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How do you send money abroad? It can't be that hard.... can it?

(41 Posts)
CointreauVersial Fri 23-Jan-15 20:17:30

We are lending FIL some money (about £8k) to buy a car..... but he lives in the Irish Republic and has no sterling bank account (and we don't have a Euro one).

How the hell do we get the money to him? Santander (who I bank with) and NatWest (who DH banks with) were seemingly unable to offer a solution. Neither could do a cheque in Euro. NatWest suggested travellers cheques but you can only take out £5k in any 60 day period (and they won't be secure to post).

I can't believe it's that difficult! What am I missing? Help!

SophieBarringtonWard Fri 23-Jan-15 20:18:17

We have used Western Union to send money overseas.

CointreauVersial Fri 23-Jan-15 20:19:48

Ooh, so how does that work?

Floggingmolly Fri 23-Jan-15 20:19:57

Yes, Western Union. You send Sterling and they'll withdraw in the local currency.

Floggingmolly Fri 23-Jan-15 20:20:24

Most Newsagents do it.

chicaguapa Fri 23-Jan-15 20:20:44

I used TransferWise recently to send money to France. It cost me £1. It was recommended by Moneysavingexpert and it was a painless transaction. I'll definitely use them again.

SophieBarringtonWard Fri 23-Jan-15 20:21:51

It's easy! You send sterling, they withdraw euros. You do pay a fee, can't remember what but not extortionate.

NotQuiteCockney Fri 23-Jan-15 20:22:44

If you get his International bank account number (IBAN), your bank should be able to do a transfer direct to his account. Western Union is more expensive, afaik - they charge a percentage of the transfer.

I have sent transfers to france and to canada, I can't imagine ireland is impossible.

Ruhrpott Fri 23-Jan-15 20:24:18

We transfer money regularly with TorFX. You can google them and ring them up. They are very helpful. They give better rates than banks.

Palooza Fri 23-Jan-15 20:25:37

we use TorFX too, they are great and very quick.

CointreauVersial Fri 23-Jan-15 20:26:02

Notquite - I thought it would be easy, but both banks behaved as if we were asking them to fly us to the moon.

Santander said point blank "we don't do any foreign transactions" and there's me thinking they were a Spanish bank

knittedslippersx2 Fri 23-Jan-15 20:26:20

I don't get why your bank won't do it. You can do an international money transfer either online or in your bank. My charges about £4 for the service.

Ruhrpott Fri 23-Jan-15 20:27:26

My husband gets paid in Euros and we have a mortgage in pounds so we use them each month.

CointreauVersial Fri 23-Jan-15 20:34:17

Some great suggestions - will get googling! Thanks everyone.

EnglishGirlApproximately Fri 23-Jan-15 20:37:41

Most travel agents do Western Union. You can do next day or money in minutes and its very easy.

Liara Fri 23-Jan-15 20:55:55

Western union costs a fortune.

There are a number of agents who will get you much better exchange rates than the banks will. I used to use several but haven't for a few years so can't recommend one in particular.

For the amount you are sending, this could make a substantial difference.

ForSaleChesterDraws Fri 23-Jan-15 21:00:34

We send money over to Australia via paypal. Much lower fees than using Western Union et al, who charge over 5%. Not sent at such a high rate.

Also look about because sometimes credit cards do offers. Last year we sent money to France through AmEx and they had a special fee free offer.

NotQuiteCockney Sat 24-Jan-15 09:39:12

Weird - I've done international transfers from the Co-op and from Lloyds, so not unusual banks. The Canadian transfers were more of a pain, but as Ireland is inside the EU, I would expect it to be easy.

Follyfoot Sat 24-Jan-15 09:47:29

Santander are lying to you.

My DH banks with them and every year he transfers money to a Greek friend's account for our holiday. Have just asked him what happens...He calls customer services then they call him back on the phone number associated with the account and the transfer takes place. He says you will need to find FiL's IBAN no. and the BIC no (whatever that is!).

violetbunny Sat 24-Jan-15 09:48:52

Try Orbit Remit ( - I used this to pay my student loan while out of the country (I'm not from the uk). I've also transferred money out of the Uk with HSBC before, although that was slightly more expensive.

mousmous Sat 24-Jan-15 09:50:06

my foreign friends us a brooker, skrill I think.

LadyCassandra Sat 24-Jan-15 10:00:28

We use PayPal too. We used to use Hifx as well.

PatriciaHolm Sat 24-Jan-15 14:31:13

Yep, the Santander person was talking nonsense; see here -

annielostit Sat 24-Jan-15 14:34:17

We use the Ivan transfer when we bought something for a Dutch friend. He transfered the cash in, there was a small charge.

DropYourSword Sat 24-Jan-15 14:35:11

I bank with HSBC in England. I was able to transfer a decent amount for about £4, plus a minimal charge (about $20) on the receiving end. I wouldn't do western union, torfx etc, get charged silly amounts. I would have thought any bank would be similar to HSBc and you could easily set up a transfer, but obviously this doesn't look like its true!

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