- Wednesday 31 January 2024
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If you’ve made the decision to sell some of your company stock, you are probably using the default US Stock Broking provider or platform (E-Trade, Fidelity, Merril Lynch etc.) to wire those funds back to your current account in Ireland and converting them to Euro from Dollar along the way.
Did you know that each transfer could be costing you hundreds of euro in unnecessary fees?
Bank Conversion Charges
In general, Irish banks will charge in two ways for the transfer:
- Fee: Usually a minimum of €5-€10 and can be as high as 1% of the transfer depending on the source.
- FX Conversion: The bank will convert from Dollar to Euro using the retail rate, which is usually the most expensive.
What Options Do You Have?
The proliferation of online banking solutions in recent years is a clear indication that our ‘pillar’ banks have neglected to satisfy many of the requirements of a modern customer. This includes instant payment, easy foreign access, cheap(er) FX conversion and other tools that many of us now demand.
The most popular online bank in Ireland is Revolut and, unsurprisingly, they offer a way to transfer funds easily and cheaply back here. There are a couple of things to be aware of, which I outline below, but most of our clients find the process straightforward enough. Other providers, like Wise and CurrencyExchange also offer a solution here.
The main benefit they all offer is an Interbank Rate (also known as mid-market) on FX conversions. This can be 1-2% cheaper than the retail rate available, though obviously it changes daily. Just as importantly however, you can bring the dollar value back as is and then decide how much you want to convert. This is useful if you want to onward invest these proceeds as part of a diversification exercise and are buying a fund that is dollar denominated (e.g. S&P 500 or NASDAQ).
How To Do It:
If you are wiring funds back from the US to Revolut (for example), follow these tips to avoid hassle:
- To access unlimited transfers, you need to have Revolut Premium, which costs €8.99 per month. This is a fee worth paying if the value of the transfer is high (above $10,000) or you’ll be doing it regularly – i.e during vesting periods.
- Some US banks/brokerages have issues with the SWIFT code for Revolut
- We have used alternative SWIFT codes (e.g. BARCGB22) along with the Revolut IBAN (make sure and also provide the SORT Code and Account Number if requested).
- Make sure the transfer is into the Dollar Account in Revolut, not Euro.