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Royal Bank of Scotland International Transfers

The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) has over 700 branches across the UK, with the majority in Scotland. It is an entirely separate institution from the Bank of Scotland and offers both personal and business banking solutions to more than 19 million customers respectively. In this review, we will present everything you need to know about using RBS to send and receive money across borders – including examining the exchange rate margins and fees charged by the bank.

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About RBS

Founded in 1727, Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) is part of the NatWest Group (together with Ulster Bank and NatWest). The bank operates predominantly in the United Kingdom, though it has recently established a presence in the United States through several acquisitions towards the end of the 20th century. RBS supports over 60 currencies including the Euro, British pound, and US dollar.

RBS exchange rates and fees

When sending money abroad, RBS adds a margin on top of the mid-market rate you see on Google or FX sites, along with other fees. Here is what you need to know about the amount it costs to send money with RBS.

Exchange rates

The exchange rate margin applied to each foreign currency transfer will differ depending on the currency being exchanged. That being said, RBS charges high exchange rate margins across the board and you can expect to pay exchange rate margins upwards of 4.5%. To give one example, exchanging GBP to EUR attracts a margin of 4.58%.

Transfer fees

Sending money within the UK using RBS is free of cost with Faster Payment. However, with CHAPS, you’ll incur a £20 fee. When sending money across borders, expect to pay £15 online and up to £30 using telephone or in-branch banking.

Additional costs

RBS customers withdrawing cash in foreign currency from outside the UK are charged 2.75% of the transaction value. Also, receiving non-Euro international transfers into your RBS account will cost customers between £1 and £7.

Royal Bank of Scotland pros and cons

RBS has been in operation for close to three centuries now, and over this time it has honed its financial services. However, it still has some drawbacks you should be aware of. Here is a summary of RBS’ strengths and weaknesses.

Pros
Part of a larger group: RBS is a subsidiary of the NatWest Group – with a total asset base of more than £723 billion.
Standard and urgent transfers: Customers can choose between Standard and Urgent money transfers based on how quickly they want their payments delivered.
A variety of accounts: Customers can choose the type of account that meets their needs. Available accounts include Select, Revolve, Student, Graduate, Foundation, Reward, among others.
Cons
Restricted account opening: To open a bank account, you must be a resident within the UK or EU.
Large exchange rate margins: When making large transfers, RBS’s margins of 4.5% and above can make your transfer expensive.
Steep fees: Having to pay fees of up to £30 per transfer can prove costly when compared with money transfer companies most of which charge only a fraction of that.
Low customer service rankings: In a 2019 survey by Ipsos MORI, RBS got low rankings with most users saying the bank’s customer service is unsatisfactory.

