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Currencies Direct Review

Quick FactsPros and Cons
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Established: 1996.


International Clients: ✓ Accepted


Currencies Offered: 63


Minimum Transfer: £100 (UK) /  €100 (EU) / $100 (USA)


Trading via: Online Platform, Email or Telephone.


Offices In: UK, France, Spain, Portugal, India, China, South Africa, and the USA.


Regulation: ✓ Financial Conduct Authority (UK), FinCen (USA)


Fees: No Fees worldwide policy.


Client Reviews: More than 1,350, mainly on TrustPilot.


Client Rating: 9.1 / 10



Awards

🏆 National Business Awards Finalists, 2006

🏆 Fast Growth Business Awards Finalists, 2007

🏆 Highest Possible Credit Rating (level 1) from Dun & Bradstreet, 2010

🏆 Money Transfer Provider of The Year  – MoneyAge Magazine, 2016


Our Rating: 95.2%

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Pros

Over 150,000 Active Clients
£4.5Bn Transferred Annually
Consumer & Business Awards
Clients Rate it 9.1 / 10
Overseas Property Expertise
18 Worldwide Offices

Cons

Unavailable In Some U.S States


Our Rating: 95.2%

“Top Notch Company”

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Company Information and Credibility


Company size:  

Currencies Direct was founded in 1996 in the UK, and has grown at a staggering pace. From a small-operation, the firm has grown to an industry leader that now serves customers in all 5 continents, with offices in the UK, France, Spain, Portugal, India, China, South Africa, and the USA.

Currencies Direct employs more than 300 employees, has served more than 150,000 corporate and individual clients, and transfers more than £4.5 billion annually, making them one of the largest currency firms in the UK.

It was recently bought for more than £200m by  Palamon Capital and Corsair Capital. Corsair’s president, Lord Davies of Abersoch,  was previously the Minister of State for Trade, Investment and Small Business. In August 2016 the firm has appointed Mr Antony Jenkins, the former CEO of Barclays as its non executive chairman.

Currencies Direct has also a majority stake in Universal VAT Services, a tax reclaim company.


Regulated By: 

Financial Conduct Authority (UK), FinCen (USA).


Awards: 

Currencies Direct has won several awards, which attest its business excellence:

🏆 National Business Awards Finalists, 2006

🏆 Fast Growth Business Awards Finalists, 2007

🏆 Highest Possible Credit Rating (level 1) from Dun & Bradstreet, 2010

🏆 Money Transfer Provider of The Year  – MoneyAge Magazine, 2016


Conclusion: 

Currencies Direct is one of the largest and most respectable currency firms on the planet. Operating for almost 20 years now. Offices spanning across 18 locations worldwide. Highest Credit Rating from Dun & Bradstreet. Steadily Growing.

With its recent acquisition by two of the most respectable VC firms in the market, we anticipate it will continue growing, while maintaining its excellent service.

Credibility Rating

Offices


We have been to inspect Currencies Direct’s offices at Moorgate Street in London, at the heart of the financial district. Their offices are pleasant and their staff are friendly and professional. They welcome clients to visit and meet with them.

Currencies Direct offices – photos:

 

CurrenciesDirectOffice

Dealer Area In The Office

CurrenciesDirectOfficeView

View From The Office

*These images are exclusive to MoneyTransferComparison.com. If you wish to incorporate them in your website you may do so with attribution to this pages.

Client Feedback


Research:

With 1,350  reviews submitted by clients on TrustPilot, we have more than enough evidence for Currencies Direct’s qualities. TrustPilot operates in 24 countries, and is considered by many to represent the national voice of consumers. On TrustPilot, the company receives an average score of 8.9 / 10.

In addition, there are 45 reviews to be found on ReviewCentre, another well known user review site in the UK. There, the average rating is not as glowing with 3.6 / 5,  and 71% of the audience overall recommending the service.

If we combine the two, we get to an average rating of 8.82 / 10 across all platforms.


Positive:

90% or more of the clients are happy with the service they have received. These are the main compliments:

  • Easy to sign up and get an account
  • Helpful personal dealers
  • Good exchange rates
  • Added value when it comes to property
  • Accurate timing
Negative:

We could also find complaints among these reviews, indicating that:

  • Some of the staff members were rude in their approach
  • Additional information on the transfer, and relevant documents, are sometimes needed
  • Credit Cards and Visa Electron, is not allow
  • Recipient’s bank charged  an extra fee

Conclusion:

When we scan the negative reviews that were written about the company, we don’t see anything that alarms us.

