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Foreign Currency Direct Review

Foreign Currency Direct (currencies.co.uk) is a dedicated international money transfer and foreign exchange provider founded in 2000. It serves both private and corporate clients through a team of dedicated account managers to help people transfer money abroadIn this review, we’ll take you through all you could need to know about Foreign Currencies Direct, from their exchange rates and fees to the kind of payments you can make and their transfer limits. We’ll help you decide whether you should trust them to send your money or look for other options.

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Since its establishment, Foreign Currency Direct has offered one of the fastest and cheapest ways to send money abroad to tens of thousands of clients helping them to transfer over £5 billion all across the world. They take time to listen and understand their client needs, giving them alternative hedging options such as spot contracts, forward contracts, limit orders and stop losses.

Foreign Currency Direct exchange rates and fees

The provider offers competitive exchange rates and fees, adding a small margin above the mid-market rate when they buy and sell currencies, and also applying a fixed fee on transactions in order to generate revenue for their business. Their fee structure and level of service make it one of the most appealing money transfer providers to people wanting to transfer large amounts of money. Here’s what their rates and fees look like.

Exchange rates

Foreign Currency Direct buys currencies in wholesale from multiple liquidity providers, thus getting better rates by benefiting from economies of scale. Their exchange rate margin averages 1% but it largely depends on the negotiations with your personal account manager. In addition, the provider has the following exchange rate hedging tools you could use: 

  • Spot contracts: The best option for immediate transfers at the current rate
  • Forward contracts: You can lock a rate for up to 1 year to transfer funds when ready
  • Limit order: You can target a rate and automatically transfer funds when it is reached
  • Stop loss: If you don’t want to transfer funds below a certain rate you can use this hedging tool to trade when the rate falls to a certain level.

Fees

Money transfers below £50,000 are charged £15 while those above £50,000 are free. This gives an advantage to people wishing to transfer large amounts and means that Foreign Currencies Direct is a relatively expensive choice for customers only looking to transfer three-figure amounts.

Additional costs

There are no other costs involved unless your bank charges you for the transfer. However, the recipient may be charged a SWIFT fee or landing charges by their bank. Foreign Currencies Direct can’t control these external fees so it is always good to check with your bank before transferring funds.

Foreign Currency Direct pros and cons

As an international money transfer provider, Foreign Currency Direct checks most of the boxes. Its platform is innovative yet simple to use. Here are some of the pros and cons of using their service.

Pros
Dedicated account manager: Once you open an account, you’ll be assigned a personal account manager who will help you with your trades and transfers, guiding you through your options and finding the best rates.
Hedging options: Whether you want to transfer money now or later, Foreign Currency Direct gives you several contract options to choose from. You can go for a spot contract, forward contract, limit trade or stop-loss contract.
Bank beating rates: Compared to high street banks such as NatWest, Barclays, RBS, Santander and others, Foreign Currency Direct offers much better exchange rate margins, enabling more of your money to go to your intended recipient.
Fee-free large transfers: If you are making large transfers above £50,000, you won’t have to pay a single cent in transfer fees. Exchange rate margins will still apply though but can be negotiated down with your account manager.
No limits: Foreign Currency Direct targets customers making large transfers for purposes such as buying holiday homes. There is no stated limit on the maximum you can transfer and if wanting to move a large amount of money, your account manager can help you through the process.
Cons
Expensive for smaller transfers: If you are making transfers below £50,000, you’ll pay a £15 fee. While this is cheaper than banks, it may not be the best when compared to other providers – especially if transferring three-figure sums.
No mobile app: If you want to transfer on the go using an app, you’ll have to look for an alternative provider. That said, their platform is mobile friendly and can be accessed through your phone’s browser.
Limited support: Customer support is only available during office hours Monday – Thursday: 8.30 am – 6.00 pm and Friday: 8.30 am – 5.00 pm.

What kind of payments can I make with Foreign Currency Direct?

When thinking of making a transfer with any provider, you need to know how you can pay for your transfer and how the recipient will get the funds. Here are the options available with Foreign Currency Direct.

Payment methods available

The provider allows for bank transfers only as a payment method. This can be limiting but convenient when making large transfers.

Withdrawal options available

Transfers are made directly to the recipient’s account. If you are looking for other payout options like cash pickup and mobile transfers, you’ll have to shop for another provider.

How to send and receive money with Foreign Currency Direct

The provider had simplified the process of sending and receiving money through their online platform. We’ll take you through all the steps.

