If you bank with Lloyds in the UK, you’ll find several options for transferring money abroad. And you may find you could get a better deal with TransferWise. But more on that later. Here’s a guide to how their international payment process works, as well as what costs are involved.
A quick example before we get started.
A theoretical online bank transfer sending £1000 from the UK to a euro bank account in Spain.
|Provider||Fee||Exchange Rate||Total Cost|
|Lloyds (UK)||£9.50 + correspondent bank fee £20||exchange rate + 3.2% markup||£29.50 + 3.2% exchange rate markup¹|
|TransferWise||£4.78||The real exchange rate - the same one you find on Google||£4.78|
It seems clear that Lloyd’s fees are higher.
However, if the fees alone aren’t reason enough to consider an alternative, that isn’t taking into account any exchange rate markup. Lloyds specifically notes that for amounts less than £25,000, the markup is 3.2%. In addition, there are normally correspondent and recipient banks who also charge fees. Lloyds notes a flat correspondent bank fee for that.
Those costs, if you start adding them up, are likely higher than you initially thought. Take that into account when you make your decision.
International bank transfers can be a costly affair. Because a number of different banks might be involved in the transfer, the precise cost isn't always clear and can vary. But here’s a summary of the costs that Lloyds Bank will charge in most cases.
|Lloyds international transfers||Regular fees|
|Incoming international transfer²||SEPA transfers in euro: no feeEU transfers in sterling paid into a Basic Account: no feeNon-SEPA transfers up to £100: £2Non-SEPA transfers above £100: £7|
|Outgoing international transfer³||EU transfers in sterling paid from a Basic Account: no feeOther international transfer: £9.50 + correspondent bank fee of £12 or £20|
|Additional fees may apply||See Additional Fees section below|
Read up on the full international payment details on Lloyds website. Depending on the precise details of your account and your transfer, the costs might not be exactly the same as those listed above.
The real cost of your international transfer also depends on what exchange rate is used. When banks make an international transfer, they can set the exchange rate themselves: as mentioned on their website, Lloyds uses its own standard exchange rate:
Unless otherwise agreed, we use a Lloyds Bank exchange rate for foreign exchange transactions. We may change our exchange rates at any time and without notice to you. Such changes to an exchange rate will be applied immediately.⁴
Lloyds doesn't guarantee exactly what this rate will be, although they do specify the maximum amount by which this rate will differ from the ‘wholesale rate’ that banks use to trade between themselves. These figures are subject to change too, though. The latest ones as currently available online are as follows:
|Transfer amount||Max. difference between Lloyds standard exchange rate and the wholesale rate⁵|
|Up to £25,000||3.2%|
|Up to £75,000||2.4%|
|Up to £250,000||2%|
|More than £250,000||1.5%|
What that means is that when Lloyds makes your transfer, they might mark up the exchange rate by as much as 3.2%.
That’s not all the fees and costs you might face. Often when international transfers are made, multiple banks end up charging a fee- the recipient’s bank might, as well as any intermediary banks that are involved. With Lloyds, if you use internet banking or transfer money within the EEA, the recipient has to share these costs.
However, if you pay in a branch or by phone and you’re paying someone outside the EEA, you can choose to take responsibility for all intermediary bank fees yourself. You can check what these may be in the table below:
|International transfers||Additional fees per payment|
|Sending/recipient bank and/or intermediary bank(s)⁶||BEN- your recipient will pay the correspondent bank fee(s)- £20SHA- your recipient will pay the correspondent bank fee(s) but all other transfer-related fees will be sharedOUR- you’ll pay the correspondent bank fee(s)- £20|
|Tracing a transfer⁷||Lloyds Bank says “If, for any reason, the money doesn't arrive, please tell us as soon as possible and we'll try to trace it. You may be charged for this service.”|
|Amending a transfer⁸||£5|
|Stopping a transfer⁷||£20|
|Recalling a transfer⁸||£20|
Rather than using an exchange rate chosen by a bank, an international payment with TransferWise uses the same rate that you’ll find on Google: the mid-market rate, which is generally a lot better value for you. And there’s only a simple fee to pay, which is always stated upfront. Making your transfer through TransferWise could save you a lot of money.