RBS Swift Codes

BankCountryCity
Royal Bank Of Scotland PlcAustraliaSydney
The Royal Bank Of Scotland Plc Austria Formerly Known As Rbs NvAustriaVienna
Royal Bank Of Scotland Nassau Limited TheBahamasNassau
The Royal Bank Of Scotland Plc Canada Formerly Known As Rbs NvCanadaMontreal
The Royal Bank Of Scotland Plc CanadaCanadaToronto
The Royal Bank Of Scotland Plc Canada Formerly Known As Rbs NvCanadaToronto
The Royal Bank Of Scotland Plc Denmark Formerly Known As Rbs NvDenmarkCopenhagen
The Royal Bank Of Scotland Plc Paris BranchFranceParis
Royal Bank Of Scotland Plc FrankfurtGermanyFrankfurt Am Main
Royal Bank Of Scotland International Limited TheGuernseySt Peter Port
Royal Bank Of Scotland PlcHong KongHong Kong
The Royal Bank Of Scotland Nv HongkongHong KongHong Kong
The Royal Bank Of Scotland Plc Hong Kong Branch Formerly Known As Rbs NvHong KongHong Kong
The Royal Bank Of Scotland Nv IndiaIndiaAhmedabad
The Royal Bank Of Scotland Nv IndiaIndiaBangalore
The Royal Bank Of Scotland Nv IndiaIndiaChennai Madras
The Royal Bank Of Scotland Nv IndiaIndiaHyderabad
The Royal Bank Of Scotland Nv IndiaIndiaKolkata Calcutta
The Royal Bank Of Scotland Nv IndiaIndiaLucknow
The Royal Bank Of Scotland Nv IndiaIndiaMoradabad
The Royal Bank Of Scotland Nv IndiaIndiaMumbai
The Royal Bank Of Scotland Nv IndiaIndiaNew Delhi
The Royal Bank Of Scotland Nv IndiaIndiaPanipat
The Royal Bank Of Scotland Nv IndiaIndiaPune
The Royal Bank Of Scotland Nv IndiaIndiaSurat
The Royal Bank Of Scotland Nv IndiaIndiaTiruppur
The Royal Bank Of Scotland Nv IndiaIndiaVadodara Baroda
The Royal Bank Of Scotland Plc Ireland Formerly Known As Rbs NvIrelandDublin
Royal Bank Of Scotland International Limited TheIsle Of ManDouglas
Royal Bank Of Scotland Isle Of Man PlcIsle Of ManDouglas
Royal Bank Of Scotland PlcJapanTokyo
The Royal Bank Of Scotland Plc TokyoJapanTokyo
The Royal Bank Of Scotland KazakhstanKazakhstanAlmaty
The Royal Bank Of Scotland KazakhstanKazakhstanAtyrau
The Royal Bank Of Scotland KazakhstanKazakhstanTengiz
The Royal Bank Of Scotland NvNetherlandsAmsterdam
The Royal Bank Of Scotland Plc AmsterdamNetherlandsAmsterdam
The Royal Bank Of Scotland Plc The Netherlands Formerly Known As Rbs NvNetherlandsAmsterdam
Royal Bank Of Scotland Plc QatarQatarDoha
Royal Bank Of Scotland ZaoRussiaMoscow
Royal Bank Of Scotland ZaoRussiaSt Petersburg
Royal Bank Of Scotland ZaoRussiaYuzhno Sakhalinsk
Royal Bank Of Scotland PlcSingaporeSingapore
The Royal Bank Of Scotland Asia Securities Singapore Pte LimitedSingaporeSingapore
The Royal Bank Of Scotland Plc Singapore Formerly Known As Rbs NvSingaporeSingapore
The Royal Bank Of Scotland Plc Nordic Formerly Known As Rbs NvSwedenStockholm
The Royal Bank Of Scotland PlcSwitzerlandZurich
The Royal Bank Of Scotland Plc Zurich Formerly Known As Rbs NvSwitzerlandZurich
Royal Bank Of Scotland Plc Turkey Formerly Known As Rbs NvTurkeyIstanbul
The Royal Bank Of Scotland Plc New YorkUsaNew York Ny
The Royal Bank Of Scotland Plc ConnecticutUsaStamford Ct
The Royal Bank Of Scotland Plc Connecticut Formerly Known As Rbs Nv ChicagoUsaStamford Ct
The Royal Bank Of Scotland Plc Connecticut Formerly Known As Rbs Nv New YorkUsaStamford Ct

Answers to key questions about RBS

As you contemplate whether or not to use RBS for your next international transfer, it is important to bear certain things in mind. We present answers to the most common areas customers query.

Can I open an RBS account in any country?

No, to sign up for an RBS bank account you must either be a UK or EU resident.

Does RBS have an app?

Yes, it does. The Royal Bank of Scotland app is available on both Play Store and App store. The app has several functionalities including:

  • Checking account balances and transactions
  • Making local transfers and international payments
  • Managing beneficiaries
  • Cancelling payments

Are there transfer limits?

Yes. You can transfer up to £50,000 online per day. For transfers beyond £50,000, you can either visit a branch or plan your payments over several days.

How long do transfers take with RBS?

Urgent transfers take 1-2 working days while standard transfers take 2-4 working days. Transfers are subjected to a cut-off time of 3pm UK time.

What customer support options are available?

Customers can get in touch with RBS through the following channels:

  • Telephone: The line to call is 03457242424 from within the UK and +44(0)1315498888. Customer support lines are open Monday to Friday 8am – 8pm and on Saturdays 9am – 9pm.
  • Email: You can make a general enquiry using a webform on the RBS support page.

How to open an account and transfer money with RBS

Opening an account and making a payment with RBS is simple. Here is the process you have to go through in order to make an international transfer.

Opening an account

To open an RBS account, simply go to the RBS account opening page and follow the steps as outlined below.

1. About you: Enter your personal details including your name, address, where you pay tax, your email, and phone contacts

2. About your money: Provide your employment status and level of income

3. Your account: Give the purpose for which you are opening the bank account and register for online banking in one go. 

4. Confirmation. Once you have provided these details, simply confirm they are correct and submit the form.

Sending money

1. Login to your online banking app or platform

2. Select the account to pay from

3. Pick payments

4. Click on international payments

5. Choose a saved payee or add a new one (you will need their IBAN number)

6. Enter the amount you’d like to send 

7. Tap ‘Done’ and then click ‘Confirm’

8. Choose payment type, fee type, and confirm the payment to finalise the transaction.

Summary

RBS is part of the NatWest Group, one of the largest banking groups in the UK, and the bank has been around for almost 300 years. Today it provides personal and corporate banking solutions including local and international funds transfer services. However, transferring money using RBS can be quite expensive because of the fees charged and the high exchange rate margins applied by the bank. 

If you’re looking to find the best deal for transferring your money overseas, the best thing to do is to weigh up your options using our money transfer comparison engine. This amazing online tool will evaluate all available options, displaying the best service to use for your specific transfer.

Hanna
Written by
Hanna