Repatriation of funds — How to find the best exchange rate

Do you need to relocate money back to the UK from overseas? Here’s how you can bring your funds home and save money.

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  • Competitive exchange rates that are often better than banks
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When you need to transfer money to the UK from overseas, there are plenty of potential pitfalls and problems that can turn even the simplest of transactions into an expensive hassle. From poor exchange rates and high fees to tax implications, there are plenty of issues to consider when repatriating funds.

Compare international money transfers

Table: sorted by promoted deals first
Our table below lets you compare the services you can use to send money abroad. Choose if you want to send under or over £10,000, and you’ll be shown a list of services that can help you.
Name Product Filter Values Fastest Transfer Speed Fees (Pay by Bank Transfer) Learn More
Wise (TransferWise) for large transfers
Within an hour
From £3.75

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Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
TorFX
24 hours
£0

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TorFX sends money overseas in 30+ currencies, with competitive rates for transfer amounts over $2,000.
Central FX
24 hours
£0

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Central FX's dedicated team will guide you or your business from first call to final payment.
Currencies Direct
Within an hour
£0

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CurrenciesDirect makes transferring money abroad simple with bank-beating exchange rates.
CurrencyTransfer
24 hours
£0

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CurrencyTransfer lets you shop around for the best exchange rate on its online marketplace.
XE Money Transfer
Within minutes
£2
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ £25 Amazon voucher when you refer a friend

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XE has fast transfers with low fees and a range of foreign currency tools.
Wise (TransferWise)
Within an hour
From £3.75

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Wise uses the mid-market rate and transparent fees to help you send money in 45+ currencies.
CurrencyFair
24 hours
€3
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Zero fees on your first 10 transfers

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CurrencyFair has bank-beating exchange rates and fast transfer times on 15+ popular currencies.
Azimo
Within minutes
From £0.99
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ First two transfers free for new customers.

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New customers use code AZIMO50 to get GBP 5 off when you transfer GBP 50+. Valid till 31 October 2021. T&Cs apply.
Azimo sends money directly to a bank account or over 280,000 cash pick-up points. It also has fast transfers to 50+ countries.
Remitly
Within minutes
From £1.49
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Free transfers and better exchange rates for new customers

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Remitly has quick, affordable transfers around the world, with both express and economy options.
WorldRemit
Within an hour
From £1.99
SPECIAL OFFER ✓ Use promo code 3FREE to send your first 3 transfers with no fee. Conditions apply.

View details
Send money to Cameroon with zero fees. Valid till 20 October 2021. T&Cs apply.
WorldRemit sends money to 110+ countries for bank-to-bank deposits, cash pick-ups or mobile top-ups.
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The good news, however, is that sending an international money transfer is simple and convenient using modern technology. It’s also less damaging to your bank balance than ever before, thanks to the emergence of a wealth of new international transfer options.

If you compare your options and shop around for the best transfer provider, you can send speedy and cost-effective international money transfers to the UK.

How does repatriation of funds work?

The repatriation of funds is when you move money from abroad back to the UK. There are plenty of situations where you might need to perform this type of transaction, including if you’re working overseas and sending money home to your UK-based family or if you receive a pension overseas that you want to transfer into your UK bank account.

Wherever you’re sending the money from, you should be able to find a major bank in most countries that will be able to handle the transaction for you. However, the problem is that banks don’t offer great value for money when you send funds overseas, with their poor exchange rates and high fees conspiring to take a big bite out of your bank balance.

The poor deal offered by banks has led to the rise in recent years of specialist online money transfer providers. These companies trade large volumes of foreign currency and, as such, can offer superior exchange rates to the banks. Their fees are also lower and they offer fast and secure online transfers, allowing you to send funds to bank accounts around the world. Companies like MoneyCorp and Currency Fair offer this service and you can compare a range of reputable online transfer providers at finder.com.

If you want to send your funds back to the UK in cash form, perhaps to help out a family member in urgent need of financial support, you may wish to use a company that offers cash pickup transfers. Providers such as Western Union and MoneyGram offer extensive worldwide transfer networks so that your beneficiary can pick up the cash you send from the other side of the world within minutes.

There are other issues to be aware of when sending money to the UK, including possible restrictions that may apply to the amount of money you can transfer. You’ll also need to remember to report all of your income when filing your tax return.

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What are some common reasons for repatriating funds?

Some of the most common reasons that people need to repatriate funds to the UK include:

  • To send money back home to family while working overseas
  • To transfer a salary or pension from an overseas bank account to a UK bank account
  • To transfer all their assets to the UK when migrating from abroad
  • To move the income they receive from an overseas rental property to a UK bank account
  • To make mortgage or rental repayments on a property in the UK when they are based overseas
  • To move the funds generated from successful investments back to the UK
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How do I compare international money transfer services?

Ask yourself the following questions when weighing up the merits of competing transfer companies:

  • Which company offers the best exchange rates? The importance of the exchange rate in determining the affordability of your transaction cannot be understated. Look around to find a company that regularly offers competitive rates, but remember to factor in the fees that may also be attached.
  • Which company charges the lowest fees? Transfer fees can range from a few pounds to £50 or more, so it pays to compare the transaction fees charged by different companies.
  • What transfer options are available? Some companies offer one-off spot orders only, while others allow you to place limit orders or forward contracts, and to set up regular payments months or even years in advance. You should also look at the methods by which you can place a transfer, such as online, in person, over the telephone or by using a smartphone/tablet app.
  • How will my beneficiary receive the money? In many cases, the money can be sent straight from an overseas bank account to your account in the UK. However, when you want the money you send to be available as cash for collection, companies like Western Union and MoneyGram are happy to oblige.
  • How quickly will the money be transferred? If time is an important factor for your money transfers, compare how long it will take for each company to get the funds to your recipient. It could take 10 minutes or it could take up to five or more business days.
  • Does the company have a good reputation? Do a little online research to check up on a company’s bona fides and whether it has a good reputation for offering secure transfers and professional customer service. Asking friends and family for their recommendations can also help you reach a final decision.
  • How can you access customer support? Hopefully you’ll never have any problems with your transactions but if you do, will you be able to access customer support via phone, email and/or online?
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What are the pros and cons of repatriating funds?

Pros

  • It’s simple. You can quickly and easily repatriate funds online through a number of providers; in most cases, all you need to do is register for a free account.
  • It’s cost-effective. If you shop around and compare money transfer providers, you can save yourself a whole lot of money.
  • Choice. There are plenty of reputable money transfer companies vying for your business, and the increased choice results in better transfer deals for consumers.

Cons

  • Restrictions and regulations. You’ll need to make sure you’re aware of any maximum limits that apply for transfers to the UK from your chosen country, while it’s also important to remember the tax implications if you earn an income from overseas.

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