Going abroad or needing to send money overseas? The good news is, you might be able to save some money if you use a service like TransferWise.
Your bank can also be a great help if you know the procedure, but there are a few things you should be aware of before you make a decision on that. Below is all you’ll need to know about how to avoid large fees, long wait-times and other helpful hints before you transfer money internationally with TSB Bank using their Online International Payments service¹.
A quick example before we get started.
Here’s a theoretical online bank transfer sending £1000 to a US dollar account in the US.
|Provider||Fee||Exchange Rate||Total Cost|
|TSB (UK)||£10²||Exchange rate + markup||£10 + exchange rate markup + likely fees from intermediary and recipient banks|
|TransferWise||£4.78||The real exchange rate - the same one you find on Google||£4.78|
TSB’s fees are more than two times higher in this scenario.
But fees aren’t the only reason to consider an alternative transfer method. Banks often mark up their exchange rates for international transfers, converting your money at a rate 4-6% poorer than the mid-market rate. Plus, there may be between 1-3 intermediary and recipient banks who each charge you fees.
You can see why the costs can really add up if you aren’t careful.
To make sure you really know what you’re getting before committing to a transfer service, compare the exchange rate you’re being offered with the mid-market rate using an online currency converter to find out how much your international transfer is really costing you.
Depending on where you’re sending your money and what the transfer details are, fees can change. You may have a tough time estimating the exact fee structure in advance. Check with TSB Bank if you’d like to confirm.
When you make your payment online you only have the option of sharing the fees with your recipient, which means you’ll pay the TSB bank fees and your recipient will pay any applicable charges that come up in the process. TSB does offer different options for paying fees, but they’re only available when you make the payment in a branch or over the phone.
The following table summarizes international transfer fees with TSB Bank:
|TSB International Transfer||Regular fees²|
|Incoming international transfer online||Up to £100: £2Over £100: £7Payment received in pounds within EU: Free - when you have a Cash Account|
|Outgoing international transfer online||Payment up to £5,000: £10 Payment of £5,000 or more: £17.50Payment made in pounds within EU: Free - when you have a Cash Account|
|Outgoing international transfer, phone or in-branch||£20|
|Additional fees may apply||See Additional Fees section|
When you’re sending and receiving money from one currency to another, sometimes intermediary banks get involved. It’s kind of like flying to an airport with a layover - but your layover is at another bank. In most cases, that other bank, known as an intermediary bank, can add their own fees and surcharges.
Most banks use the SWIFT transfer system to process your international transfer. That can mean that an intermediary bank does the currency exchange and they can set their own exchange rates, that tends to be marked up from the mid-market rate (the one you find on Google). TSB notes³:
If you ask us to send the payment in a currency other than pounds we’ll use our standard exchange rate on the day of the payment and we’ll tell you or display online the exchange rate that will apply. If the payment is in a currency which differs from the currency of the recipient’s account, we can’t control any exchange rate applied by the recipient’s bank or any agent bank.
So, before you commit, it’s a good idea to ask a representative of the bank about the potential exchange rate that will be used for your transfer.
|TSB International Transfer||Additional fees|
|When TSB processes your payment and finds there are insufficient funds in your account ²||TSB states: “we may make a charge for cancelling the payment. We’ll tell you the amount of our charges for this service at the time”|
|If you ask TSB bank to cancel a payment that has already been processed, or if the recipient details turn out to be incorrect and TSB can’t process your payment because of this²||TSB states: “we may make a charge for trying to cancel or change the payment, whether or not we succeed. We’ll tell you the amount of our charges for this service at the time you request it.”|
|Intermediary bank and/or recipient bank fees¹||TSB states that when you create the payment online: “Please note that while you will pay our transfer charges, the person receiving the payment pays all other charges. This may result in the person receiving the payment receiving a lesser amount than you have sent, or these charges may be debited from their account separately.“ Although you can change the way the fees are divided, when you initiate the payment on the phone or in a branch, these intermediary fees will still be charged either to you or the recipient.|
TransferWise can save you quite a bit of confusion, markups, and hidden fees when you’re transferring money. They use a network of local bank accounts in each country they operate in to transfer the money to the local account of your recipient, so you don’t have to pay international transaction fees.
