Introduction to the International Money Transfer Index™
The FXcompared International Money Transfer Index™ (IMTI™) provides a measure of the cost of international bank-to-bank money transfers from countries around the world such as Australia, Canada, the UK and US. The IMTI is of use to those who want to understand the costs of transferring money overseas. It is also of value to banks, non-bank money transfer providers, corporates, consultancies and other companies who operate in the international payments space.
To obtain the latest quarterly IMTI™ report or for licensing opportunities and API access, visit the IMTI homepage.
To construct the IMTI, FXcompared collects data on banks’ fees and foreign exchange (FX) margins monthly through mystery shopping on transactions of multiple sizes from modest- sized transactions to large consumer transactions (for example corresponding to USD1,000 to USD1m). The IMTI number is a weighted average to reflect the different sizes of the institutions surveyed in each market.
The rates banks charge customers for international money transfers are quite different across countries and across transaction sizes. A full worked example is provided below.
FXcompared surveys several major banks from each country.
UK : Barclays, HSBC, RBS , Natwest, Lloyds Bank, Halifax , Santander, Metro Bank, Nationwide (building society)
US : Bank of America, BMO Financial Corp, Capital One, Citi, Fidelity, Fifth Third Bancorp, JPMorgan Chase, PNC Financial Services, Santander USA, U.S. Bancorp, Union Bank, Wells Fargo
Australia: Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank Limited, Westpac Banking Corporation, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited (ANZ), St.George Bank Limited, Bank of Western Australia Ltd, Suncorp-Metway Limited, Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Limited
Canada : Royal Bank of Canada , Toronto-Dominion Bank, ScotiaBank , Bank ofMontreal , CIBC
The IMTI is updated monthly and the current numbers shown on FXcompared are based on the latest data collected on 15 March 2017. A global estimate is also computed for use on FXcompared website results where data for that country was not collected or where a currency data was not available. Our research suggests such calculations will typically under-estimate the true bank cost - for example the costs of transferring a more exotic currency will be above a core currency pair such as GBP to EUR.
WORKED EXAMPLE OF HOW THE IMTI™ IS CALCULATED
The table below provides the full cost of transferring GBP1,000 from a number of UK banks to Euros (to France) using actual data from May 2016. We collected the data from each bank by telephone and online on 17 May 2016 and noted the interbank FX rate at exactly the time of each quote. To calculate the ‘full cost’ we used the following methodology:
Table 1: GBP1000 to EUR, May 2016 Example
The foreign exchange cost in GBP1000 - GBP972 = GBP28
The ‘full cost’ to the sender is the fee of GBP25 + FX cost of GBP28 = GBP53
The full cost in percent is GBP53 / GBP1000 X 100 = 5.3%
Examples on Savings Calculations
A) Repeated smaller transfers use the IMTI 1000
Go to IMTI 1,000 for currency in question.
Multiply 1,000 multiplied by the overall cost percentage (IMTI 1,000) = overall cost of transferring money (fee + FX cost)
Example from March 2016 quarterly report:
GBP 1,000 X 4.8% = GBP 48
Cost of using a non-bank specialist
GBP 1,000 X 1.6% = GBP16
Saving of GBP32
Over 12 months savings = GBP 384
B) Medium sized transfers use the IMTI 10,000
Go to IMTI 10,000 for currency in question.
Multiply 10,000 multiplied by the overall cost percentage (IMTI 10,000) = overall cost of transferring money (fee + FX cost)
Example for March 2016 report:
GBP 10000 X 2.8% (IMTI 10,000 found in Table 1, Table 2, Table 7)= GBP 280
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