The Fixer: Money transfer charges

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The Fixer logo Have you been left out of pocket due to poor service or sharp practice? Do you have a money problem that won't go away?

It can seem impossible to get a fair result when you are battling a financial issue alone. But never fear! The AOL Money Fixer is here to help.


Dear Fixer,
I need to send £3,000 to my daughter, who is currently studying in Italy.

I usually change pounds into euros in this country and take the cash over with me when I visit her. However, she needs to pay for something for her course and I do not have a visit planned until November.

She has an Italian bank account, but the account will only accept euros so I need to get the money changed somehow.

I have been into my bank Lloyds TSB to ask about making a transfer of this kind. It told me that there would be a £20 transfer fee for this service.

The interest rate it is offering also seems poor compared to the interest rates I could get by changing my money at the Post Office, for example.

Is there a better way to transfer money to an Italian bank account?

E Mason, Barking

Dear Mr Mason,

The exchange rate you receive and the charges you pay make a big difference to the cost of sending money overseas.

Most high street banks charge at least £20 per transaction and offer below par exchange rates.

Fortunately, however, you can slash the cost of international transfers by using a foreign exchange specialist rather than a high street bank. Companies offering international money transfers include HiFX, Global Reach Partners and World First.

They generally offer attractive exchange rates, while many have no transfer charges - although you should double check this as transfers of less than £5,000 can attract higher fees.

Other advantages include that many transfers can be arranged online or over the phone and that the money should generally arrive at its destination within a few days at most.

But beware: the companies mentioned above are all Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) authorised and regulated.

Not all money transfer companies are, though, and using them could therefore mean you ending up out of pocket if something goes wrong.

The Fixer

Whatever your financial problem, write to themoneyfixer@aim.com and The AOL Money Fixer will get on the case.