Attractive overseas property prices prove tempting for UK second home seekers

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High-street bank foreign money transfers can cost customers £528 per transaction

Until now, many users of international bank transfers have found it to be an expensive business, with limited options for small foreign money transfers. We calculate that with 0 per cent commission and our competitive exchange rates, our new international bank transfer service will be saving customers a serious amount of money.

After hitting a high for emigration in 2007 , the latest government figures show that the number of UK citizens seeking a better life overseas has recently slumped. But significant decreases in property prices abroad, particularly in countries such as France and Spain which typically attract UK housebuyers, could tempt sunseekers to look at property overseas and international bank transfers once again.

The main way that homes are purchased abroad is by making foreign money transfers to pay mortgages. However, sending money transfers abroad to pay mortgages could be costing those buying homes abroad dear. Post Office estimates that international bank transfers from traditional high-street banks in the UK can cost customers around £528 per transaction - as banks typically charge 1.5 per cent commission, money transfer fees of £30 per transaction and receiving charges of 0.5 per cent from the foreign bank.

To help combat the problem, Post Office has just launched its new Overseas Property Money Transfer service, which allows customers to fix international bank transfers at a favourable rate for up to a year, giving valuable protection against volatile currency fluctuations. It is offered with competitive exchange rates, 0 per cent commission on money transfers abroad and no hidden bank charges. The international bank transfers service even reimburses customers for any charges levied by the foreign bank.

Sarah Munro, Post Office Head of Money Transfers, said: "Until now, many users of international bank transfers have found it to be an expensive business, with limited options for small foreign money transfers. We calculate that with 0 per cent commission and our competitive exchange rates, our new international bank transfer service will be saving customers a serious amount of money."

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Melanie Seasons

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