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Over the last few months, the financial turmoil in Ireland and the Eurozone has seen the Irish rushing to withdraw Euros from their Euro bank accounts and transferring it into other currencies.
There is a real concern that the Irish Bank Guarantee will be unable to cover all the deposits, should any of the Irish Banks go under. Also, with the chaos and tension in the Eurozone, there are concerns that the Euro may collapse. Therefore between now and then we could see a steep drop in the value of the Euro against other currencies.
Open a Sterling Bank Account with a UK Bank
The easiest and most financially sound way to protect your interests is to open a Sterling Bank account with a UK bank operating in Ireland. Simply by making a journey to Northern Ireland you can do this; HSBC, Barclays KBC, Rabobank and Northern Rock are some examples for you to consider. It is advisable that you ring the bank before you travel, this will ensure that your chosen bank can fulfill your requirements.
It would be a good idea to begin this process by opening an account with a small amount of Sterling in cash. It is not advisable to withdraw large sums of Sterling from your Irish account at an ATM and please do not ask your Irish bank to exchange or transfer your euro into your UK Sterling account. If you were to do this, it would not be financially beneficial; this is down to poor exchange rates and high fees.
Use a Specialist Currency Exchange Broker
A specialist currency exchange broker will give you an exchange rate more favourable compared with your Irish bank and without the high transfer fees. On paper, at first glance, the rate of exchange may not look as promising. We can assure you that the small difference of 1 cent in the Euro on a €100,000 transaction would save you €1000 Euros!!! Compare this to the fact that banks often take 3-4 cents off the exchange rate and you will appreciate the difference.
A company that we can recommend, and who specialise in currency exchange and currency transfer, is Currency Solutions. Currency Solutions are regulated and authorised by the UK Financial Services Authority and HM Revenue. They will carry out currency transfers from Euros to Sterling as well as most other major currencies.
If you are worried about the Euro weakening further against Sterling - you can reserve an exchange rate up to a year in advance. Therefore in the instance that the rates are in your favour, but your money is tied up in either a fixed rate account or in property, you can reserve the rate now and make the exchange weeks or months in the future. A small 10% deposit is required with transactions of this nature.
Furthermore, you can make a no obligation enquiry about your currency requirements here:
Or if you prefer - you can telephone the Irish Abroad contact: Ernie Enver direct on 0044 207 740 0000. Mr. Enver will be able answer all your currency exchange questions. Please mention "Irish Abroad" website when you make call to speak to him.
If you feel more comfortable check with your own bank before contacting Currency Solutions to see just how much money you can save on your transfers. When speaking with your bank make sure you ask them to confirm exactly how much sterling they can provide in a transfer, minus any fees they will charge you.