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SMEs unaware of what int’l money transfers cost

SMEs unaware of what int’l money transfers cost

Category: Offshore Banking

Updated: 10/12/2013
First Published: 10/12/2013

This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Research has revealed that a lot of small businesses simply don't know how much international money transfers cost through their bank, with six in ten of those surveyed mistakenly believing the processing fees to be less than 4%. In reality, most banks charge anything from 3 to 6%, with these unexpected costs potentially having a huge impact on the profit margins of smaller businesses.

The survey, conducted among 565 senior executives of businesses with fewer than 50 members of staff, found that a worrying 80% didn't know the true cost of international money transfer and foreign exchange. It's often the case that hidden exchange fees catch them out, and this could potentially make international trading much less appealing to small business owners.

In fact, almost half (43%) said they'd find overseas trading a lot more attractive if foreign exchange fees were transparent and easier to understand, while just 27% think their bank currently makes their charges clear enough. This is a particularly worrying figure given the Office of Fair Trading told banks to make overseas transactions and the associated fees easier to understand, and whilst they may have achieved that with consumers there's clearly still a way to go with small businesses.

That's why an increasing number of people are turning to independent money transfer companies, rather than banks, to handle their overseas transfers. Any fees and charges will be clearly displayed to offer the transparency required, ensuring there aren't any unexpected costs that could eat into profits.

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