Life as a Foreign Exchange Dealer

Until the UK house sale completed we were forced to conserve our funds so chose to live under a tarpaulin and trap local squirrels to eat. Okay, that’s not strictly true, but we certainly had to live petty light.

That’s now of course the dim and distant past, but having a reasonable sum of money in one country and living in another presents another challenge to the intrepid relocator, namely, how does one move funds from one place to another without giving the banking system vast sums of money.

The answer of course is to become a Foreign Exchange Dealer, which, using the power of the ‘net’ is perfectly feasible. My first stop was to a UK site that’s a real useful resource for anyone trying to get the most from their hard earned cash. Anyway, hunting around and also having spoken with some folks that moved over here around the same time as us I checked out a number of foreign exchange specialists. I visited MoneyCorp, HiFX, Currency UK and Foreign Exchange UK, there are plenty more to be found, but I ended up selecting one of the above.

I set up an account and carried out my first purchase of Canadian Dollars (CAD). The whole process was painless and having made a spot purchase, I transferred my Sterling in to the dealers account and they transferred the CAD to my local account. End to end the transaction took around 4 working days.

I then started to seriously watch the £ – CAD exchange rate. The CAD is a strong currency at the moment, not good for someone wanting to exchange sterling. So, when I noticed that the rate had managed to climb above 2 CAD I leapt into secure more funds.

Once again, the process went smoothly and a few days later I received notification of the transfer completing. However, no funds were showing in my bank. I left things overnight – still no funds appearing. I checked the transfer documents and horror – the dealer had left off my account details and transferred the CAD to a financial black hole. Over the next couple of days I made several calls and the dealer was very helpful. But, in the grand banking scheme of things, my amount was pretty much like losing small change down the back of a sofa. It was big bucks to me, but peanuts to the system.

I’m happy to report that my money was found in the equivalent of an electronic bucket somewhere between Ontario and BC and is now safely in my account.

So, not the best of experiences on my second run and it shows what a small human error can achieve. I’m not sure if there’s a moral to the story, just make sure that one checks all documents received very thoroughly.

Have I become an avid currency watcher? Yes, I’m afraid so. I’m watching [xe] the Pound yo-yo between 1.98 and as I write, just over 2 CAD. Now if it’ll only rise another couple of Cents.

June 2013 update. Both HiFX and Currency UK asked me to remove links to their sites. I’ve complied with the request so if you’re interested in the services provided by either of those companies, use your preferred search engine to find them.

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