What’s the best way to transfer savings abroad?

To transfer your savings overseas:

  1. Open a new bank account in your new country of residence. (Research foreign banks to ensure their security and stability, if you’re moving to a less developed nation.)
  2. Use OFX to transfer your savings abroad at a great exchange rate.
  3. Use a Forward Contract to lock in an exchange rate for up to 12 months for single or recurring transfers.
united nation, choose bank

How to Choose The Right Bank Overseas

In most developed nations, opening a bank account overseas is as simple as opening one at home. Usually, you’ll be required to furnish proof of residency and identity, and that’s about it.

If you are planning on moving to a country that has a banking system that is less developed than what you have come to expect in your home country, do your research to ensure your funds will remain secure once you move them overseas.

To determine if a bank is trustworthy and secure:

  • Look into the bank’s international clearing networks.
  • Figure out if the bank is able to issue Visa and MasterCard credit cards.

Ascertain if the bank participates in a payment clearance network or a shared ATM (a bank that participates in consumer-oriented partnerships and networks is more reliable, as this is a sign that the bank has been vetted)1

You should also find out whether your deposits will be guaranteed, and if the government will be the one guaranteeing the accounts. If that is the case, ask yourself how stable the government is. On the other hand, if a private organisation is the guarantor, research the organisation to learn about its reputation first.

Keep in mind that there are some countries, like Switzerland, in which private banks will be hesitant to allow foreign citizens, such as U.S. citizens, to open accounts. This is because  U.S. reporting requirements conflict with Swiss banking secrecy laws in some instances. Therefore, private banks might not want to issue accounts that force them to comply with laws like the Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act of the IRS, as an example.1

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Transferring Large Sums of Money to Another Bank Account

Before transferring large sums of money abroad, ask yourself:

  • Are you moving temporarily or permanently?
  • What is the exchange rate right now?
  • Should I use a Limit Order to set a target exchange rate?
  • Should I use a Forward Contract to lock in a good rate for up to 12 months?
  • Which documents will I need to provide to get a bank account abroad?
  • Is there a benefit to leaving some of my money overseas?

In our experience as expats here at OFX, it is often beneficial to leave a small portion of your funds overseas. This makes it easier to maintain credit back home and can facilitate tax, mortgage, student loans, or other similar payments.

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Use OFX to Transfer Your Money Securely

Once you have opened up your new bank account abroad, you can use OFX to transfer your savings swiftly and securely. You can use our 24/7 online platform and customer phone support to move your money when you want to. Plus, you can save money because you won’t be hit with the high margins and fees that banks charge.

IMPORTANT: The contents of this blog do not constitute financial advice and are provided for general information purposes only without taking into account the investment objectives, financial situation and particular needs of any particular person. UKForex Limited (trading as “OFX”) and its affiliates make no recommendation as to the merits of any financial strategy or product referred to in the blog. OFX makes no warranty, express or implied, concerning the suitability, completeness, quality or exactness of the information and models provided in this blog.

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