Transferring funds

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Transferring funds

Postby costablanca » Sat 18 Mar 2006 09:36

Another question if anyone can help.

What is the cheapest way of transferring Sterling to Malta on a regular monthly basis?
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Postby Salty » Mon 20 Mar 2006 09:57

Try one of the wholesale currency brokers who also handle retail - HiFx (www.hifx.co.uk) is the one I know, but if you Google or buy any of the overseas property magazines there are loads of others.
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Postby Duke » Mon 20 Mar 2006 13:50

maybe I'm being dim...or didn't quite understand the question...but why not just transfer it electronically online ? That's how I shift money about.
Gozo or bust...
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Postby Salty » Mon 20 Mar 2006 16:32

Sorry, I assumed they'd want the money in Maltese so it can be spent - if not you are correct of course, although better kept offshore altogether as remittances are taxed as a permanent resident. [...and they're taxable for temporary residents too - Tim]
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Postby costablanca » Mon 20 Mar 2006 17:49

In our experience brokers are good for large single amounts, but not for smaller transfers. We want our income from the UK to be transferred into Maltese Lira (as you say Salty, to be spent) each month at the best rate. Here in Spain there are banks who are linked to UK ones, where we can get money over free from charges. Was hoping we could do the same in Malta.
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Postby Salty » Tue 21 Mar 2006 08:40

I know that HiFx do not charge commissions or TT fees for regular payments - because I'm planning on using them for the same thing! Not only that but their exchange rates are based on the spot forex rate, not the tourist rate, which my bank were going to use. If you look at their website you can see the details, but as I wrote before, there are various brokers offering similar services as far as I could see.

Bear in mind that the costs/commissions are only one side of the argument - the ex-rate is also important. A wholesale broker offering spot rate, but charging 3% in fees and commissions is still a better deal than a retail bank doing it for free but basing the ex. rate on the tourist rate, bearing in mind that there is usually at least a 5% difference between the two.
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Postby costablanca » Tue 21 Mar 2006 12:28

Thanks for the good information Salty we will probably bring our money over with one of the companies you describe.

We have lived in France, Spain and now we are coming to Gozo (hopefully our last stop). It doesn't get any easier relocating - and we are all supposed to be in Europe!
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ATM Withdrawals

Postby petey » Sat 22 Apr 2006 20:28

Hello Everybody, This is the first time I have posted so please be patient with me if I get things wrong.

We are planning to retire to Gozo 2007/8 and it looks as though we will take temporary residency as that seems to be our best option judging by the excellent advice we have had from this forum.

Since we will be paying tax on the amounts passing through a Maltese bank account we would obviously want to minimise the sums going through that account.

What about using a UK cash card from an ATM on Gozo? The money would come direct from a UK bank account. Do other members of this forum think this is ethical and legal within the terms of temporary residency?
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Postby Tim » Sun 23 Apr 2006 10:24

Hi Petey, and welcome to the forum! Feel free to ask any further questions, on the appropriate boards, in the build-up to your move.

It's a good question and since you ask about opinions on legal and ethical matters it has prompted me to write a disclaimer which all users of this forum should be aware of. Therefore please read this!

Pulling money out of ATMs with a foreign cashcard is do-able. Of course it costs about 1.5-2.5% and the exchange rate you get may be worse than if you make a normal transfer. If it's a credit card, you also get hit for interest from the day you get the cash until you pay off your full card balance. You can also use overseas debit and credit cards for purchases and for some services too.

As far as legal acceptability of using your cards in this way goes, I'm not a lawyer, but I'd say it's legit. The dodgy bit is whether you are required to declare having done so when you come to fill in your tax form. Well, the tax year here ends on Dec 31. It's now April 23 and I still haven't received my tax form so I can't check about that. I'll post back when I get it (and btw, I have already received my UK tax form, of which the tax year ended only 18 days ago!!)

Obviously, if the money going into your UK bank account comes from income or investments it will be liable to some sort of UK taxation. Given that, plus the additional cost of using the cashcard abroad, your plan might not be worthwhile!

Tim
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ATM Withdrawals

Postby petey » Sun 23 Apr 2006 11:58

Morning Tim,

Thank you for getting back to us. Fortunately the card we intend to use (and did use last year on our 2 visits) does not charge commission on withdrawals abroad. The point about exchange rates is a good one that I hadn't thought of so I will have to do some investigating there.

We plan to have a meeting with a solicitor when we are next over in October and we will cover the legality and tax status of this and will post the answer.
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