With the new TransferWise borderless multi-currency account, you’re able to quickly and easily open an account in dozens of currencies - including the Great British pound. Use the borderless account to manage your money and pay bills around the world, using the real exchange rate. TransferWise charges a transparent fee on each transaction, which is a percentage of the transaction amount.
TSB allows a few ways to send an international bank transfer¹, including:
- In person at a local branch
- By phone
TSB’s online international payments can be done 24 hours a day, on any day of the week. Here are the required steps¹:
- Start by logging into your personal account online
- Click the tab for the online payment service
- Enter the recipient's information:
- exact full name and address
- the recipient's IBAN (International Bank Account Number) or account number
- the name and address of recipient's bank
- the BIC (Banking Identifier Code), SWIFT code, or clearing code
You can also visit your local TSB branch³. You’ll need your account number and some form of identification as well as the account information of the recipient. Any teller should be able to initiate your transfer once the information is verified.
You’ll need to register for telephone banking by calling 03459 758 758 and entering your account details⁴. From there, you’ll get a security number to use for secure transactions. Once registered, just give the number a call again and ask the agent to help transfer funds.
In general, you’ll need the following information to make an international transfer¹:
- BIC/SWIFT of the recipient’s bank
- IBAN or account number of the recipient
- Recipient’s full name
- Recipient’s address
- Recipient bank’s name and address
What do I need or what should I give to the sender in order to receive an international bank transfer?
If you’re getting an international payment from a TSB account, keep in mind that the sender will pay the transfer charges, but the receiver will pay any other fees which may reduce the amount of money. You’ll also need the following information:
- Your account number or IBAN
- Your full name and address
- Your bank’s address
- The amount and the currency you’d like to receive the payment in
- TSB Bank’s Swift Code
The sender will also need to include their account number at the sending bank, plus their name and address.
International transfers won’t take too long, but depending on the destination it can take anywhere from one business day to up to 12 days¹. All transfers need to be made to TSB by 3 pm or they won’t be processed until the following day. Here is a table of wait times you should expect, depending on your country:
|TSB International Transfer||Timeframe|
|Euros to the EU, EEA, Monaco or Switzerland||Next working day|
|Any other currency to EU and EEA European countries, North America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Middle East and the Far East||Up to 4 working days|
|Any other currency to any other country||Up to 12 working days|
The time it can take for your payment to be processed does depend on where the recipient’s account is located¹. Euros to the EU, EEA, Monaco or Switzerland should take no more than one working day. Any other currency to EU and EEA European countries, North America, Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Middle East and the Far East can take around 4 working days. Any remaining countries can take up to 12 working days. Within those time frames, it will also depend on the bank you’re transferring to.
When you’re dealing with wire transfers and banks, there can be a lot of unanswered questions or hidden tips and tricks. There are a number of different ways to contact TSB in case you have any questions about their services, and you can find them on their website⁵. Make sure you know all the information about the fees and exchange rate for your payment before you make it.
Compare TSB bank’s fee and exchange rate to those from TransferWise, and you won’t pay more than you have to.
¹ https://www.tsb.co.uk/help/internet-banking/international-payments/, March 29th 2018
² https://www.tsb.co.uk/current-accounts/banking-charges-brochure.pdf, March 29th, 2018
³ https://www.tsb.co.uk/legal/international_payments_terms_and_conditions.pdf, March 29th 2018
³ https://www.tsb.co.uk/branch-locator/, March 29th 2018
⁴ https://www.tsb.co.uk/help/telephone-banking/, March 29th 2018
⁵ https://www.tsb.co.uk/contact-us/, March 29th 2018
|This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from TransferWise Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.|