Your simple guide to SBI UK

Aman Saxena

State Bank of India, or SBI for short, offers financial and banking services to residents in India and in the UK.

SBI remittance services also help resident Indians send money abroad, and UK citizens or residents to send money to India.

Learn more about how SBI works for sending money between the UK and India and how it may be a good choice, if you are an existing SBI customer.

📝 Table of contents

Sending money from India to the UK with SBI

SBI in India allows account holders to send money abroad online using Forex Outward Remittance services. But there are rules to follow per the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) and SBI. Let’s dig in.

First, to use the service you must be a State Bank of India account holder in India for a minimum of 6 months.

Second, you are also required to have a registered PAN (personal account number) with SBI.

If you are not an existing SBI account holder, you will not be able to use their forex outward remittance service in India.

SBI allows for sending money in all the following currencies, including GBP:

  • US Dollars
  • Euros
  • Singapore Dollars
  • Australian Dollars
  • Canadian Dollars

Next, SBI and the RBI have laid out the following conditions for all transactions going overseas:

  • The maximum amount you can send in a calendar year is $250,000 USD
  • The reason for sending money outside of India need to fall within one of the designated categories, including for gifts, studies, medical or family provision
  • You can’t send more than ₹10 lakhs per transaction
  • You can’t send more than ₹50,000 within the first 5 days of adding a new beneficiary

One of the benefits of the SBI forex outward remittance service is that there is no minimum transaction limit in India.

Now to get started on sending a foreign outward remittance with SBI, follow these steps:

  1. Head to the SBI internet banking website
  2. Click on Login under Personal Banking
  3. Click on your profile and then “Manage Beneficiary”
  4. Click on the International Beneficiary link and hit “Add”
  5. Enter in your international beneficiary details and submit
  6. Await registration confirmation
  7. Log back into the SBi portal after the beneficiary has been registered
  8. Once you are in, click on “Payments & Transfers” from the menu
  9. Click on “International Beneficiary” to start the transfer
  10. Enter in the details including how much you want to send
  11. Confirm with an OTP sent to your mobile number
  12. Submit your transfer request

SBI requires 24 hours for a new international beneficiary to be registered, so you can only complete the transfer starting the next day. Also, only a maximum of 3 beneficiaries can be added per day. ¹

Fees and charges

SBI foreign outward remittance has two main fees: a transfer fee and a hidden exchange rate fee.

The transfer fee is a flat fee for all transactions from India to the UK. The fee is the equivalent of £10 GBP at the SBI exchange rate from GBP to Indian Rupees on the transaction.

The second fee is tucked away in the exchange rate that SBI offers to you. To break it down, first the exchange rate you see on Google is the mid-market exchange rate. This is the transparent exchange rate that the banks use amongst themselves, and Wise uses too.

But SBI sets their exchange rate for customers to be weaker than the mid-market exchange rate. And in that difference, they are able to sneak in a little fee on every rupee converted. Take a look on how this small fee can make a difference when compared to a transparent and low cost service, like Wise.

Amount/ Fees SBI Wise
Amount to send to the UK ₹100,000 ₹100,000
Transfer Fee ₹1,033 ₹1,816.60
Exchange rate for £1 GBP ₹103.30² ₹101.69
Total in GBP £958.05 $965.52

Exchange rate as of August 24, 2021.

As you can see, SBI’s exchange rate requires you to hand over more rupees per £1 GBP than the real mid-market exchange rate. And that is the hidden exchange rate fee.

By simply using Wise, you can send ~₹700 more to the UK than SBI foreign remittance.

Time taken

SBI is not clear upfront on how long your transfer can take. However, you can expect a transfer to take at least 1-2 business days, on top of the additional 1 day for the registration of a new beneficiary.

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Sending money from the UK to India with SBI

SBI UK lets UK residents send money to India online, even if you are not an SBI account holder.

SBI UK offers fast transfers within 24 hours and easy access to the SBI system. And if you have an SBI account that has met the minimum requirements, you could save on transfer fees too.

If you aren’t an SBI account holder, you can still transfer money to other bank branches in India as long as you have the correct bank information.

It can take 2-3 business days longer, but the service can still complete the transfer. But you will have to go to an SBI UK branch to complete the transfer, and pay the additional fee.

Non-SBI account holders also will be limited on how many transactions can be done over a 3 month period. So there is incentive to sign up for an SBI bank account if you want to continue to use SBI services. ³

SBI account holders can transfer money online through their online remittance portal for the UK.

Or if you prefer, you can complete the Remittance Application Form and head to your nearest SBI branch in the UK.

⚠️ The SBI UK online portal for remittances may have broken links that make it difficult to complete the transaction. Check with your SBI bank branch on how to make transfers online. ⁴

Fees and charges

SBI UK has no transfer fee for SBI account holders which is a great incentive for existing customers. Even when compared with Wise, which uses a low fee and the clear mid-market exchange rate, SBI customers can send more with the SBI UK remittance services.

But if you don’t have an SBI account, you could be losing money in the transfer fee and exchange rate fee at SBI UK. Here is a quick look at how the costs compare when sending money to India as an SBI account holder, as a non SBI account holder, and with the easy to use transfer service at Wise.⁵

Amount/ Fees SBI Account holders Non SBI Account holders Wise
Amount to send to India £1,000 £1,000 £1,000
Transfer Fee £0 £20 £4.77
Exchange rate for £1 GBP ₹101.25⁶ ₹101.25 ₹101.69
Total in INR ₹101,250 ₹99,225 ₹101,212

Exchange rate as of August 24, 2021

While SBI account holders are able to send the most, non-account holders will be losing money when they send a transfer with SBI UK.

Wise provides the real exchange rate on global money transfers, so you never lose money on a hidden exchange rate fee.

Time taken

SBI UK takes between 2 -24 hours for funds to be received in India, once the payment is complete. That can be compared to Wise, where money from the UK to India arrives at a local bank account within seconds on most transfers.⁷

Save with Wise

Wise is FCA regulated, and gives you one low transfer fee and a clear mid-market exchange rate on every transaction.

Wise

🚀 International transfers are fast, simple, and cheap with the Wise Web/Android/ iOS app

If you are in the UK, check out the Wise multi currency account. It is a single account with a debit card that lets you send, receive, hold and swipe in multiple currencies.

So if you need money sent from back home, tell your family and friends to check out Wise to see how much they can save on their next transfer abroad.

💸 Save money on your next international transfer with Wise 💸

Open your free Wise account now 🚀


Sources used for this article:

  1. Outward Remittance
  2. SBI Exchange rate card
  3. SBI UK money transfers
  4. SBI UK Remit
  5. Fees & charges
  6. SBI Exchange rate UK
  7. Time

All sources checked as of 23 August, 2021


Please see terms of use and product availability for your region or visit Wise fees and pricing for the most up to date pricing and fee information.

This publication is provided for general information purposes and does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its subsidiaries and its affiliates, and it is not intended as a substitute for obtaining advice from a financial advisor or any other professional.

We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether expressed or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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