How to send money with Foreign Currency Direct 

You can send money through Foreign Currency Direct in four easy steps as outlined below:

  1. Open account: Register for an account online in less than 10 minutes. You just need your contact details, address, where you’re planning on sending money to, and the reason for the transfer.
  2. Agree on a rate: Your personal account manager will contact you, get to know your transfer needs and help you get the best rate and timing for your transfer.
  3. Send payment: Once you have the rate, you can go ahead to book you transfer and make payment via your bank.
  4. Transfer to your recipient: Once Foreign Currency Direct receives your payment, they will transfer directly to your recipient’s bank account

How to receive money with Foreign Currency Direct 

Since the transfer is deposited in your recipient’s bank account, there is nothing they are required to do or provide to access the funds except provide you with accurate account details into which to transfer money.

Does Foreign Currency Direct have a mobile app?

The provider doesn’t have an app, but its website is mobile-friendly. You can transact just as you would on your laptop or desktop computer through your mobile browser.

How fast are Foreign Currency Direct’s transfer speeds?

Transfers on the platform take anywhere between 1-3 days to be completed. While most transfers are completed within 24 hours, larger transfers may stretch into the third day.

Are there maximum and minimum transfer amounts? 

Foreign Currency Direct doesn’t indicate any transfer limits and is generally tailored to help facilitate larger transfers, so however much money you wish to send it is likely your account manager will be able to help you do it.

Can I trust Foreign Currency Direct? 

Yes, Foreign Currencies Direct is a well-trusted name in the money transfers space – and for good reason. Their team of account managers are on hand to facilitate large international transfers for their clients and find them the best rates. Let us take you through the provider’s history and key information briefly so you can be sure they offer a service you can trust.

History and key information

Foreign Currency Direct is incorporated in the United Kingdom under company number 5082565 and is part of the Currency Holdings Limited. It is also authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) under Firm Reference Number 902022. This gives the provider the legal right to operate as an Electronic Money Institution as stipulated by the Electronic Money Regulations 2011.

As part of the FCA regulations, Foreign Currency Direct is required to hold client funds in segregated accounts separate from its business funds. This safeguard ensures client funds are not drawn to finance company operations.

The provider also has a set of anti-money laundering and sanctions screening policies in place. These policies ensure customers are well identified and the purposes for which they are sending funds are justified. The company is backed by Pollen Street Capital, an asset investment management firm currently managing a portfolio worth £2.7 billion.

In 2017, Foreign Currency Direct won the Gold Trusted Service award on Feefo because of its outstanding personal customer support experience.

Customer satisfaction

The provider has excellent reviews, with a 4.8/5 rating on Feefo and a TrustScore of 4.1/5 on Trustpilot. We had a look through their reviews and found that customers generally had this to say about Foreign Currencies Direct:

Positive

  • Personalised support through dedicated account managers
  • Better exchange rates compared to banks 
  • Fast transfer delivery times with some routes enjoying same-day transfer times

Negative

  • Occasional delays in transfer deliveries

Can I cancel my transfer?

If your transfer hasn’t been picked, yes you can cancel it by calling or emailing the customer support team. However, any costs incurred will be charged to your account and deducted from your refund.

Top destinations for using Foreign Currency Direct

You can send to more than 35 currencies globally using this provider. However, the following are the most popular countries that money is sent to through the platform:.

Customer support

Customer support is available during official working hours which are Monday – Thursday: 8.30 am – 6.00 pm and Friday: 8.30 am – 5.00 pm. You can use the following avenues to get in touch with Foreign Currency Direct:

  • Telephone: if you are calling from within the UK, you can use the toll-free number- 0800 328 5884. Customers calling from outside the UK should use the toll number: +44 (0)1494 725353. 
  • Email: To get in touch on email, you can send your queries to info@currencies.co.uk.

Support is available in English though you may get a customer support representative who speaks one other language.

Summary

Foreign Currency Direct has a great model predicated on providing top-level customer service for people wishing to make large international transfers. Customers get personalised services through dedicated account managers; right from the when you open an account to the moment you make the first transfer you’ll be guided through every process. 

The company is an FCA regulated provider, and therefore always takes every step possible to comply with the regulations and ensure customer safety. Being able to trust a provider is particularly important when sending large amounts, so Foreign Currency Direct’s team always go above and beyond.

When transferring more than £50,000, you pay zero fees and your account manager can help you negotiate better exchange rates margins to save you more money. However, your recipient can only have the funds deposited in their bank accounts. If you prefer cash pickup or mobile money transfer, you’ll have to shop around for another provider.

Fortunately, our money transfer comparison tool can help you do a quick analysis and get a provider who offers great rates, security, and reliability. Simply enter the details of the amount you’re wishing to transfer into our helpful tool and we’ll show you your best options in seconds. If you’re looking to transfer a large amount, we’re pretty confident Foreign Currencies Direct will feature prominently in the options we come up with for your transfer.

Artiom
Written by
Artiom

Artiom is a marketing graduate from the University of Portsmouth, Artiom’s primary experience is in SEO but he has a broad knowledge of all facets of digital marketing. He optimises the organic experience on MoneyTransfers.com with the content team, manages and creates unique marketing tactics, and generally supports the overall growth of the website.

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