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Old 12.02.2010, 11:15
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Unforseen bank charges for money transfer

Hi Guys,

I was unsure of where to put this thread, but I guess the complain corner has had it with me .
So this is the deal, I have been transfering an amount of money from my kantonal bank account (Swiss account) to my mother's account (Peruvian bank) for 7 months now, I do this transfers every month through their web page. The funny thing is that the first months I was charged in this way:

If I transfered 1000 USD, the bank would charge me the conversion and 3.70 USD for the transfer. TMy mom would pay to her bank whatever fee they charged for receiving the money (~22-25 USD), this was very good and I was very happy with the service.
Now, in November, my mom told me than she had gotten 47.50 USD less so I called my bank and they told me that is was not the kantonal bank's fault but the bank in Peru. The same happened in December and January and when my mother went to the bank in Peru, they told her the problem was here.

So, I went today (and I am not going to go into how hard it was for me to explain what was happening) and what has happened is that they have changed operating systems and now do not send the money directly to Peru but rather send it to New York and then they send it to Peru and that is why that extra amount of 47.50 USD is being deducted.
What annoyed me is that they told me first that it had nothing to do with their bank and then refused to give me a straight answer until I went to their office (which I could not do before because I am working), I told them this was unfair because nobody had explained to me that this would happen and worst of all, they lied to me saying this problem did not originate in their bank. So my question is: can I write a letter of complaint and asking for my money back?

Thanks to all! and sorry for the rant but really I am exhausted...
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Old 12.02.2010, 11:24
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Re: Unforseen bank charges for money transfer

Sounds like they've switched their procedures and are now using a New York correspondent bank. You have nothing to lose by writing a letter of complaint. But don't hold your breath in terms of getting your money back. Somewhere in the small print they're probably covered for their costs/change of procedures.
What bugs me is the brush off you get when you first complain. Often happens. Give it a go. As I said, you've nothing to lose.
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Old 12.02.2010, 11:26
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Re: Unforseen bank charges for money transfer

Anyone used transfer sites like xe.com? I have been considering it as an alternative to direct bank transfers.
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Old 12.02.2010, 11:31
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Re: Unforseen bank charges for money transfer

Thanks Nev, that is the answer I got today too from two people..."maybe it was this or maybe it was that"...I said well I have come here for a definite answer because I want to know where are the 150 USD that I have lost and nobody seems to account for, so basically if had not been a bit of a B***H I would still be in limbo.
Then they asked me to wait and had to do some phonecalls...and I got the answer, but it was above all the attitude I disliked
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Old 12.02.2010, 11:35
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Re: Unforseen bank charges for money transfer

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Anyone used transfer sites like xe.com? I have been considering it as an alternative to direct bank transfers.
I haven't but just one word of caution - a lot of these FX sites aren't regulated. Doesn't mean they don't provide a good service but if anything goes wrong...
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Old 12.02.2010, 11:35
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Re: Unforseen bank charges for money transfer

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kantonal bank account (Swiss account)
Don't you have an advisor with his/her name and direct number on your monthly statements?? I have all communication from the ZKB in English (even at cashpoints) and my 'advisor' also speaks English.

Banks will always find new ways to screw customers. You could reduce this by sending the money every 2 months or quarter...
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Old 12.02.2010, 11:38
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Re: Unforseen bank charges for money transfer

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Don't you have an advisor with his/her name and direct number on your monthly statements?? I have all communication from the ZKB in English (even at cashpoints) and my 'advisor' also speaks English.

Banks will always find new ways to screw customers. You could reduce this by sending the money every 2 months or quarter...
Thanks AbFab, yes I do, and that is who I contacted today and visited at the main office. He told me he could not do anything about it and if I want to transfer again I would have to add 47.50 to each transfer to cover for the costs...I told him I'd use western union...
What I will do is I will use my Dutch bank account to make the transfers...
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Old 12.02.2010, 11:43
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Re: Unforseen bank charges for money transfer

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I haven't but just one word of caution - a lot of these FX sites aren't regulated. Doesn't mean they don't provide a good service but if anything goes wrong...
True. Some internet buzz says these companies stand as a good alternative to banks (fees, bad rates) or Paypal (bad rates, funny name).

I guess there is no proof they are better than one of those "Quick Cash" shops in a strip mall. Though if people were getting screwed I would think the complaints would endure...
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Old 12.02.2010, 11:46
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Re: Unforseen bank charges for money transfer

Yes, you should write and complain.

NO, DO NOT USE WESTERN UNION! Google them and read all the issues that pop up ...

I have used Ozforex many times to transfer cash. They are global (despite the name), owned by a very well-respected Australian bank which has huge infrastructure interests around the world, charge no fees if the amount to be transferred meets a minimum hurdle, and offer better rates than the banks. Win all round. They are regulated, and hence there are a few hoops to go through to register with them, but it's well worth it.

