Transferring regular savings from UAE to UK

Hi everyone

I'm currently living in the UAE and saving around £800 per month into my local bank's savings account (low interest) on top of 2 long-term savings plans. As it's early days on my long-term investments, they charge for any top-ups so it's not worth paying into them.

I'd like to save the 800GBP per month into a UK account in order to gain more interest, but every transfer I make at the moment costs around £20. My local bank says this is the amount charged by HSBC UK not them, so I don't want to keep transferring money to my HSBC account. Please could anyone advise me on which UK bank may be good to open a savings account with, avoiding foreign transfer fees if possible?



  • bowlhead99
    bowlhead99 Posts: 12,295 Forumite
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    Just to moderate your expectations... the vast majority of forum users here are UK residents who have access to way more savings options than non-residents - and so most of us haven't gone through the process of filtering and reviewing the eligibility requirements to screen for ones that take non-residents money, pay good interest rates, and have low fees for incoming international sterling transfers.

    I suspect the line from your UAE bank about the fees being all HSBC UK's fault was only a half-truth. In reality on international wire transfers from beyond the borders of the EU, there is scope for a fee from the sending bank, receiving bank and intermediary/correspondent bank. Unless the sender and receiver are part of the same banking group, there will be fees because banks (generally more on the 'sending' side) don't want to work for free unless they are already charging you a high monthly fee.

    Does your UAE bank have any UK branches? That would be the first thing to look into of you're trying to cut fees. One of my accounts is with Citi in London and they will happily send money to my accounts in other major Citi global locations (e.g. my account with Citi US) for free, but I don't pay high enough fees on my Citi US account to be able to send money fee-free the other direction, and transfers to third party banks internationally aren't free either (and neither are such transfers with Lloyds or Nationwide who are my other main providers).
  • Pincher
    Pincher Posts: 6,552 Forumite
    Combo Breaker First Post
    HSBC Premier allows you to transfer money internationally for FREE.

    Both ends need to be HSBC Premier account. You need to keep £50,000 in one "main" account, and then you can have multiple accounts in other countries. If your "long term investment" is already with HSBC in UAE, then it will count towards the £50k.

    They have an online function called Global view, where you can transfer money from country to country to your heart's content.

    For small amounts, like £800 they don't bother asking.
    They will call you to ask is the money yours, and what the transfer is for, if they get suspicious.

    It's free if it's sterling account to sterling account.
    If the money comes from a different currency, you do have to pay exchange charges.
  • scala1
    scala1 Posts: 6 Forumite
    Sadly I don't (yet!) have a spare 50 grand, so don't qualify for this one!
  • colsten
    colsten Posts: 17,597 Forumite
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    Have you looked into using a specialist currency transfer firm?
  • fruitisbad
    Post cash to ur mum to put in a bank account
  • Jonbvn
    Jonbvn Posts: 5,562 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary
    fruitisbad wrote: »
    Post cash to ur mum to put in a bank account

    Shockingly bad advice!
    In case you hadn't already worked it out - the entire global financial system is predicated on the assumption that you're an idiot:cool:
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