For anyone that is moving to Ireland from the UK – either permanently or temporarily – sending money to Ireland is something, you will need to do .
What is the best way to send money from the UK to Ireland ?
The currency used in Ireland is the Euro and in the UK it is Sterling or the British Pound.
You could just ask your UK bank to convert your Pounds to Euros and transfer it to your Euro bank account in Ireland – but that will almost definitely be the most costly way to do it. We list some alternatives to your bank further down the page.
You could just send the Sterling and let the Irish bank convert into Euro for you at the other end – but they will use their own exchange rate and make a substantial profit on it – as much as 3 to 5%. This could mean as much as £3000 to £5000 loss on a £100,000 transfer.
Many people just assume that a standard exchange rate is used by all the banks – but this is not the case . The banks all set their own exchange rates. (Whatever they think they can get away with).
What are the alternatives to using your Bank ?
It might seem less hassle to just let your own UK bank take care of Sending Money from the UK to Ireland – but there are potentially big savings to be made by using money transfer specialists.
At first glance, the exchange rate differences may look tiny – just fractions of a cent. But a difference of just €0.01 in the Euro Sterling exchange rate could cost you €2000 on a €200,000 exchange!
Here are some money transfer companies that you can use for sending money from your UK bank to an Irish Bank account – or back the other way.
They will nearly always work out cheaper than using your own bank.
All the firms listed below deal with personal customers as well as businesses that are trying to cut their foreign exchange costs.
A recommended money transfer company, based in London is Currency Solutions . They are authorised by the UK Financial Conduct Authority.
You can visit the Currency Solutions website for a free no-obligation quote. You can also call them on their UK number (0044) (0)207 740 0000 . They also have an Irish number: 01 431 1344 . Ask for the Irish Links contact – Ernie Enver. He should be able to give you a quick response to any queries.
The Irish financial services company Fexco is authorised as a payment services provider by the Central Bank of Ireland.
In the UK, Fexco is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority for the conduct of payment business.
Setting up an account at Fexco costs nothing and once you are registered you can exchange and transfer money over the phone or online at a time that suits you. Fexco normally deals in amounts larger than €5000 and you can get a quick online quote at the Fexco Website.
The Fexco team of currency experts will be happy to answer questions and explain the options available to you to make the most from your currency transfers.
OFX is another company that can offer money transfer services between the UK and Ireland and over 50 other currencies too. Founded in 1998 , OFX now has eight offices across the world, including London and Dublin.
OFX is authorized in the UK by the FCA and in Ireland and the EU by the Central Bank of Ireland .
They don’t charge transfer fees and the minimum transfer amount is just €100.
You can register with OFX here
Why Use a Currency Specialist?
One great advantage of using specialist companies like Fexco or Currency Solutions is that you can also protect yourself against fluctuating exchange rates. They offer a personalised service and will guide you through the best options for your situation.
For example – you may be selling a UK property and looking to buy a property in Ireland. Instead of worrying about what will happen to exchange rates. – you can agree on an exchange rate in advance. This is known as a forward exchange contract (FEC) or simply, a “forward’. It is usually only possible on larger amounts. With a “Forward” – the exchange rate for the currency is agreed on the day and then remains valid for an agreed period of time (up to two years). A deposit is usually required to set up an FEC. You don’t need to arrange a forward contract on the full amount.
Other Ways of Sending Money to Ireland
If you are happy doing everything online yourself – and don’t want really need or want the personal touch or any support – then you could use an online “peer to peer” exchange such as CurrencyFair or WISE .
We have used both in the past , and they are very good for smaller payments.
Irish Bank Account
Tip: If you need to open a Euro bank account in Ireland – you should consider setting up an online bank account with N26. It’s all done via a smartphone app . No branches, no cash, no cheques (yet).
They are a fully licenced EU bank, covered by the German bank guarantee with over 200,000 customers in Ireland.
N26 is not available to UK residents – but if you are moving to Ireland and have an Irish address for them to post the bank card to – that will work. You could use a relative’s address. The relative could then forward the card to you for activation .
You will need to use the N26 card and account in Ireland at some stage within the first 12 months – or the account could be closed.
No proof of address is required to apply – just proof of id such as a passport. (An Irish one would be preferable but not essential.)
Sign up for N26 Ireland here.
More here on how to apply for an Irish passport.