You also get to play currency trader -- you can track exchange rates in real time and choose the exact moment you want to exchange your currency, possibly benefitting from a few points difference in rate.
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Old 12.02.2010, 11:48
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Re: Unforseen bank charges for money transfer

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NO, DO NOT USE WESTERN UNION! Google them and read all the issues that pop up ....
Oh I was just joking , as posted previously I will use my Dutch bank accout

Thanks!
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Old 12.02.2010, 11:51
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Re: Unforseen bank charges for money transfer

I was tickled to see on OzForex that it's the Peruvian "Nuevo Sol" ... one of the more warming currency names!
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Old 12.02.2010, 11:55
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Re: Unforseen bank charges for money transfer

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So, I went today (and I am not going to go into how hard it was for me to explain what was happening) and what has happened is that they have changed operating systems and now do not send the money directly to Peru but rather send it to New York and then they send it to Peru and that is why that extra amount of 47.50 USD is being deducted.
All USD denominated payments pass via New York, and always have done.
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Old 12.02.2010, 11:55
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Re: Unforseen bank charges for money transfer

Hey Angela - sorry to hear you are going through this much trouble! I've worked with bank transfers before and what's happening to you has happened to me in the past and unfortunately the banks will brush off and they do reserve the right to change systems without telling you and when they say that the costs were not generated by their bank they mean it wasn't us here is was the people in NY... so the story just goes on and on. You could file a "formal" complaint letter and they might at least cover half of your costs, give it a try, at least you'll vent all your frustrations! Buena Suerte!

You could try and use one of those companies that sends money to South America. I can't remember the name of one that is often used in the UK but there must be one here that works with Peru.

Oakley3: My husband has used a company called torfx and they are well regulated, etc. It is equivalent to xe.com and they have good rates.
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Old 12.02.2010, 11:59
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Re: Unforseen bank charges for money transfer

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All USD denominated payments pass via New York, and always have done.
I do not know if that is a fact or not, the fact I am discussing is:

- For 3 months I was charged an amount for the transfer and it changed without me being notified or even stated in the receipt (so they withheld information form me)

- According to my contact person this is not the case (payment through NY), they used to do it directly to the bank in Peru, and this has only changed in November when they changed operating systems.
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Old 12.02.2010, 12:00
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Re: Unforseen bank charges for money transfer

Hi Angela,

I have had a similar experience. But I went to the bank in the first instance itself got it clarified. So just to explain further, following is the brief description.

First case: Your mom's Pervian bank holds a Nostro Account with your Swiss Cantonal Bank. In this case it just transfer money from your bank account into this Nostro account internally. Then it sends a Swift message to your mom's bank in Peru informing about the credit in their Nostro account. Your mom gets the money. The charges incurred by you $3.7

Second Case: The Peruvian bank 'Closes' the Nostro account with your Cantonal bank. In this case when you transfer money, the cantonal bank has to decide on a corrospondent bank where the Peruvian bank holds the Nostro account. It could be another Swiss bank or any other bank in the world which has account with Cantonal bank. When this corrospondent bank received the money, it sends the Swift message to Peruvian bank. You are charged $3.7 as well as corrospondent bank charges.

As you are saying you'd use your dutch account, are you sure your mom's bank holds a Nostro account in the dutch bank? Otherwise it will happen again.

Not sure about third sites like XE, but have come across some favorable reviews on Moneybookers on the net. You might want to give it a try.
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Old 12.02.2010, 12:01
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Re: Unforseen bank charges for money transfer

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I've worked with bank transfers before and what's happening to you has happened to me in the past and unfortunately the banks will brush off and they do reserve the right to change systems
I can imagine they do reserve the right to change systems but in my bank statement no mention of this transfer is made so if I send 500 USD my transfer says 500 USD + 3.70 USD for transfer costs...why don;t they state trasnfer costs :51.30 USD as this is really the amount ?

Last edited by Angela-74; 12.02.2010 at 12:46.
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Old 12.02.2010, 12:06
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Re: Unforseen bank charges for money transfer

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As you are saying you'd use your dutch account, are you sure your mom's bank holds a Nostro account in the dutch bank? Otherwise it will happen again.
Yes they do Well at least I have been transfering money for ages now with them and never had a problem... thanks for the post!
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Old 12.02.2010, 12:45
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Re: Unforseen bank charges for money transfer

I am familiar with Xe. It is a large company, my Canadian bank was familiar with them as having a large customer base transferring money.
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Old 12.02.2010, 13:12
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Re: Unforseen bank charges for money transfer

I have used XE.com, there is a small verification process that the site will do when you submit documents ( requirements to prevent laundering ).

My experience - the rates that they give for major currencies is competitive and charges are minimal. However the receiving account needs to be in the same currency. If you want to transfer CHF to USD, it will work, but your mom needs to hold a USD account, rather than in the local currency ( PEN )

The rates that I received for USD/EUR to INR were not competitive. You could lose more that 50USD in that process.

ABN in NL charges between 25 to 50 Euro per transaction for foreign transfers.
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Old 12.02.2010, 13:20
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Re: Unforseen bank charges for money transfer

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If you want to transfer CHF to USD, it will work, but your mom needs to hold a USD account, rather than in the local currency ( PEN )

The rates that I received for USD/EUR to INR were not competitive. You could lose more that 50USD in that process.

ABN in NL charges between 25 to 50 Euro per transaction for foreign transfers.
Hi and thank you, my mom has a USD account.

About ABN I am afraid your info is not correct. They charge me 5-15 EUR for a transfer to Peru, I have to check the transfer is made in USD though otherwise the bank in Peru will give me a lousy rate.
This 5 transfer charge is if you do the transfer online, if you go to the bank and have somebody do the transfer it will be 15 EUR.
I know because until September I was making the transfer from ABN to Lima..
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