CA Britline

Guide to managing your money internationally part 1: bank transfers

Guide to managing your money internationally part 1: bank transfersIf you live in France, or spend a lot of time there, you may have wondered what the best way is to transfer your money overseas. There are a number of different options available, both for larger transfers and for everyday expenses, but some of them offer better value for money than others. As the Pound continues to fluctuate against the Euro, thinking about how to get the most for your money could become even more important to you. As the Pound continues to fluctuate against the Euro, thinking about how to get the most for your money could become even more important to you.

In the first of this two part series, we take a look at your options for transferring your money internationally by bank transfer.


Your UK bank can make a transfer to a bank account in France for you. This has become easier in recent years due to the introduction of the EU’S SEPA system for Euro payments. You just need to know the BIC and IBAN (the international format for sort codes and account numbers) for the receiving bank account, which you can find on a relevé d’identité bancaire (RIB).

International transfers can come with large fees, depending on factors such as the type of bank account you have, how you’re making the transfer and how quickly you want the money to arrive.

You might also find there is a hidden "cost" in the form of a low exchange rate. High street banks may only update their exchange rate once or twice a day. But to allow for currency fluctuations during the day, there will generally be a large difference between how much the bank buys the currency for and how much they will sell it to you for. Furthermore, if the exchange rate improves during the day, you may not benefit from this increase.


For a more cost-effective option, you might consider using an international money transfer specialist. These companies generally offer low or no fees and more competitive exchange rates than the high street banks.

Some may also provide a wider range of transfer options, such as regular payment plans to help you move a mortgage or pension, or forward contracts that can enable you to secure an exchange rate for a set period of time.

It is worth doing some research before you decide whether you are comfortable trusting the company with your money. Here are some questions you might want to ask include:

  • What are people saying about the company online?
  • What support will they give you if you have any questions or concerns?
  • Are they recognised by the UK Financial Conduct Authority as an Authorised Payment Institution? You can check the FCA register here.


As part of our commitment to offering a one stop solution for all your finance needs, a CA Britline bank account gives you access to the Britline International Payments Service (BIPS). The service is provided by a team of dedicated currency specialists, who are committed to saving you time and money on your international money transfers.

BIPS customers benefit from low fees and competitive exchange rates, which are constantly updating when the currency markets are open to reflect market rates. We regularly check to make sure our overall price (including bank charges, exchange rates and other fees) is better than the UK banks. We will make it clear to you before you book a transfer the exchange rate we are offering you, so you know how much will be received.

A BIPS account also provides benefits such as:

  • Quick, easy and secure transfers available online and over the phone.
  • Regular transfers service: secure an exchange rate for up to two years on regular payments such as your mortgage or pension, so you always know how much you will receive. Automated transfers by direct debit mean you don’t have to worry about forgetting to make a payment.
  • Forward contracts: secure an exchange rate for up to two years for a larger transfer, such as a property purchase, so you know exactly how much you’ll be paying.
  • Personalised rate alerts: let us know what exchange rate you’re hoping to achieve and we’ll let you know by email or SMS when that rate becomes available to you.
  • A dedicated account manager for larger transfers, who will get to know you and your requirements.

If you need to open a French bank account, it’s easy to get started with CA Britline. You can sign up online, and you don’t even need to have an address in France. You’ll get access to a French current account, debit card, cheque book and our dedicated international payments service for transfers to and from France.

Once your CA Britline account is set up, it only takes a few minutes to sign up with BIPS.

Coming Soon: Part 2 of the Guide to managing your money internationally: Debit /credit cards and cheques.  
Britline International Payments Service is powered by HiFX. HiFX Europe Limited is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority under the Payment Services Regulations 2009, registration 462444, for the provision of payment services. HiFX is also a registered MSB with HM Revenue & Customs. Registration number: 12131222. HiFX accepts no liability whatsoever for any loss or damages suffered through any act or omission taken as a result of reading or interpreting any of the above information. HiFX is a limited company registered in England and Wales. Registered number: 3517451. Registered office: Maxis 1, Western Road, Bracknell, Berkshire, RG12 1RT.