Check out our comparison of PayPal vs. bank transfers in the UK, including fees, transfer times, limits, exchange rates and more.
HSBC UK customers can send money to over 150 different countries, using the HSBC app or online banking network.¹ You can also arrange payments by phone, by visiting a branch, or even by mail - although higher fees tend to apply for the latter option.
This guide walks through all you need to know to arrange an online payment to friends, family, or a business overseas, including fees, exchange rates, and limits.
But, before we get into the guide, here’s an example on how Wise's wire transfer compares against HSBC’s wire transfer when sending GBP to the US. Notice how Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate – the one you can see on Google – and how you see exactly the fees involved.
|Provider||Fee (19/12/22, 10:30 a.m. UTC)||Exchange Rate||Total Cost|
|HSBC UK||£0¹ with ‘Global Money Account’||‘The HSBC Exchange Rate’ or ‘The HSBC Global Transfers Exchange Rate’² (likely includes a mark-up)||£0 + likely exchange rate markup + potential correspondent and recipient bank fees|
|Wise||£4.64||The mid-market exchange rate||£4.64|
On to the important stuff - the costs. Check out what you can expect to pay for an HSBC international transfer – the international transfer fees, exchange rates, and additional fees.
Costs vary depending on where you’re sending money, the account type, and how you set up the payment. Let’s take a look at the standard fees involved in sending money overseas with HSBC UK:²
|HSBC UK international transfer||Standard charges|
|Receiving an international transfer|
|Sending an international transfer||Sending euros within the EEA: |
Traditional banks often add a markup to the exchange rates that they pass on to customers. This matters because it’s an extra, hidden fee that’s hard to see when you’re setting up your transfer.
HSBC UK uses the ‘The HSBC Exchange Rate’ and the ‘HSBC Global Transfers Exchange Rate’ and you get a quote on the exchange rate once you set up your transfer.² It’s unclear if these exchange rates include a markup or not.
If you want to be sure, compare the quoted exchange rate to the mid-market exchange rate using an online currency converter. Or make life easy and choose a provider which doesn’t add exchange rate markups, like Wise.
It’s worth knowing in advance that there may be extra costs involved with sending an overseas transfer with HSBC – which is a standard practice with a SWIFT transfer.
The HSBC Personal banking terms and conditions explains:²
->“If we send money outside the UK, we may use an intermediary bank. The intermediary and the bank receiving the money may apply their own charges. This could include payments sent through, or to, another HSBC bank.”
That means additional charges in addition to those listed above may apply. Depending on where you’re sending money to, you may be able to avoid these charges by having the recipient pay them. It’s not usually possible to check in advance exactly what these costs may be, which might mean your recipient gets less than expected in the end.
The easiest way to send an international bank transfer with HSBC is by using the online banking system. Although you can send money using the HSBC app as well, you can only make in-app transfers to people you’ve paid before. The first transfer you make to any recipient will need to be arranged using online banking.
You can also set up a transfer through the HSBC UK Mobile Banking app, by phone, by post, or in branch.
Here’s the step-by-step for using online banking:¹
- Log into your account
- Choose ‘Pay and Transfer’
- Enter the recipient’s details
- Check the details and confirm the transfer
If it’s your first international transfer with HSBC, you’ll also need to follow through a verification step using your Secure Key before you can confirm the transfer.
To send an international transfer with HSBC, you will have to provide a set of information including:¹
- The amount of the payment, and whether it’s in pounds sterling or another currency
- Beneficiary name and address
- Beneficiary bank SWIFT/BIC code
- Beneficiary IBAN (international bank account number) or full account number
- Beneficiary bank address
- Reason for payment
- Any payment reference you want the beneficiary to see
It’s good to know that the exact details you need to provide will depend on the country you’re sending a payment to. For example, not all countries use the IBAN system - in that case you may need to provide your recipient’s bank account number and some additional details like a sort code or routing number.
How long your bank transfer with HSBC takes depends on the destination. Your payment could arrive by the next working day or take up to 4 working days.¹
You can send up to £50,000 (or the currency equivalent) per day using the mobile app or online banking. Making a transfer over the phone limits the daily amount to £10,000 (or the currency equivalent).¹
HSBC offers a few different ways to get in touch or resolve issues with your international transfer.
Here are your main options:
- Log in to online banking to chat with an advisor
- Visit the HSBC Help page for troubleshooting support and FAQs
- Use an HSBC branch finder to get help in person
- Or give HSBC a call - 03457 404 404 (for the existing customers); 03455 873 444 (for new customers); +44 1226 261 010 (from outside the UK)³
So there you have it - all you need to know about using HSBC UK to send money across borders.
Next time you need to send an international payment, don’t forget to look carefully at the fees and charges your bank will apply. Compare these to alternative providers - and consider checking out Wise for a smart and easy way to transfer your money internationally.
- HSBC UK – International money transfer
- HSBC UK – Personal banking terms and conditions
- HSBC UK – Contact
Sources last checked on date: 15-Dec-2022
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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