Lloyds TSB International is removing fees for international money transfers effective from 30 May 2012. New and existing holders of the Bank’s Premier International Account3 will no longer be charged a transfer fee to move currency to any overseas bank account4, whether it involves currency exchange or not and regardless of how they request the transfer - online, by telephone or by post. Fee-free international money transfers may be welcomed by many of the 34 per cent of expats, some 1.87 million5, who transfer money internationally at least once a quarter2 at an average cost of £15.10 per transfer2. An independent and weighted survey of 1,030 expats, commissioned by Lloyds TSB International, also reveals that 18 per cent of expats transfer money overseas monthly, weekly or more frequently still.
Furthermore, with 39% of expats' savings held in Sterling, fee-free money transfers may prove particularly popular for regular savers who prefer Sterling to their local currency. “Removing fees for international money transfers is a logical, and we hope popular, step to take as we try to build the market-leading banking service for expats,” said Russell Galley, Managing Director, Lloyds TSB International. “It demonstrates our commitment to our expat customers and reflects improvements that we’re making across the board, from introducing best-buy savings rates to developing an award-winning internet banking service.6 “Many expats rate foreign exchange and money transfers as an important financial service and fee-free transfers will be a great benefit to the huge number of our customers who continue to have financial commitments in more than one country.”
In addition to offering free international money transfers, Lloyds TSB International will continue to offer exchange rates that are typically better than those offered by other high street banks1. The survey2 by Lloyds TSB International reveals that 57 per cent of expats are concerned about foreign exchange rate fluctuations and the impact they could have on their finances. 17 per cent list these fluctuations as “one of their main financial concerns” for the year ahead. Lloyds TSB International has recently introduced market-leading or near market-leading international savings accounts7 including a fixed-term, five year Sterling account paying 4.5 per cent AER8, some nine times better than the Bank of England base interest rate and a one year Sterling account paying 3.4 per cent AER8, despite UK base rate increase in the next 12 months remaining unlikely.
1 Lloyds TSB International market research, April 2012.
2 From a survey of 1,030 British expats based in the 10 most popular expat destinations. Conducted by Freshminds, the research uses a sample of expats from each country that is representative of the global spread of British expats. The survey was conducted online in April 2012. The countries involved are: Australia, Spain, USA, Canada, France, New Zealand, South Africa, Germany, UAE and Hong Kong.
3 People with a gross annual income of £50,000, or who have £25,000 to deposit (or the currency equivalent of either amount), are eligible for the Premier International Account. The account is free if customers keep a balance of at least £2,500, or €2,500, or US$3500 in their account. If their balance falls below these values during the month, then a fee of £20/€20/US$30 is payable in that month. International money transfer fees were previously £15 online and £25 on the phone.
4 Lloyds TSB International will not charge customers an international money transfer fee. Customers may be charged a fee by another bank. Excluding charges levied by the correspondent Bank and recipient Bank abroad.
5 There are approximately 5.5 million British expats around the world, according to the Institute for Public Policy Research (2006 – the latest accurate data available). 34 per cent of 5.5 million is 1.87 million.
6 Lloyds TSB International was named ‘Best Consumer Internet Bank – UK’ at the Global Finance, Best Internet Banks in Europe Awards, August 2011.
7 According to Moneyfacts.co.uk, 17 May 2012.
8 Apart from exceptional circumstances, withdrawal is not possible before the completion of the fixed term, a charge may be payable in such circumstances, interest is paid yearly and the minimum deposit for both fixed-term sterling deposit accounts mentioned in the release is £10,000.
These rates are currently available for fixed term deposits and are correct at time of going to press. AER (Annual Equivalent Rate) illustrates what the interest rate would be if interest was paid and compounded once each year. Lloyds TSB International Continues to Improve Expatriate Offering with Fee-Free International Money Transfers