As an expatriate resident in Spain, the need to exchange funds between Euros and home, typically the UK, is something that is not only an one-off transaction. Most expats need to exchange money monthly, and sometimes more often if particular events demand it.
Nevertheless fluctuations in foreign money exchange rates happen daily, and might see the amount transferred vary as much as a number of percentage points, and when bank fees and commissions are added the effective price can soar considerably, and should be factored in particularly if way of life costs are met from month-to-month pensions or rental revenue where it isn’t always possible to demand special rates.
The British Embassy in Spain believes that 75% of all British expats in Spain are retired and living off superannuation income they obtain from the UK, giving Spanish and British banks several million Euros in additional charges that unwitting customers pay without question.
But specialist currency exchange experts supply rates that are more competitive than banks and probably will not charge commissions for month-to-month funds exchange, this could amount to financial savings of several hundred Euros per year, so why many people blindly elect to continue utilizing banks is confusing to say the least.
Individuals planning to move to Spain, or those who own a home in Spain, or expats planning to return to the UK are all extremely likely to exchange large sums of money occasionally, and the financial savings from speaking to a specialist foreign currency agent are huge. Paying bank rates can inflate your costs by as much as 1000′s of Euros.
Any professional money exchange firm should also be able to offer the full suite of overseas exhange services such as forward transactions for individuals who anticipate making a large exchange sooner or later and want to lock in a rate instead of trust the market to supply a superb rate on the day of transaction.
Moreover, a dedicated currency exchange specialist should also be able to provide you with access to their own rate watch service and trigger purchase or sell instructions when your required rate has been reached. Banks aren’t able to supply this unless they also supply dedicated money exchange services.
In Spain, expat residents need not rely on Spanish banks to process euro, pound, or greenback transactions since the market is ably served by UK publicly listed companies such as Currencies Direct who have offices along the costas and in the major cities.
The author is a journalist who regularly comes into contact with expatriates challenged by life in Ronda, Spain. Check out his currency exchange spain expert site for more information on currency dealings between the Euro and pounds or dollars.