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Each provider goes through a full vetting and is regulated by the relevant authority (FCA in the UK, FinCEN in the USA, ASIC in Australia)
Frequently asked questions
How we calculate the savings
There are no exchange controls in the UK for the pound sterling (GBP) and transferring money to the UK and sending money from the UK is very easy. Moreover, EU rules require free movement of capital throughout the bloc.
UK money transfer regulations
There are no restrictions on the remittance of profits, dividends, interest, royalties, or licensing, management, design, and technical and patent fees, whether by businesses or individuals. Nevertheless, the tax authorities may challenge the level of transfers if they suspect tax avoidance or evasion. Furthermore, banks monitor transactions for suspected money-laundering, and the law requires them to have a Money-Laundering Reporting Officer.
They must adequately identify customers when they open accounts and in relation to any transaction exceeding 10,000. If the transaction is by an account holder, that is generally sufficient proof of identity. The reporting rules also apply to estate agents, casinos, insolvency practitioners, tax advisers, accountants, auditors, lawyers, company- and trust-formation agents and anyone conducting a business dealing in goods (including auctioneers).
The UK is home to a large number of overseas money transfer providers and you should find little difficulty in selling UK pounds to buy virtually any foreign currency, other than those with purchase restrictions or in territories linked to other activities such as terrorism.
UK financial regulation
The central bank, the Bank of England, is responsible for monetary policy. Regulatory authority and supervision is provided by both the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and the Prudential Regulatory Authority, the two bodies having replaced the previous regulator, the Financial Services Authority in 2013).
Overseen by the Bank of England, the PRA focuses on the financial health of deposit-taking and loan-making institutions, individually and collectively. The FCA ensures that the financial markets function efficiently and effectively, while ensuring competition and protecting consumers. Money transfer providers in the UK are regulated by the FCA, and must also be registered with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
Opening a UK bank account
Opening a bank account for non-nationals in the UK is relatively easy. You will required to provide proof of your employment/income, evidence of an address in the UK and your passport. The largest high street banks in the UK all offer substantial coverage throughout the country, from which money can be sent overseas or into which overseas money transfers can be received.
Many banks allow holders of sterling accounts to open foreign currency accounts. The most common foreign currency accounts are held in US dollars and euros, but some banks may offer accounts in other major currencies such as Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, Singapore or Hong Kong dollars, or Japanese yen and even Chinese renminbi.
UK visas and work permits
Any national of the European Economic Area (EEA) 27 out of the 28-member European Union (with the exception of Croatia), plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway can move freely to the UK to work, invest, or study. For nationals of every other country, the UK operates a five-tier points-based visa system.
Most would-be immigrants will require a Certificate of Sponsorship to obtain a visa, the exception being for 'high-value migrants', entrepreneurs, and investors who fall into Tier 1. Tier 2 covers intra-company transfers of highly skilled workers, for roles that cannot be filled by an EEA national. Tier 4 visas relate to studying, with applicants required to have a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies from an accredited UK educational institution. Tier 5 visas covers various categories of temporary workers, including those in the religious, creative or sporting fields, as well as the youth mobility scheme which enables about 55,000 young people every year to work in the UK on working holidays. (Tier 3 was originally conceived for low-skilled workers, but no visas have been granted in this category).
In most cases, spouses and dependents are allowed to come to the UK with the main applicant. Spouses are usually allowed to work, although this does not apply to spouses of some student visa holders and Tier 5 visa holders. From 2016, only people earning 35,000 or more annually will be able to apply for permanent resident status.
While the process of transferring money internationally is straightforward, the UK has a complex tax system. Expatriates, whether moving from or to the country, will need professional tax advice.
The UK tax year runs from April 6th to April 5th of the following year, whereas many other countries either run a calendar year or from the mid-point of the year. These differences in dates will impact your tax planning. The UK also has double tax treaties with many countries but these do not cover every taxable item.
If you move overseas from the UK, you will still be able receive your UK pension abroad but you will not be eligible for annual increases in benefit. Your pension will therefore stay at the rate it was when you left the UK. There are also many opportunities for UK expats to setup different pension schemes overseas such as QROPS which are run outside of the UK. You can then send funds from your overseas pension to where you are residing as an expat.
The pound sterling (GBP, ) is made up of 100 pence or pennies (p). The Bank of England issues the majority of sterling banknotes, in values of 5, 10, 20, and 50. Banknotes issued by Scottish and Northern Irish banks, as well as sterling banknotes from the Crown dependencies of Jersey and Guernsey, and the Isle of Man, can by used as a means of payment in the UK, but are sometimes refused due to lack of familiarity. Scottish, Northern Irish and Jersey notes also come in denominations of 1 and 100. Coins come in denominations of 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, 1 (special issue 25p and 5 coins also exist and are legal tender, but are extremely rare).
UK to Individual Country Guides
See our links below to our specific money transfer guides that are for moving from the UK as an expat, as a student or retiring as well as trading with each of the countries below:
Money Transfer UK to Australia
Money Transfer UK to Brazil
Money Transfer UK to Canada
Money Transfer UK to China
Money Transfer UK to France
Money Transfer UK to Germany
Money Transfer UK to India
Money Transfer UK to Italy
Money Transfer UK to Ireland
Money Transfer UK to Israel
Money Transfer UK to New Zealand
Money Transfer UK to Portugal
Money Transfer UK to South Africa
Money Transfer UK to Spain
Money Transfer UK to Switzerland
Money Transfer UK to Thailand
Money Transfer UK to UAE
Money Transfer UK to USA
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