If you’re a Briton living in Spain, either permanently or for part of the year, then it’s likely that you will have transferred money from the UK to Spain at one point or another. However unfortunately, a new impact of the UK’s Brexit decision is that we have now seen a price hike on money transfers between Spain and the UK. Here’s everything you need to know about these transfers, and how you can minimise the costs involved to keep as much of your money in your pocket as possible:
Understanding What’s Happening
Spanish banks have hiked the prices of their international payment fees: Because the UK is no longer a part of the EU, that means that EU regulations equalising domestic and cross-border fees no longer apply. Effectively, if the UK had remained in the EU then Britons wouldn’t be experiencing these price hikes, but now they are subject to the same payment fluctuations as other non-EU residents.
It is not yet clear the full extent of which Spanish banks have increased the cost of transfers for Britons, but we do know that Sabadell, CaixaBank, Bankia, and BBVA are now charging fees where they didn’t previously. It is less clear whether Santander, Bankinter, Banca March, CajaSur, or IberCaja have introduced these fees at this stage, as there have been no reports or complaints from customers about new charges on their account.
What Charges are Some Bank Customers Currently Experiencing?
Depending on which charging institution you bank with, the charges you can expect to see are a landing fee of between 0.20% and 0.35% of your overall transaction. This is subject to a minimum transaction fee of between €15 and €20, dependent on the bank (It’s important to note that each bank is dealing with this slightly differently). As an example, on individual has reported that they were charged €650 euros on a €80,000 transfer from Spain to the UK. This was attributed to the fact that the UK is now classed as a third tier country by many Spanish banking institutions. These charges tend to be more expensive for sending money than they are for receiving money, but both fees will still be applied.
How Can You Minimise These Bank Charges?
Obviously for Spanish property owners and holiday home owners who regularly make bank transfers from Spain to the UK (and back again) these new bank charges will be concerning and problematic.For large purchase transfers, such as property in particular, these bank charges could add a considerable additional expense to the cost of your plans. So how can you avoid or minimise paying them? Here are a few tips based on what we know so far:
- Change your Bank. If you regularly make transfers from Spain to the UK then it might be wise to change your bank to one that isn’t currently charging for these transfers. Whilst there will be some paperwork involved in choosing this option, it would be worth it if it could save you considerable amounts of cash in the long run! As these changes are so new, it’s important to do some research before you switch your bank account, but at this stage we believe r Santander, Bankinter, Banca March, CajaSur, and IberCaja are not charging international payment fees.
- Speak to Your Bank. These charges are not being charged by the Spanish government: they are discretionary, which means each individual bank is deciding what to charge (or not charge). In this case, you could speak to your bank and threaten to move banks: many banks will be reluctant to lose a profitable customer and may be prepared to negotiate these with you.
- Plan Ahead. Finally, plan your transactions in advance wherever possible, so that you are making fewer transactions if you can. This could minimise the expense of your transaction fees, ultimately helping you to cut your costs. Awareness is key here, so now that you are aware of the fees you might be charged, you can begin to work on a plan to help you avoid them.
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