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How to prepare for exchanging currencies: things to think about.

Undeniably a post aimed at the un-inducted first time currency exchanger - whether a business convinced there must be a cheaper way to manage currencies, or an individual seduced by the idea of challenging banking norms - here we will look at a couple of simple tips on acquitting yourself positively before engaging in discussions with a specialist.

As with all our posts we will weave in references to first hand case studies, but, in a different approach to our usual patter, we will also reference some of the businesses we work with who can aide you in arriving at an understanding of your position and how best to proceed with a broker, Prime Cap.

We were recently told that we need to do more to link our articles and posts back to our partners and to informations sources useful to our readers.

Hence, if you see reference to a third party please be assured that, unless otherwise specified, we work along side them to greater or lesser extent and, where third party links are included/embedded, they are so because we think the content they provide ties directly to the topic being discussed. If you would like introductions to qualified regulated third parties on matter relating to ta, accounting, law and wealth advisory then we would ask you to contact our broking team directly either by telephone on 0203 172 8193 or by email on

It hopefully goes without saying that there is a lot more detail available to you on the Prime Cap website and more specifically on the Prime Cap Library (

So, where should you begin your research in to the type of transaction you may need to conduct and where should you be looking to make sure you have the appropriate advice and guidance as to the suitability of the broker you may be considering?

The first thing we would suggest is that you talk with the professional services business that might be, no matter how tangentially or directly, advising you to make an international payment.

So, common reasons for an individual engaging in an international transaction are:

1+ . Bringing capital in to the UK for the purchase of a property.

2+ . Sending money from the UK following the sale of an asset (perhaps a property).

3+ . Receiving a bequest from a deceased third party.

4+ . Paying a bill you owe to someone based in a different country.

5+ . Receiving a payment from a company of business outside the UK.

6+ . Paying for a holiday.

7+ . Arranging payment for a wedding abroad.

A+ . Usually someone is recommended to speak with us by their financial adviser or their solicitor (the party involved in the conveyancing for a property purchase).

You may have a relative who is providing you with the deposit amount or larger capital contribution. Indeed, for those buying in London you may well have stacked up foreign currency savings in your home country or in the region you've been working in prior to relocation to the UK.


The things that we are concerned with in this instance is the 'source of the funds' and the 'source of your wealth'.

These are two different things.

The former, the source of funds, is essentially detail about the account this money is coming from. Where is it held? Is it held in your name of the name of someone else.

If held in the name of someone else, who is that person? Why are they sending you the funds and what is you relationship to them? And, why are you not able to send these funds from your own account to us?

We're not trying to catch a client out with these questions and answering them ties in precisely to our due diligence and the extent to which we 'know our client'.

The latter of the two - the 'source of your wealth' - relates to how you came by what might well be a sizeable amount of money.

Have you saved up? If the amount you exchanging is large, how have you been able to save up this sum? Have you sold a property abroad? Are you a dependant of someone who is paying these funds to you? Have you divorced and this is part of your settlement?

Unlike the source of funds, the question over source of wealth is a more personal series of questions designed, in a sense, to test the extent to which you are prepared to be forthcoming about the money you wish to exchange.