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Old 16.04.2007, 12:26
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Best way to change 5000CHF to GBP

Hi,

I'm a British student working in Geneva for the past year and I am due to go back to the UK for good in 2 weeks time. I have 5000 Swiss Francs in my bank which will need to be converted to GBP. Does anyone have any advice on the best way to maximise the amount of pounds I will get in return? Eg. Should I just use UBS for the transfer or....??

Thanks , Ben
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Old 16.04.2007, 12:42
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Re: Best way to change 5000CHF to GBP

withdraw it in cash (£)
you'll avoid any transfer fees - but the risk of having around £2000 in your pocket once you leave these shores is maybe something you don't want
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Old 16.04.2007, 12:45
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Re: Best way to change 5000CHF to GBP

UBS are being gimps and make me hand in my UBS card cos my branch is inside my work place and they have contract info.. so cant do that.
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Old 16.04.2007, 12:53
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Re: Best way to change 5000CHF to GBP

what about.....
making the withdrawal before handing-in the card?
or
going to the counter and closing the account and taking the money as £?

ask at your UBS. I'm sure they'll have a clue
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Old 16.04.2007, 13:04
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Re: Best way to change 5000CHF to GBP

A simple electronic transfer to blighty from UBS is probably best, no?

The rate is the Forex rate which is better than the bank note rate and as good as anywhere else
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Old 16.04.2007, 13:37
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Re: Best way to change 5000CHF to GBP

Yer this could be the case, just no one seemed to know if UBS was the best rate.. hence my post
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Old 16.04.2007, 14:09
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Re: Best way to change 5000CHF to GBP

You can check the cash rates of all banks from their websites and do a wholesale comparison at www.oanda.com/convert/classic

If you transfer the cash electronically the UK bank will charge about 7 quid to receive it if you dont send it in GBP.

I appreciate 1% is 20 quid but thats about the margin you'll save, whatever you choose, what's the hours of your time/mental health worth?

Hope this helps
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Old 16.04.2007, 14:33
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Re: Best way to change 5000CHF to GBP

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You can check the cash rates of all banks from their websites and do a wholesale comparison at www.oanda.com/convert/classic

If you transfer the cash electronically the UK bank will charge about 7 quid to receive it if you dont send it in GBP.

I appreciate 1% is 20 quid but thats about the margin you'll save, whatever you choose, what's the hours of your time/mental health worth?

Hope this helps
Yes, pretty much.

Someone else posted some website (xe.com?) to send cash abroad a week or so ago.

The rate is fractionally lower than UBS, maybe GBP 9 better of over there for CHF 5000.
But: it takes up to 5 day not 3 hours...
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Old 24.04.2007, 13:39
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Re: Best way to change 5000CHF to GBP

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Hi,

I'm a British student working in Geneva for the past year and I am due to go back to the UK for good in 2 weeks time. I have 5000 Swiss Francs in my bank which will need to be converted to GBP. Does anyone have any advice on the best way to maximise the amount of pounds I will get in return? Eg. Should I just use UBS for the transfer or....??

Thanks , Ben

Do you live in London?
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  #10  
Old 24.04.2007, 21:50
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Re: Best way to change 5000CHF to GBP

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Someone else posted some website (xe.com?) to send cash abroad a week or so ago.
That was me. I got an excellent rate, but they charged a fee for the wire transfer. £10 I think. Certainly CHF24.50

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The rate is fractionally lower than UBS, maybe GBP 9 better of over there for CHF 5000.
But: it takes up to 5 day not 3 hours...
My transfer completed in about 24 hours. that was Credit Suisse to Barclays. Of course, YMMV.

With xe.com, the rate varies with the market, whereas the Interbank is (I think!) the median price from the previous day.

I've just compared xe.com with the interbank rate at http://www.oanda.com/. xe.com was £16 better over the deal, but once you subtract the transfer fee there's not a lot in it.

