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August 21, 2017 | 13:30 | Dubai
Expatriates sending money home are losing an average of Dh6,000* per year on transfers, according to global financial planning firm Guardian Wealth Management.
Expert analysts at the firm believe the money being lost is higher than ever due to record fees being charged by banks and money exchange firms in the region, which are amongst some of the highest in the world.
The losses can prove substantial for expatriates in countries such as the UAE, which make-up 90% of the population, and whose remittances total billions of dirhams annually.
Guardian Wealth Management has now launched its own currency trading service due to overwhelming demand from its clients, aimed at minimising these losses for its customers and are advising expats to shop around for the best rates to ensure they don’t lose out.
Chief Commercial Officer, Mike Coady, said: “With the dirham pegged to the USD, many expatriates are taking advantage of favourable exchange rates against currencies such as the pound.
“Many workers send home large sums monthly to take care of mortgages or to transfer their savings offshore, however they don’t always realise they are losing sizeable amounts of their hard-earned cash each time. Customers are often charged up to 5% in transaction fees by banks and are not receiving the optimum exchange rates”.
Consumers tend to use their bank for international money transfers due to ease and locality, however there are usually several other options which can offer more preferential rates and lower charges.
GWM FX is an online currency service which will allow ‘increasingly mobile international workers’ to make efficient and cost-effective money transfers using an extensive range of currencies. Exchange rates offered can be up to 5% better than those offered by both major and local banks.
As part of the service, GWM FX clients will have 24/7 access to detailed insights and up to the minute market data ensuring they can confidently trade at the optimum time to achieve the greatest possible savings.
Mike continued: “We are providing clients with a genuine alternative to using international banks and money exchange services.
“Bringing together cutting-edge technology, real-time data and professional advice on each transaction, GWM FX will provide an invaluable solution to the modern expatriate worker helping to ensure their money goes that bit further. Currency transfers are an important part of the expat lifestyle, so being able to make cross-currency payments at a fraction of the cost can only be a positive.
“However, many of our clients aren’t solely driven by price. Accessibility and usability can be just as important and this is something GWM FX can also provide.”
GWM FX services are FCA regulated, meaning funds are ring-fenced to ensure maximum security and protection when transferring money. Coady also stated that GWM FX will work closely with its recently launched GWM Corporate Solutions to provide their corporate clients an additional value add.
For more information on GWM FX, visit www.gwm-fx.com
*Estimation based on transferring 20% per month of GWM’s average annual family salary of AED600,000