New company offers expat pension transfers for less

New company offers expat pension transfers for less
Published:  25 Aug at 9 AM
A new international money transfer company claims it can undercut high street banks and offer expat pensioners much better rates when transferring their pensions abroad. TransferWise was launched last year after its two Estonia founders struggled to find a way to transfer money from the UK back home.

The company claims that the fees charged by banks for transferring money internationally are a scandal, especially as modern technology could actually be used to benefit customers rather than the banks. According to research carried out by the new firm, UK banks are making more than £400 million every month from UK nationals transferring their pensions overseas.

Different percentage cuts are taken on the transfers depending on how much money is moved. A large amount like £10,000 would probably only incur fees of around 3.5 per cent, but a smaller amount, like £100, could have as much as 15-20 per cent skimmed off the top, according to the report.

Taavet Hinrikus, who founded the company with fellow Estonia Kisto Käärmann, said many pensioners are not aware of the charges as banks hide them among poor exchange rates. As one of the people involved in the founding of telecommunications revelation Skype, he added that modern technology should be used to aid, not dupe, customers.