With xe.com you have to set up an account and they need to see documents, etc. Then they want to speak to you.

When you use the xe.com web site to set up a trade it's a bit unnerving as the page offers you a rate and there is a 30 second countdown. Especially when you're a bit drunk .

So what I think I've learned is that for xe.com to be well worth it, you need to be moving a lot of CHF and at the same time watch for the going exchange rate to move quite a lot in your favour versus the interbank rate.
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Old 25.06.2012, 12:32
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Re: Best way to change 5000CHF to GBP

Sorry to bring an old topic, I will need to buy around 3200 GBP for next weekend, I will need them in cash. What is the best way to get them, exchange CHF to GBP or EUR to GBP? I have a bank account in France.

Where are the better deals, banks, post or somebody on the forum needs CHF/EUR and is willing to do an exchange?
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Old 25.06.2012, 13:08
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Re: Best way to change 5000CHF to GBP

Try to avoid exchanging twice - CHF/EUR and EUR/GBP as you'll pay commision twice.

If you're going to the UK, have no UK bank account, and need cash I'd recommend you take your CHF (or EUR) with you and exchange it there. Just don't do it at the airport or any currency exchange booths in touristic places.

I had a quick look online for "best currency exchange rate london" and found these guys:

http://www.thomasexchangeglobal.co.u...ange-rates.php

1.46250 for selling CHF is only 2.2% off the current Forex rate, which is as good as you'd get with a wire transfer in any bank, and far better than banknote rates of Swiss banks. I'm sure you'll be able to find many similar or better offers. Just do some research on where to go, and make sure you know the current forex exchange rate.
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Old 25.06.2012, 13:25
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Re: Best way to change 5000CHF to GBP

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Try to avoid exchanging twice - CHF/EUR and EUR/GBP as you'll pay commision twice.

If you're going to the UK, have no UK bank account, and need cash I'd recommend you take your CHF (or EUR) with you and exchange it there. Just don't do it at the airport or any currency exchange booths in touristic places.

I had a quick look online for "best currency exchange rate london" and found these guys:

http://www.thomasexchangeglobal.co.u...ange-rates.php

1.46250 for selling CHF is only 2.2% off the current Forex rate, which is as good as you'd get with a wire transfer in any bank, and far better than banknote rates of Swiss banks. I'm sure you'll be able to find many similar or better offers. Just do some research on where to go, and make sure you know the current forex exchange rate.
The thing is I will not travel to the UK, a friend of mine will be in Switzerland and he bought something for me in the UK and he is bringing it here to me so he would prefer to get GBP and not CHF and do a conversion in the UK, plus I would feel more comfortable to give him the exact amount in GBP so we are clear.

The exchange (from EUR to GBP, or CHF to GBP) can be made in France or Switzerland, so I was wondering if anybody was in a similar position and found out a better deal. Or somebody on EF would like to exchange this amount for either CHF or EUR.
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Old 25.06.2012, 13:36
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Re: Best way to change 5000CHF to GBP

£3,200 isn't a huge amount (in the banking world!). I wouldn't bother with fancy (xe, oanda) processes; simply do a transfer to your friend's bank account.

For example, Postfinance does this cheaply (only 2 CHF charge - over their exchange rate commission I assume) and you can specify (a) to transfer a UKP amount instead of a CHF amount, plus (b) you can select a "sender pays all bank charges" option. These will both guarantee that your friend receives exactly the amount, in Sterling, that he/she expects.
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Old 25.06.2012, 13:38
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Re: Best way to change 5000CHF to GBP

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£3,200 isn't a huge amount (in the banking world!). I wouldn't bother with fancy (xe, oanda) processes; simply do a transfer to your friend's bank account.

For example, Postfinance does this cheaply (only 2 CHF charge - over their exchange rate commission I assume) and you can specify (a) to transfer a UKP amount instead of a cHF amount, plus (b) you can select a "sender pays all bank charges" option.
I would have done that but "cash is king" for my friend, as I am grateful for the favor I want to be on the spot...

