Currency exchange companies

Hi all,

This is my first time on this forum, but I have read a lot of the posts in the last few days and I think it's great! My husband and I are planning to relocate to France after selling our house here, as I am French and want to go back, and since starting our search we have been inundated with adverts and e-mails from currency exchange companies. We are a little scared of using them though, as we didn't even know they existed until a few weeks ago. Have people on the forum had experience of them? Which ones are trustworthy? Any advice will be welcomed. Thanks.

Just that they hadn't come across them before and didn't like the look of their website. Laurence

Can highly recommend Transferwise. I use them regularly and have not been disappointed.

Have used TorFX (Australia) for few years for large and small transactions with no problems, transactions have to be confirmed over the phone, which occasionally has been a pain, but they make an effort to ring me at a reasonable time , I have a trading account with OzForex which has a more online version for real time spot rates but again phone calls required for new transaction confirmation. Just mainly stuck with TorFX as has been efficient.
TorFX can usually be persuaded to match or beat (slightly) if you can demonstrate you have found a better rate, but not always the best if you don’t haggle a bit.
Generally has been financially speaking a great money saver. Research any company before using them.

Hi Laurence,

I'm a bit concerned about a bank advising against Smart specifically. Can you tell me what they said please?



Thank you for your advice Alan, David and James. We have been contacted by Smart as well as by many others. TorFX was the latest one to get in touch, and from checking them out over the last 24 hours they do seem good. Our bank advised us against Smart though, but then again they would I supposed, if it means losing business! Laurence

Hi Laurence,

I tried to reply at the weekend but the page hung on me. I am quite risk-averse and ended up choosing Smart Currency Exchange as seeming fairly well-established plus they were the most transparent about the turn they take against the market exchange rate; also that they would give us decent rates from the outset, recognising what we are likely to convert when we do move permanently next year.

Clearly you would be ill-advised to use an exchange which is not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority in the UK.

Worth a read for you too Laurence

Almthough this article is a little dated it still makes an important point about safeguarding your money.

I have used money transfer/exchange companies in the past but now tend to use my UK bank. If I was transferring a major sum for a house purchase I think I would almost certainly use the bank. I know I would lose on the exchange rate but my peace of mind would gain in terms of the bank's reponsability to me as a customer and the existence of a clear audit trail and access to a more rigorous complaint/obudsman apparatus should anything go wrong. I guess I'm just hypercautious.

Thank you Patricia and Elaine. Will check them out. It's all very new and quite nerve-racking when you do something so big for the first time, so hearing from people who have experience of it is just great!

I use Caxton FX and Transferwise regularly and they are both very good. Different ways of operating but never had a problem with either of them.

We have used both HiFX and Escape Currency. No problems with either.
They operate in different ways so you need to have your calculator at hand to see which provides the best rates for you. We find HiFX is better for larger and regular payments.

Thank you Bob. Hope you're enjoying your life in France.

Thank you Cyndy, I'll check them out. Hope you're enjoying your life in France.

We used EasyFX when we first bought in France some 6 or 7 years ago, however we have now discovered Currency Fair who charge a fixed fee of 3 Euros/transaction but give a better rate. Both have good websites that allow you to do your transfers electronically. We tend to transfer smallish amounts when the rate is favourable to keep our French bank topped up, but there doesn't seem to be any penalty for doing so.

I've recently been using TransferWise for a really good rate and have to say I've been very impressed with them - click on this link: Initially, for the main currency transfer to buy my house in France, I used City Forex and they were also very good - my contact there was Lee Mallin. City Forex were recommended to me by the TV company that produces "A Place in the Sun -Hone or Away?" which found my house in France for me earlier this year.

Thanks James. It is just difficult to know which ones to trust, having never used them. We're quite scared I guess!

Hi Laurence

We work with a number of currency exchange companies, they are listed under SERVICES in the drop down menu at the top of the page. If you like I can have one of them give you a call to discuss your requirements. There is no hard sell and I recommend them!

Kind regards


SFN Community Manager