And if you need to hold money in another currency, a borderless multi-currency account lets you do just that. You can store money in up to 28 currencies and get local virtual account details in USD, AUD, GBP, and EUR.
Take a look at what TransferWise offers now.
Lloyds offers a few different ways for you to transfer money out of the UK: you can use their online service or their telephone banking service, or you can go into a branch and talk to someone.
If you want to make the transfer online or by phone, make sure you have all your necessary passwords so you can get access to your account. If you’re going to the branch in person, take your account details with you.⁹
Online, you’ll be able to follow the instructions onscreen to make your payment. From ‘More actions’, choose ‘Payments and Transfers’ and then ‘Make an international payment’. Then either select a payee you’ve paid before or add details for a new one. Once the details are in place, you should be able to see an estimate of the cost, before you hit send.¹⁰
If you’re making the transfer by phone or in person, someone will be there to talk you through the process.
Online or by phone, the first thing you’ll need are your passwords or login details so that you can access your account. After that, you’ll also need information about the account you’re transferring the money to¹¹:
- The recipient’s name
- The recipient’s address
- The recipient’s IBAN or other international account number
- The recipient bank name and address
- The recipient bank’s SWIFT/BIC (this SWIFT/BIC finder can help you out if you haven’t been given it)
- The currency and amount you need to transfer, taking into account any banks fees you may be liable to
What do I need or what should I give to the sender in order to receive an international bank transfer?
The information you’ll need to provide to receive an international transfer onto your Lloyds bank account is as follows¹²:
- Your account number
- Your sort code
- Your IBAN
- Your BIC
- The name of the bank - Lloyds Bank - and the SWIFT code LOYDGB2L
If you’re making a payment in euros within the EEA (European Economic Area), it should be in the recipient bank account by the next working day - although if you make the transfer later than 3:00 pm, you might have to wait an extra day. Payments in other currencies within the EEA might take up to 4 working days.
For payments outside the EEA, there might be a longer wait - Lloyds estimates no longer than 14 days. The best option is to get the specifics is to ask them directly.¹³
Lloyds offers an express service for international transfers if you have a business account, but the same service isn’t available for standard international transfers from personal accounts.
- You can give Lloyds a call if you have questions: their number is 0345 602 1997 in the UK or +44 1733 347 007 from abroad.
- Their website talks you through the other ways to get in touch, such as sending Lloyds an email.
International money transfers can seem daunting, and the exact costs are often hard to find out. However, once you choose to make your transfer, make sure you know how much it’ll cost you - and how much money will actually end up being transferred to the recipient.
¹ https://www.lloydsbank.com/online-banking/benefits-online-banking/international-payments.asp#collapse1-1438975317839, January 20th, 2018
² https://www.lloydsbank.com/online-banking/benefits-online-banking/international-payments.asp#collapse1-1438975317842, January 20th, 2018
³ https://www.lloydsbank.com/online-banking/benefits-online-banking/international-payments.asp#collapse1-1438975317839, January 20th, 2018
⁴ https://www.lloydsbank.com/assets-business-banking/pdfs/payment_transaction.pdf, January 20th, 2018
⁵ https://www.lloydsbank.com/online-banking/benefits-online-banking/international-payments.asp#collapse1-1438975317839, January 20th, 2018
⁶ https://www.lloydsbank.com/business/retail-business/rates-and-charges/international-services-rates-and-charges.asp#tab-row-2, January 20th, 2018
⁷ https://international.lloydsbank.com/products-and-services/money-transfers/guide-to-sending-money-abroad/, January 20th, 2018
⁹ https://www.lloydsbank.com/online-banking/benefits-online-banking/international-payments.asp#collapse1-1438975317843, January 20th, 2018
¹⁰ https://www.lloydsbank.com/online-banking/internet-banking/using-internet-banking/international-payments.asp, January 20th, 2018
¹¹[https://www.lloydsbank.com/online-banking/benefits-online-banking/international-payments.asp#collapse1-1438975317838, January 20th, 2018
¹²[https://www.lloydsbank.com/online-banking/benefits-online-banking/international-payments.asp#collapse1-1438975317842, January 20th, 2018
¹³[https://www.lloydsbank.com/online-banking/benefits-online-banking/international-payments.asp#collapse1-1438975317840, January 20th, 2018
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