I guess I will go either to the Post or some of the banks and do the exchange with CHF.

Thank you.
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Old 25.06.2012, 14:00
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Re: Best way to change 5000CHF to GBP

If you have a Swiss bank account where you are known at the Branch, buy the Stirling there, having mad it clear you bank there and are looking for the best rate. In my experience over 20 years with UBS I have always got a good rate compared with any other method I have tried for amounts under CHF 10,000.
Good luck.
PS I would have done the swap with you but I haven't got more than £1,000 with me in Switzerland. Sorry.
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Old 25.06.2012, 14:12
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Re: Best way to change 5000CHF to GBP

The cheapest way that I know of is to open a GBP account at your own bank (or another one) in Switzerland or France, then use www.ozforex.com to transfer CHF or EUR (at your discretion) from your local bank account to your GBP account. There should be no fees involved from anyone in the currency exchange.

Then, of course, you go to your bank and withdraw the cash in GBP. If your bank is anything like mine, there should be no fees for keeping the GBP account, either.

Since the CHF is pegged to the EUR, it shouldn't really matter whether you decide to exchange EUR or CHF -- just think about which currency you'd prefer to have on hand for your local needs.

Having said all that, I really wouldn't bother with all the messing about -- you might save CHF0.005 on every GBP you buy -- maybe less than CHF 20 all up. Not really worth the bother. I'd go with adrianlondon's suggestion.
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Old 25.06.2012, 14:55
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Re: Best way to change 5000CHF to GBP

Very good, but complicated:

Find someone who wants to do exactly the opposite, i.e. changing £s into CHF, and preferably has the £s in a British bank account.

The other person can then make a transfer in £s to you (domestic inside the UK), while you transfer the CHF equivalent to the other person´s account domestic inside Switzerland.

Obvious problem: How to find this person, and know (s)he´s trustworthy...

Apart from that: Cheapest version I know.

Quote:
...Since the CHF is pegged to the EUR...
The CHF is not "pegged" against the EUR!

Pegging means that the rate is always exactly one value, for example 1 USD = 3,6734 UAE Dirham (always and exactly!)

The SNB set a minimum of CHF 1.20 / EUR. Above this minimum the CHF is free to float. The fact that it´s never much above the 1.20 doesn´t mean it´s "pegged", it only shows that demand for CHF is higher than for the EUR.

Last edited by ChrisNeedsToKnow; 25.06.2012 at 15:07.
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Old 25.06.2012, 15:05
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Re: Best way to change 5000CHF to GBP

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Very good, but complicated:

Find someone who wants to do exactly the opposite, i.e. changing £s into CHF, and preferably has the £s in a British bank account.

The other person can then make a transfer in £s to you (domestic inside the UK), while you transfer the CHF equivalent to the other person´s account domestic inside Switzerland.

Obvious problem: How to find this person, and know (s)he´s trustworthy...

Apart from that: Cheapest version I know.
Yeah, very true...

But as I need the sum for next weekend and as it is not that big I will just go to my bank and do the exchange there, I will check which one is better to spend at the moment EUR or CHF but I think it won't make any difference...

Although with the EUR so low now I keep spending it abroad as often I can as changing EUR to CHF will make me "loose" on the initial 1.6 exchange rate from 2 years ago when I moved here
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Old 25.06.2012, 15:14
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Re: Best way to change 5000CHF to GBP

If you need EURs often, I recomment www.dkb.de

They offer a free EUR account in Germany. You get a Visa-Debit-Card with it (whatever you spend is taken directly from the account).

Inside the EUR-Zone you can pay and withdraw at all ATMs, free of charge.

Worldwide withdrawals don´t attract any fees, and they charge the mean Bank FX-rate for currency changes. (Withdrawing CHF in Zürich last week showed 1.205 against the EUR)

I´ve been using this for two years now, and still finding it too good to be true. And no - I don´t work for them!
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