issue for everyone" who has financial commitments outside the UK.

For instance, the group pointed out that people who own a foreign property, work in another country or make frequent international money transfers for their mortgage or pension stand to be affected by currency fluctuations.

HiFX has therefore advised these people to be very careful when transferring money in order to avoid paying over the odds unnecessarily.

The organisation has suggested these individuals use a currency specialist for international money transfers, as it believes this can work out much cheaper than using a high street bank.

This, it said, is because banks typically offer relatively poor exchange rates, as well as various other charges.

HiFX stated that banks have been able to do this because they know that only a very small number of customers will actually check precisely how much they are paying.

"As a result, they take advantage of a captive market and continue to cash in on our lethargy," it stated.

"By using a currency company, you'll avoid international banking fees and your money will get there a lot faster."

HiFX noted that people who use a currency broker to handle an international money transfer can end up cutting their costs by up to four per cent.

This could potentially work out at a large amount of money, depending on the size of the sum being transferred outside the UK.

HiFX added that if a particularly big amount is being sent overseas, timing the actual transfer can be very important. This, it said, is because people could be inadvertently "exposed to adverse moves in the currency market".

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