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Old 08.11.2015, 16:52
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Transferring money from Switzerland to Malaysia with UBS

I am a pensioner living in Malaysia. For more than 30 years I am client of the UBS without any problem until a year ago. Then suddenly the UBS told me that I could no longer transfer money by myself via Internet, but that it had to be done via my personal "Betreuer". The reason was that this was no longer allowed by the Malaysian authorities. I contacted the Malaysian Central Bank and they told me that this is absolutely not true. Back to the UBS, but they maintained their story. It is very inconvenient as I often transfer my pension on the day that there is a good rate. This is no longer possible. Has anybody an explanation for this strange UBS rule?? Thank you.
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Old 11.11.2015, 10:00
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Re: Transferring money from Switzerland to Malaysia with UBS

No idea what UBS is thinking there, but actually you should thank them. Because: If you transfer directly with UBS they fleece you on fees and exchange rate.

For MYR, just use transferwise.com in the future.

Usually I prefer and recommend currencyfair.com for international transfers, but they don't do MYR.

That should solve your problem, and save you tons on the side

Rgds, Christian
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Old 11.11.2015, 14:43
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Re: Transferring money from Switzerland to Malaysia with UBS

I would also very much recommend transferwise and avoid UBS, although their fees are not THAT high, at least not if you transfer to EUR. However, there is a general drawback when using their services.

If you don't know about transferwise, allow me to give you a quick run-down:

1) You setup a transfer through their website (you decide how much obviously and more importantly you can set a lower bound for the exchange rate).
So, if the exchange rate it 1 CHF = 4.3345 MYR, you can stop the transfer if it falls below 0.5% of that.

2) You transfer the money locally into their (swiss) account.
This will take a few days (usually 2) until they receive the money and there is nothing UBS will have to say about that.

3) Then, they will convert the money within 2-3 days, but unless you limited the exchange rate fluctuations, it usually happens straight away.

4) You will receive the money in your designated account in your country of destination.

It may take a bit longer than the UBS transfer (I honestly don't know how long that takes, though), but you first of all get the mid-market rate and more importantly you can set a threshold under which you are not willing to trade you money anymore.

Last edited by 22 yards; 11.11.2015 at 15:02. Reason: Yup, referral links violate forum rules.
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Old 11.11.2015, 15:07
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Re: Transferring money from Switzerland to Malaysia with UBS

I recommend OzForex. Same principle as transferwise but no fees if you transfer more than the equivalent of AUD 10k, and the fees if you're under that amount aren't much anyway.

I suggest you get quotes from UBS, transferwise and OzForex to transfer a fixed amount, and make your mind up for future transfers.
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Old 11.11.2015, 16:04
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Re: Transferring money from Switzerland to Malaysia with UBS

Thanks! Have you used OzForex before?

I had a look at them a while ago, but I couldn't figure out if I could trust them. Then I started using transferwise and sort of forgot about that website - thanks for reminding me.
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Old 11.11.2015, 16:14
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Re: Transferring money from Switzerland to Malaysia with UBS

Are you sure OzForex are using mid-market rates as well? If not, they might actually be hiding their fees in the conversion, just like all the banks do.

A simple comparison shows me this:

OzForex:
10,000 CHF -> 13,911 AUD
("free")

Transferwise:
10,000 CHF -> 14,005 AUD
(already included fee: 50 CHF)

Google:
10,000 CHF -> 14,070 AUD

xe.com:
10,000 CHF -> 14,068 AUD

That means transferwise converted 9,950 CHF with the same rate that google and xe.com are quoting, while OzForex somehow converts at a different rate, which means you'll pay some hidden fees with them.
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Old 11.11.2015, 16:54
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Re: Transferring money from Switzerland to Malaysia with UBS

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Are you sure OzForex are using mid-market rates as well? If not, they might actually be hiding their fees in the conversion, just like all the banks do.

A simple comparison shows me this:

OzForex:
10,000 CHF -> 13,911 AUD
("free")

Transferwise:
10,000 CHF -> 14,005 AUD
(already included fee: 50 CHF)

Google:
10,000 CHF -> 14,070 AUD

xe.com:
10,000 CHF -> 14,068 AUD

That means transferwise converted 9,950 CHF with the same rate that google and xe.com are quoting, while OzForex somehow converts at a different rate, which means you'll pay some hidden fees with them.
xe.com gives worse rates than post finance after costs.... I think you were looking at the mid rate not actually doing a transaction.

I did 5K CHF test with Post finance & XE.com a couple of years ago, money arrived quicker & more money with PF.
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Old 11.11.2015, 17:12
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Re: Transferring money from Switzerland to Malaysia with UBS

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xe.com gives worse rates than post finance after costs.... I think you were looking at the mid rate not actually doing a transaction.

I did 5K CHF test with Post finance & XE.com a couple of years ago, money arrived quicker & more money with PF.
I am looking at the mid-market rate on purpose as this is the rate that transferwise is using. You will generally always have a less attractive rate when using a bank, but I would expect even PostFinance is charging fees for international transfers?

Would be very interested to see the comparison, though. Which country were you looking at for the transfer?

PS: Another drawback when using a direct bank transfer is that the bank on the other side likely may also charge a fee for receiving the money (in Australia or the US this can easily be $25). Of course one major advantage is privacy...
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Old 11.11.2015, 17:25
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Re: Transferring money from Switzerland to Malaysia with UBS

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I am looking at the mid-market rate on purpose as this is the rate that transferwise is using. You will generally always have a less attractive rate when using a bank, but I would expect even PostFinance is charging fees for international transfers?

Would be very interested to see the comparison, though. Which country were you looking at for the transfer?

PS: Another drawback when using a direct bank transfer is that the bank on the other side likely may also charge a fee for receiving the money (in Australia or the US this can easily be $25). Of course one major advantage is privacy...
The mid market rate will change every second....... Privacy no longer exists unless you only deal with cash.
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Old 11.11.2015, 17:40
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Re: Transferring money from Switzerland to Malaysia with UBS

I also recommend Transferwise. The rate you get is so close to the mid-rate that I can't imagine there is much better. The timing is a bit of a drawback, however unless you are in a massive rush, it's not a problem.
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Old 11.11.2015, 18:20
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Re: Transferring money from Switzerland to Malaysia with UBS

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The mid market rate will change every second....... Privacy no longer exists unless you only deal with cash.
Sure, but with a simple bank transfer you don't actually know which rate you'll get, because the bank will just sort it out and exchange the money whenever they think it's the best time.

With transferwise you can specify a threshold and stop them from converting the money if the rate drops below that.

Regarding the privacy: I am not sure why you think privacy no longer exists, but banks are bound by specific laws, bringing another entity into the equation of money exchange, obviously reduces your privacy and transferwise of course will at some point use the information they gathered about you to their financial advantage. They already share that information with their affiliates and they don't tell you who that is.

I don't believe a common bank is sharing or selling its customers transaction history with investors that decided to loan money to the bank. On the other hand, I'm pretty sure that's exactly why people are investing into transferwise.
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Old 12.11.2015, 13:06
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Re: Transferring money from Switzerland to Malaysia with UBS

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Thanks! Have you used OzForex before?

I had a look at them a while ago, but I couldn't figure out if I could trust them. Then I started using transferwise and sort of forgot about that website - thanks for reminding me.
I've used Ozforex many times. they're owned by Macquarie Bank, which is a large, well-known Australian bank.

With regard to the rates used, the best idea is to get an actual quote from several institutions simultaneously. The rate shown on the home page of Ozforex is not the same as what they'll give you for your actual transaction -- as FMF says, the rates change every few seconds.
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