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Transferring money to buy house


Dear all,
I have sold my house in Belgium and need to transfer the money to buy a house in the UK. Does anyone have any experience or advice on the best/ cheapest way to do this?
Is there any point in me trying different banks in Belgium for exchange rates or fees ? are they all the same ?
Thank you for any advice offered.


It really depends on how much you have. If you have more than €100,000, then you can probably ask your bank to get you commercial market rates, i.e. they will do the transfer at a much tighter spread than you would normally get through a standard currency exchange. On amounts like this, the savings can be considerable.

You can shop around the different banks, but they aren't going to be able to give you better exchange rates, they can only give you a tighter spread over whatever the actual exchange rate is.

Having done exactly this last year, my suggestion would be to go to your bank and discuss with them the exact options they can offer you and the various costs. Also talk to your UK solicitor, who may have advice.

You can also use an alternative "non-banking" route such as somewhere like, or another UK regulated money transfer business. see halfway down this page for a more complete list:

If you decide to go this route, be careful for hidden charges, such as having to pay them to transfer your money out of their account into your account in the UK.

The other thing to consider is that with the current chaos over Brexit, it's not inconceivable that the government could fall and call a general election, which could be a real negative on sterling (and therefore very positive for you). If you don't need the money immediately in the U.K. I would probably hang on to the Euro's or at least only change half of them in order to have a small gamble on the currency going in your favor. Right now, a move of one cent is worth roughly £800 for every €100,000 you change.

Jul 11, 2018 13:26

Thank you so much for your advice, this is really helpful.

Jul 11, 2018 13:29

Watch out for the small print and hidden costs. You will be means tested in the UK. Suggest you only move small amounts of money back to the UK when you need it.

Jul 11, 2018 14:09

Thank you for the advice, but I don't understand what you mean by " you will be means tested in the UK" For what reason will I be means tested please ?

Jul 11, 2018 14:19

@ carmen_teer_skynet_be, I wouldn't worry, I don't think Anonymous knows what they're talking about.

Jul 11, 2018 17:14

In my experience the cheapest way to transfer money is with Transferwise. They will take a fee but you will get the best exchange rate.

Jul 28, 2018 18:30