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Faster, cheaper international money transfers out of Hong Kong

by Dayne Jans | Aug 17, 2016
  • Chinese forex regulations are particularly strict and using a traditional bank to get your money out of Hong Kong can be costly. An independent forex broker can help you navigate through the complex regulations, while ensuring you get bank-beating rates and fees.

    Sticking with what you know could be costing you

    Traditionally, most locals and expats in Hong Kong tend use one of the big local banks when making international money transfers. While sticking with what you know might seem like the safest option, you could be losing significant amounts of money on your transfers.

    Independent foreign exchange providers in Hong Kong are starting to challenge the monopoly held by traditional banks in the foreign exchange space. These brokers are able to offer better rates than banks and often do not charge any fees on the transactions they process.

    Let’s take a look at one of our clients, Brett, as an example.

    How Brett saves on transfers out of Hong Kong

    Brett wants to transfer HKD100,000 into his savings account in the UK. The current HKD - GBP exchange is favorable and he feels it’s a great time to send money home. As this is his hard-earned income, he wants to ensure that the transfer and exchange are as economically beneficial as possible. So Brett does his homework and asks around for prices.

    He finds that the transfer costs at most Hong Kong-based banks are in the same region:
    • They charge around HKD115.00 for the international transfer
    • Their exchange rate is at about 7-11% off the current rate
    • There is an additional charge of GBP15 when payment is made into his savings account in the UK
    Feeling like he was getting a raw deal, Brett did some research online and found out what independent brokers like Sable International were able to offer him.

    When using our service, Brett was able to get more money into his savings account because:
    • We have a local account in Hong Kong which allows us to make domestic transfers, which from most banks are free
    • Our clients get the exchange at the best rate possible - usually around 0.5% off the exchange rate
    • We transfer funds into target UK accounts without adding the extra GBP15 charge
    Here is the above example in numbers:


    Sable International

    Amount: HKD100,000.00 Amount: HKD100,000.00
    Rate HKD-GBP: 10.2925* Rate HKD-GBP: 10.1543
    Transfer charges: HKD115.00 Transfer charges: HKD00.00
    Account charge: GBP15.00 Account charge: GBP00.00
    Total received: GBP9689.63 Total received: GBP9848.04

    With Sable International Brett saves HKD1630.00 (GBP158.40)

    *Please note: In the above example we have given the banks the benefit of the doubt. In our experience bank exchange rates are usually much less favourable than the one we've quoted in this example.

    How to start transferring with a broker

    Registering and transferring with a broker is usually very simple. Let’s take a look at how we deal with a new client:

    When you contact us for a quote, we’ll put together a proposal and send it back to you. This will include the rates we’d transfer your money at as well as any other applicable fees there may be, depending on where you wish to send the money.

    Once we reach a rate that you are happy with, you can register on our website. This will involve you sending us some standard identification documentation. The registration process, if you have all your documents, should take no more than a day or two.

    When you have an account and we’ve verified who you are and that you are living where you say you are, we can make your transfer.

    International money transfers from Hong Kong take no more than three working days to clear in the destination account. If you’d like to make a same-day transfer, we can make it happen - for an additional fee.

    Start saving on your international money transfers out of Hong Kong. Send us an email or visit our website if you’d like more information on our service.

    We are a professional services company that specialises in cross-border financial and immigration advice and solutions.

    Our teams in the UK, South Africa and Australia can ensure that when you decide to move overseas, invest offshore or expand your business internationally, you’ll do so with the backing of experienced local experts.

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    Sable International is a trading name of 1st Contact Money Limited (company number 07070528), registered in England and Wales. We are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK (FCA no. 517570), the Financial Services Conduct Authority in South Africa (1st Contact Money [PTY] Ltd - FSP no. 41900) and hold an Australian Financial Services Licence issued by ASIC to deal in foreign exchange (1st Contact Group - AFS Licence number 335 126).

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