Several individuals and businesses look for different ways to transfer money to the UK, and their reasons are as varied as their requirements. For instance, while an individual who resides overseas might need to make payments toward an existing loan in the UK, a UK-based business might need to make international payments for outsourcing a service. In any scenario, determining the best way to transfer money to the UK or out of it requires that you address various factors.
Transfer Money to the UK
- User Rating
- Transfer Type
- Regular Payments
- Mobile App
- Min Transfer Amount
- Two Transfers Fee Free
- 1 - 3 Days
- $250 / £100 / €250
Currency Corridors & Swift Codes
Currency Symbol and Swift Codes
The pound sterling (GBP) is the official currency of the United Kingdom. It also serves as legal tender in the Isle of Man, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, Guernsey, Jersey, Tristan da Cunha, and the British Antarctic Territory. The pound is divided into 100 pence.
When sending money to the UK you will need to provide the recipient’s account number and the receiving bank’s sort code. Alternatively, you might need to provide an IBAN. IBANs in the UK include details such as bank codes, sort codes, and account numbers. In some instances, you might need to provide the receiving bank’s Swift code.
The table below provides sort codes of some of the popular banks in the UK.
|Bank of England||Head Office, London||100000|
|Bank of Scotland||Cardiff, London||122311|
|Barclays Bank||Head Office, London||200050|
|Citibank NA||Jersey, London||185026|
Popular Currency Corridors
A considerable sum of money flows in and out of the UK regularly. In 2015, close to $5.5 billion was sent to the UK from other countries in remittances. Around $25 billion made its way out of the country during the same period. The tables below give you an indication of the popular currency corridors and details of how much money flowed in and out of the country during 2015.
How Do I Compare Companies When Sending Money to the UK?
Identifying the best way to send money to the UK requires that you compare the offerings of different money transfer companies. No matter whether you plan to transfer money to the UK from Australia, the U.S., Canada, Spain, South Africa, or any other country, selecting a suitable service provider requires that you address the same factors.
- Cost-effectiveness. This factor, more often than not, plays the most important role in selecting a service provider. While the exchange rate you get requires your attention, do not forget to look at the fees you need to pay. Alternatively, simply look at how much money the recipient stands to receive at the end of the transfer.
- Turnaround time. Transferring money to a UK bank account might take one to seven working days, depending on the service provider you choose and the country of your residence. If sending money to the UK in a hurry is your top priority, you may consider using the services of companies that operate cash pickup centers. While these transfers take place almost immediately, they tend to cost more.
- Payment methods. If you want to pay for your money transfer to the UK using your bank account, you may work with just about any money transfer company. Not all accept payments via debit cards, and even fewer let you use credit cards. Some, on the other hand, also accept payments via various region-specific methods.
- Customer service. While sending money to the UK is fairly simple, you might need to contact customer service once in a while. To determine if a company rates well on this front, turn to platforms such as Trustpilot and Feefo. It is not uncommon for the good money transfer companies to provide support via different mediums such as phone, chat, and email.
How to Send Money to the UK?
How you choose to transfer money to the UK depends on what you find more convenient.
- Online. With access to the internet, you may initiate your money transfer to the UK from just about anywhere. There is a good chance your bank offers this feature, although you may be better off turning to a specialist money transfer company instead.
- In-person. If you are not comfortable in carrying out online transactions, you can always consider initiating your transfer in person. While several banks give you the ability to do this, you may find suitable money transfer companies as well.
- Over the phone. Some money transfer companies let you initiate transfers by speaking with currency brokers, who you may contact over the phone.
Joshua had to shift base to Australia for around three years because of a professional commitment. His wife decided to stay back in London because they did not want their daughter’s education to shift gears. Since Joshua was the primary breadwinner of the house, he needed to send some money back home every month.
He used the services of a popular Australian bank for the first transfer. Not sure if he had received a good deal, he decided to compare his options, and this is what he found.
|Bank||Money Transfer Service|
|Exchange rate||$1 = GBP 0.5479||$1 = GBP 0.5738|
|Amount received for $2,000||GBP 1,084.84||GBP 1,147.63|
|Transfer time||2 to 3 days||2 to 3 days|
|Transfer Options||Bank account||Bank account|
|Difference of||GBP 63.79|
Joshua planned to send AUD $2,000 each month, and using the money transfer company served as a more cost-effective option. Another reason he decided to go with the money transfer company was it let him schedule transfers.
Cash Pickup Locations in the UK
If your top priority in transferring money to the UK is speed, consider sending it to a cash pickup up location. Some of the popular money transfer companies that have a physical presence in the UK include Ria, Western Union, and MoneyGram.
|Ria in the UK|
|London Efewen Afro-Carri Supermarket, 3b Cavendish Parade London||Teletransfer 17 Air Street, London|
|Birmingham One Stop Finance Ltd 84 Victoria Road Birmingham||Desale Gebremeskel Mebrahtu 229 230 New John Street, West Birmingham|
|WESTERN UNION IN THE UK|
|London Ryman 430 The Strand London||Forexchange 5 Leicester Square, London|
|Birmingham Ryman Unit 1 The Old Fire Station, Aston Street, Birmingham||City Convenience, 60 Date End, Birmingham|
Safety Tips for Picking up Cash in the UK
While the UK has low levels of crime, you should remain cautious of your surroundings. If you plan to collect a large sum of money from a cash pickup location, try getting it during daylight, and consider taking someone along. Instances of pickpocketing in crowded areas are not uncommon, so keep your money with care. Carrying large sums of money is best avoided.
Remain alert when you visit airports, train stations, tourist areas, pubs, bars, and restaurants, and keep your belongings in sight at all times. There have been instances of drinks being spiked, so accepting drinks from strangers is not a good idea.
What Information Do I Need to Send Money to the UK?
The desired transfer method has a bearing on the information you need to provide.
- Transfer to a bank account. In this case you will need to provide the recipient’s name and his or her bank’s sort code. You might need to provide an IBAN or a SWIFT code.
- Transfer to a cash pickup location. You will need to provide the recipient’s complete name along with a desired cash pick up location. The recipient will need to provide a reference number and a valid form of ID get the transferred funds.
Regulations When Transferring Money To and From the UK
There are no restrictions on how much money you may transfer in or out of the UK, although the company you select might have minimum and maximum limits in place. If you are sending money to the UK, tax implications depend on whether you are domiciled in the UK or in another country.
For instance, if you are a resident of the UK but your domicile is elsewhere, you do not have to pay any tax on the money you send to the UK. The recipient of an overseas money transfer in the UK, on the other hand, might need to report the same on his or her tax return, depending on whether it qualifies as a gift or income.
Whether you wish to transfer money to a UK bank account or a cash pickup location, know that you have several alternatives, and make sure you compare your options well. Remember the promotional offers might lead to even more savings when you send money to the UK the next time.
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