Increase of UK Sun-seekers Perusing Property Abroad

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The Post Office warns of hidden international currency transfer charges

A leading property website has revealed that there has been a 32 per cent increase in searches on its site for overseas property this summer, including the highest overall volume of searches since August last year . In reaction, the Post Office is warning second home seekers of extra charges that traditional high-street banks may legally impose on foreign money transfers to foreign banks, especially when paying mortgages or down payments on property overseas.

UK banks typically charge 1.5 per cent commission on foreign money transfers, with monthly fees averaging about £30. On the receiving end, foreign banks can also charge an extra 0.5 per cent on international currency transfers.

To help UK overseas property buyers avoid the costs attached to the international money transfer process when buying property overseas, the Post Office offers an Overseas Property Money Transfer service, with competitive exchange rates and 0 per cent commission on foreign currency transfer transactions.

The foreign money transfer service can also reimburse customers for any charges the destination bank may impose and allows customers to fix international bank transfers at a favourable rate of exchange for up to a year, giving valuable protection against volatile currency fluctuations.

Sarah Munro, Head of Post Office Money Transfers said: "Until now, many users of international bank transfer services have found it to be an expensive business, with limited options for small foreign money transfer amounts. We calculate that with 0 per cent commission and our competitive exchange rates we will be saving customers a serious amount of money on international money transfers if they've just sold their house or are paying a deposit on a new property through an international bank transfer."

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Melanie Seasons

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