Foreign Currency Exchange

Who to choose?

Currencies Direct, who have a number one credit rating with Dun & Bradstreet, explain how there are some simple guidelines that can make choosing a foreign exchange specialist a little less daunting.


Make an enquiry by clicking on the link below:

Open the Currencies Direct request information form


If you’re in the process of buying a house overseas, or even if you have already bought, you will no doubt have come across the phenomenon that is the commercial foreign exchange specialist. Whether it’s in magazines, newspapers or at exhibitions they seem to be everywhere, and this is only the tip of the iceberg! They all want to help you move your money, and they all claim to save you money when compared to using your bank, so how do you decide which one to use?

When people ask us this question (which they do all the time) we usually provide them with some simple guidelines. These guidelines hopefully help to make sure that they have complete confidence in whatever company they choose to use for their foreign exchange.

Financially strong

Over the past ten years the commercial foreign exchange industry has grown from just one company to close to 30, with much of this growth coming in the last few years. Because of this rapid growth, it’s important to ensure that the company you are entrusting your hard earned savings with is financially strong, and that your money is safe. We strongly recommend that you choose a company that has at least three years of audited accounts, and also advise that you check with the company details of where they will be holding your money. Make sure that you ask them whether or not they have a separate client account for your funds.

Do your research

It sounds obvious but you can find out a lot about a company by doing a simple internet search on them. Look out for things such as whether or not they have won any awards or if they have been recommended by a reliable source. It may also be worth visiting some of the overseas property chat rooms that exist on the internet. These can prove to be a good place to get unbiased views, but you need to remember that not everything posted on them are 100% reliable. On this note ask any friends who have bought abroad who they used to transfer their money. Do not underestimate a recommendation from a friend, it’s possibly one of the most valuable things that any company can have in their favour.

What can they offer you?

It’s important when choosing a company to ask them about the different buying options they can offer. Some foreign exchange specialists let you specify a rate at which you want to buy your currency (limit order) or a fixed rate for up to two years in advance (forward contract). These can be great tools to help you stick to your budget and are not usually available to individuals through their bank. Although the thought of making regular transfers to cover mortgage payments, living expenses and the like may seem a long way off, it’s worth finding out now whether or not the company you are considering can help you with these in the future. Once you have bought your property, using a foreign exchange specialist for your regular transfers can save you thousands in the long run compared to using your bank. It’s also important to find out in advance what charges will apply to any transfers that you make with them. This can sometimes be confusing so if you’re unsure ask the company to confirm in writing. You can really save money by using a well-established foreign exchange company; not only through better exchange rates but also as a result of lower transfer charges.

No pressure

One of the most important things to remember is not to let a foreign exchange company pressurise you. Make sure that you are able to speak directly to a foreign exchange specialist who genuinely wants to understand your needs. The dealer’s role is to understand your requirements and to provide you with the information that you need, not to hard sell and certainly not to make you trade until you are 100% happy to go ahead. If you like, you can make your initial enquiry here...


Finally, be aware that at present commercial foreign exchange is an FCA regulated industry because it is not considered an ‘investment businesses’. The only regulation that currently governs the industry is the Money Laundering Regulations 2003 that are administered by HMRC. This is because under these regulations commercial foreign exchange companies are treated as ‘Money Service Businesses’.

Make an enquiry by clicking on the link below:

Open the Currencies Direct request information form