Friday 22 June 2012

Transferring money from AU to UK

Things didn't quite go according to plan with transferring our money to the HSBC account we've set up in the UK.  It was mostly my own fault but as it's turned out it has worked in our favour.  On Tuesday I went to the branch where we set up our accounts.  We filled in a telegraphic transfer form to have the funds transferred from out Australian HSBC account to the UK one.  I got to the branch at 3.35pm only to discover that the cut off time for TT's is 3.30pm.  I left the completed form with the very helpful staff and they would ring me the following morning to tell me what exchange rate they were offering.  We could then decide whether to go ahead or not.

The next problem we encountered was that I filled in the form for the exact round amount that we had sitting in the account.  There was no money left to pay he fee of $25.  I intended to transfer some extra into the HSBC account that night, hoping it would be there in time for the morning phone call.  My brother and his wife took me out for dinner when I went to stay with them and when we got home I was so tired I went to bed soon after.... forgetting all about transferring money to HSBC.  Next morning when the phone call came, it was with the problem of the fee again.  There is no HSBC branch outside of Melbourne and I couldn't go down there again for the sake of a $25 fee - I was at work!  It would have to wait another day. 

I decided to have a look at what rate HSBC were offering that day for internet transfers.  The guy at the bank had shown me how to do it - by setting up a transfer and just cancelling it when the rate comes up rather than accepting it.  There was one thing he'd forgotten to tell me - you have to choose an amount in GBP, not in Aussie dollars.  My mistake meant that no rate came up and the $10,000 that I'd typed in as the amount was sent off to England!  I emailed him but it was not possible to cancel it.  Even worse, there was now $10,000 less in our account so the problem with the form was a whole lot worse.  He suggested I just transfer the money in smaller lots each day (to keep under the threshold for daily transfers) and when it was all sent he would refund the all but one of the transfer fees. 

Next day I decided to check what rate (yes, again) they'd give me and compare it to Ozforex before agreeing to his suggestion.  I wasn't going to do it this way if we couldn't get a good rate.  At least at the branch there was some room for discussion.  I logged into Ozforex and got a rate and set up a transfer on HSBC (using GBP this time).  The rate was better than Ozforex so I went ahead and processed the transfer.  Now I just have to do this a couple more times and we'll be all set.  Happily the exchange rate has crept up in our favour over the last week or more.


Tom and Jan said...

Elly, Did you once write you were an accountant? LOL :-)

Elly and Mick said...

Tragic, isn't it!

Paul and El said...

We have used Ozforex a couple of times now and so far no fees!

Elly and Mick said...

Yes, I've set up an account with them too. I compared rates at the time I was transferring and it still worked out better with my internet banking transfer. Worth checking each time though - especially if it's not such a huge amount.