How to transfer money to Canada

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Transfer Money from UK to Canada

There are four simple steps to transferring money from the UK to Canada; these are identity check, get an exchange rate, make your payment and finally, the money is sent out!

Identity check. In line with the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Regulations, money transfers are subject to identity checks to protect you from falling foul of organised crime and ensure that when you transfer money from the UK to Canada it ends up where you intended.

Exchange rate. At Regency FX we ensure you get the best exchange rates possible when you send money from the UK to Canada.

Make your payment. Simply complete the details and send money from Canada to the UK.

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How to transfer money to Canada (in 4 simple steps)

Sending money to Canada from the UK is not as complicated as you might think. The process can be explained in four simple steps.


Identity check

Before you can send money to Canada from the UK, your identification needs to be verified.

Because of global money laundering rules, it is a legal requirement to check a new customer’s identity.

If you have a UK address, it’s typically quick and easy to verify someone as most people can be checked using basic information.

If you don’t have a UK address, then you may need to provide a copy of your passport and a recent bill. A photocopy or photo from your phone can be emailed over as proof.

Quick tip: Even if you’re not ready to transfer money today, it is worth completing this step well in advance so that you are ready if a great exchange rate comes up.


Lock in a GBP to CAD exchange rate

The next step is to lock in an exchange rate for Pounds Sterling to Canadian Dollars.

Sometimes the exchange rate will be shown as GBP/CAD (all currencies have 3-letter abbreviations).

You will be asked what currency you wish to buy (CAD) and the amount of Pounds (GBP) you wish to sell.

Following that, you will receive a live quote for the GBP/CAD exchange rate from your bank or money transfer specialist.

No transaction will occur without your authority.

If you do give your authority to proceed, your bank or money transfer specialist will secure that exchange rate for you in the market.

You will then be emailed through a transaction confirmation showing the amount of Canadian Dollars you have bought and the corresponding amount of Pounds you have sold.


Send in your Pounds to pay for your transfer

Before any money is exchanged and sent on its way to Canada, you need to pay for your money transfer.

Your transaction confirmation will show the bank details of where to send your Pounds. This should be a local UK account – so it is no different to doing a regular bank transfer.

Some customers prefer to send in their Pounds to pay for their transfer before they lock in an exchange rate as it speeds up the process.


Your Pounds are converted to Canadian Dollars

Once your bank or money transfer specialist has received your Pounds, they will exchange them into Canadian Dollars and send them to the Canadian bank account you have requested.

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What is the timeframe when sending money from the UK to Canada?

Usually, you would be looking at around 2-3 working days.

Payments can be slowed down as the Canadian banks will have to do their own checks as the money comes across from the UK, some are faster than others at completing these checks.

If you send your money in the morning it usually arrives faster than if you were to send it in the afternoon; also if you send it after 2pm it will be counted as the next working day.

Comparison between banks and money transfer specialists

There are two main options when it comes to transferring money from the UK to Canada and they are: using your bank or using a money transfer specialist.

The easiest way to put it is that banks are an easy option and may appear as convenient however, they have high charges.

Transfer fees and exchange rate are the two main costs when transferring money internationally.

Transfer fees are a standard fee that is charged by a bank for every international money transfer; the fees vary depending on which bank you use.

For example:

-Barclay’s charge £25 for a standard transfer or £40 for a priority transfer if you do it in a branch however, if you do it online it is free. The receiver is also charged £6.

-NatWest charge £15 under £5,000 or 0.3% over £5,000 with a maximum of £40.

-Lloyd’s charge £9.50 and the receiver is charged £12.

So, as you can see every bank is different when it comes to transfer fees and some banks also charge the receiver as well! Along with the transfer fee you also must think about the exchange rate.

The exchange rates that the bank offer as deemed as uncompetitive and expensive.

The exchange rate margin for the big banks within the UK are around 3-5.4%. If you are planning on sending a small amount of money the costs will not seem that terrible however, if you are planning on sending larger amounts of money then the costs can seem catastrophic!

When transferring money to Canada from the UK you will need a SWIFT code, Canadian SWIFT codes are 11 characters for certain branches.

Why should you use money transfer specialists for larger amounts?

Money transfer specialists can generally offer you a better exchange rate than the banks, this is since they have far less overheads than the bank so those savings can be passed straight onto the customers.

Furthermore, a lot of money transfer specialists do not charge transfer fees, these can add up if you are making multiple and frequent payments.

Some of the UK banks can charge up to 5% to send your money from the UK to Canada!

For example, with a £240,000 transfer you could be paying £12,000, that is a lot of money to be spending out on fees and charges!

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Are money transfer specialists safe?

The main thing to look out for to ensure that a money transfer specialist is safe is to check to see if they are regulated by the FCA (Financial Conduct Authority).

If they are regulated by the FCA then they are required to separate your funds from the company funds and they will put your money into a safeguarded client account, ensuring that it is safe.

To find out if a company is regulated by the FCA you can check the FCA register online.

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Can you trust all the exchange rates you see online?

There are plenty of online live rate's websites such as XE and FX Street however some of these rates are not real.

Some of the rates you see online are ‘interbank rates’ these are rates that are only available for banks themselves and large financial institutions.

These rates are not available for customers, not even large corporations can use these! These rates will usually have an exceedingly small disclaimer near them saying something like “for informational purposes only”.

For a real accurate exchange rate, get a real quote rather than looking at the live online quotes.

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What is the limit when transferring money from the UK to Canada?

To put it shortly, no there is no limit.

As these two countries have a close political and trading relationship there are no exchange restrictions with money transfers. Although, there are no limits set by the company, the banks themselves will have their own daily limits.

HSBC and Barclays have a daily limit of £50,00, NatWest and Lloyds have a daily limit of £100,000.

When looking at sending large, frequent amounts of money to Canada it might be worth looking for a money transfer specialist as there will be a lot of fees to think about if you are considering using your bank.

Getting the best GBP to CAD exchange rate

Exchange rates move every few seconds and even the smallest changes can affect the exchange rates massively.

Money transfer specialists can monitor the rates for you and help you get the best one possible, they can also alert you if the exchange rate moves in your favour!

Another good thing about using a money transfer specialist is that there is someone experienced for you to talk to instead of having to figure it all out on your own!

A small move of 1% on a £200,000 transfer is a difference of £2,000 to you and if you are not monitoring the rates, you could miss an opportunity like this!

It is all about optimising your timing when transferring money internationally to reduce the costs that you must pay out, therefore some guidance is helpful.

Banks and online-only operators will not offer the same guidance when it comes down to exchange rates and the process.

Bank staff are more trained in the savings accounts and mortgages side of things and have little experience with international money transfers and the most help you could get with an online-only operator such as TransferWise and Revolut would be webchat or support emails.

A lot of customers prefer talking to someone for guidance when sending large amounts of money!

Quick Summary

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The important thing is the comparison, online rates shown on Google and other search engines are not always accurate for the consumer. They can often refer to the rates that banks exchange at rather than what is available to you, the customer.

As a first-class currency transfer service, here at Regency FX we endeavour to get the best available rate regardless of how much you are transacting.

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