Travelling abroad?  Moving abroad?  Have friends or relatives abroad?

What is the reason that banks and building societies are so expensive when it comes to international money transfers?
 
In fact, when you use banks for bank to bank overseas transfers that include currency exchange (such as pound to Euro, or pound to USD), the costs that you will pay will be up to £20 per transfer and as much as 5% of the total costs in currency exchange.
That means that if you are using the wrong bank you could pay £5,020 in fees on a simple £100,000 transfer. With that being said, not all banks and building societies are THAT expensive, but it's difficult for them to compete with agile, tech-oriented firms who specialise specifically in transferring money overseas. With MoneyTransferComparison's Best Way to Send Money Abroad options you could find companies that offer no-fee-transfer and better exchange rates. A big transfer and good negotiation skills can get you to as little as £500 in overall exchange rate margins on a £100,000 transfer.

At some time you will exchange Pounds to Euros;  Pounds to Dollars; or visa-versa.  Eventually you will need to transfer some funds to cover rentals or buy items, or send funds to relatives.  The cost to do this using your bank or building society is significantly higher than via Transferwise.

October 2016: I have now been using Transferwise for over 3 years and saved on another transfer - pounds to Euros (Sept 2016)
Dave Walker 12th October 2016.
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Need to transfer £ Pounds to € Euro try this!  Includes US and AUS dollars too, and more.
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