HSBC Canada international transfer: Fees, rates and transfer time

08.03.18
6 minute read
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Making an international money transfer is a simple way to move money all over the world. But is it actually as simple as it seems? Not always.

Every bank has its own processes, requirements and fees for making international transfers. And not knowing the process can end up costing you money in fees you might not need to pay. You may even find, in the end, that using a service like TransferWise could save you a lot more than you realized. But more on that later.

Read on to learn everything you need to know about making an international wire transfer to or from HSBC Canada.


A quick example before we get started.

A theoretical online bank transfer sending C$1000 from Canada to a pound sterling bank account in the UK.

Provider Fee Exchange Rate Total Cost
HSBC (Canada) C$40 Exchange rate + markup C$40 + exchange rate markup + likely fees from intermediary and recipient banks
TransferWise C$8.43 The real exchange rate - the same one you find on Google C$8.43

(Source 1, Source 2 29 January 2018)

It seems clear that HSBC’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 — on average a spread of an additional 4-6%. In addition, there are normally 1-3 intermediary and recipient banks who also charge fees.

Those costs start adding up. Fast.

To make sure you really know what you’re getting before you commit, compare the exchange rate you’re being offered with an online currency converter to find out how much your international transfer is really costing you.


What are the fees for an international wire transfer with HSBC Canada?

HSBC Canada international transfers Regular fees
Incoming international transfer C$15 per transfer
Outgoing international transfer C$40 up to C$30,000 sent onlineC$55 up to C$30,000 sent from a branchC$60 for payments of $30,000- $150,000 sent onlineC$90 for payments of more than $30,000 sent from a branch
Additional fees may apply See Additional Fees section below

(Source 29 January 2018)

HSBC Canada exchange rates

Sending or receiving money between banks that use different currencies means that usually, either the recipient bank or an intermediary bank is going to convert the currency at an exchange rate that they choose. That exchange rate will often be 4-6 percent poorer than the mid-market rate, or the rate you see on Google, which means the bank gets to keep the difference as a profit for itself.

Which can unfortunately also mean that the recipient of the transfer will receive less money because of the poorer exchange rate.

If HSBC is the bank making the conversion, you may need to do some legwork to find out the rate. HSBC Canada publishes its exchange rates daily but does note that they’re subject to change without notice, and for the most accurate rates, you’ll have to contact a branch. Since rates change regularly, you’ll have to contact HSBC Canada for the most recent exchange rates and manually compare them to the mid-market rates (you can use an online currency converter to do this) to see if they’re marked up.

(Source 29 January 2018)

Additional fees

Your international transfer may be subject to some additional fees, such as:

HSBC Canada international transfer Additional fees
Recipient bank and/or intermediary bank(s) fees when sending an international transfer Note that when you transfer money internationally, it’s generally via the SWIFT network. That means that most likely there will be 1-3 intermediary banks involved, and all banks involved in SWIFT transfers take their own fee from the amount you’re sending. You can contact HSBC ahead of time to get an estimate about intermediary fees for your transfer.
Cancellation, recall or trace of international payment Free if less than 30 days from date of transfer$30 per request if 30-90 days from date of transfer$80 per request if 91 days to 2 years from date of transfer$155 per request if over 2 years from date of transfer
Amendment of an international payment Not available

(Source 29 January 2018)

A cheap and transparent alternative: TransferWise

An often cheaper alternative to making international money transfers through a bank is TransferWise, which allows you to send money at the mid-market rate - the same rate you find on Google. TransferWise sends money using local bank transfers, so there are no international or intermediary bank fees, as your money never crosses borders. The only fee you pay is minimal and spelt out upfront.

TransferWise also offers borderless multi-currency accounts, which can be used to send, receive, hold and manage money in multiple global currencies all at the same time. Meaning you can pay people locally as well as receive payments locally from the UK, anywhere in the EU and Australia.

Try TransferWise today to see how easy it can be to send money across borders.

How do you make an international bank transfer (wire transfer) with HSBC Canada?

HSBC Canada offers a number of ways to transfer money internationally:

  • online
  • in person at a branch.

HSBC Canada doesn’t offer international money transfers by phone.

Online

  • On the “My Accounts” screen, select the account you’d like to make a payment from
  • Select “Move money”
  • Select “Create a new payee”
  • Enter the recipient’s information — more on this below — and follow the on-screen prompts

At a HSBC Canada branch

HSBC Canada branches offer secure ways to send money internationally, including sending a bank draft in Canadian dollars or a variety of other currencies. Speak to a teller/cashier about what you need and he or she will tell you what options are available.

(Source 29 January 2018)

What do I need in order to make an international money transfer?

To make an international transfer with HSBC Canada, you’ll need:

  • The recipient’s full name
  • The recipient’s address
  • The recipient bank’s SWIFT/BIC code. If you don’t know this, an online tool can help.
  • The recipient’s IBAN or account number

What do I need or what should I give to the sender in order to receive an international bank transfer?

To receive an international money transfer to your HSBC Canada bank account, you’ll need to give the sender:

  • Your account number
  • Your full name
  • Your address
  • HSBC Canada’s SWIFT code, which you can find with the help of an online tool if you don’t know it
  • You may need to agree with the sender about who will pay the fees associated with the transfer

You can find this information by logging in to your internet banking, or by calling 1-877-621-8811.

(Source 29 January 2018)

How long does an international bank transfer with HSBC Canada take?

How long does it take normally to arrive to the destination account?

International money transfers from HSBC Canada can take 1- 3 business days to process. However, processing times can vary based on the destination of the transfer, so HSBC Canada does not guarantee that international transfers will arrive within any specific time frame.

Is there any way to make a faster transfer for an extra fee?

HSBC Canada doesn’t currently offer a faster transfer for an extra fee.

Contact / Help - More questions around your transfer?

HSBC Canada’s customer support has many options for contact if you have further questions or need more help. Phone numbers and email addresses may vary according to your location, so check their website to find the best way to contact HSBC Canada.

Sending money internationally has never been easier, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy. Protect yourself and your money by knowing the fastest and cheapest way to send money across international borders.

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.

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