When it comes to staff, it’s perfectly acceptable that out of almost 1,000 users, 10 or 20 won’t be happy with the dedicated dealer they were assigned to. The company hires hundreds of traders, it’s only natural that a minority of them won’t be as pleasant as the others.

When it comes to documentation, the HM Revenue & Customs make, and enforce, the UK government’s Anti Money Laundering rulings. Currencies Direct must closely abide their instructions, and sometimes require further documentation. This is in common with all Foreign Exchange firms.

In terms of recipient banks charging an extra fee, this is something rather rare that happens when transferring funds to (mainly) Asia. There is nothing Currencies Direct can do about it, and it will happen with any other company.

Credit Cards are a non-issue as well. There are few companies who accept credit cards, and even fewer clients who wish to transfer funds this way via commercial FX (the fees incurred by the credit company will be more significant than exchange rates anyhow).

To summarize, 90%+ client satisfaction, and the vast majority of complaints relate to requirements beyond the company’s control, due to national and international transfer laws.

User Rating

 


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Exchange Rate & Fees


Research:

Fees: No fees at all. Free transfer from anywhere, to anywhere on the globe.

Exchange Rates: Currencies Direct operates in the same fashion as other companies in this industry, i.e. exchange rate margins are quite flexible and depend on the volume of trading.

On their website, you can view real-time savings in comparison to banks. On average, on a 10,000 Pound transfer (to Euro, USD, or Australian Dollar) you will save 280 Pounds. On larger transfers, conducted via telephone, you will work your way to even lower margins, and increase your savings.

Limits: The minimum transfer amount is £100 which is quite low, while there is no upper limit on the transfer.

Currencies Direct handles all ranges of clients, from those who are sending small remittances back home, through property purchasers, to large corporates that move millions between currencies each month.


Conclusion:

This is one of Currencies Direct strongest aspects. The no-fee policy worldwide, in addition to the calculator they have on their website, make it very easy to understand how much money can one save using them.

The sheer size of the company makes currency liquidity extremely high, and means that on larger transfers, they would be able to provide a quote that represents even higher savings.

Clients seem to be happy with the currency rates provided to them.

Exchange Rates & Fees Rating

Global Reach & Service


Research:

  • Dedicated Dealer: Yes.
  • Offices: UK, France, Spain, Portugal, India, China, South Africa, and the USA.
  • Ways to approach: Email form on the site, Call back form on the site, and face to face meeting in local offices worldwide.
  • Translations: French, Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, Norwegian, Danish, Swedish and Chinese .
  • Accepts clients: Globally, and in 18 countries, they have dedicated local support!
  • Currencies Handled: 39
  • Client reviews: Global clientele base which seems very happy about the services.

Conclusion:

Currencies Direct is the most localised company we have tested up to date, bar-none. There are dedicated support teams, and translated versions of the site, for a variety of clients from various countries.

This is precisely what we would expect from a top-notch company. Local agents everywhere that are ready to step in and assist clients, doesn’t matter where they are on the globe, or where they are sending money to.

For large transfers it’s quite common for the person or business making the transfer to meet face-to-face with the company making the transaction, and with Currencies Direct it is definitely possible.

In addition Currencies Direct can help prospective clients to save on recipient bank fees. With so many local bank settlements, they can make sure the transfer remains domestic on the client side, as demonstrated below:
slide1-min

Global Reach Score

Additional Functionalities


Personal:

  • Market Orders.
  • Rate Watch.
  • Limit Orders.
  • Forward Contracts.
  • Guidance on property purchase – including unique guides per country.

Additional: Regular Transfers, and Pay with Debit Card. Working also with WeSwap, a travel money firm, and own a tax return company (which they can connect you to as a part of their service).

Businesses:

  • E-tailer Collection Accounts (working with online marketplaces like Amazon, eBay, Play, Rakuten, PriceMinister, Fnac, and many more). Read more about them on our eCommerce Currency page.
  • i-Payfx payment system for businesses – Pay multiple payees, salaries, suppliers, etc.
  • Premier Business Accounts for larger businesses, with a dedicated support team and tailored payment plans made together with the money manager of the organization.

Currencies Direct is one of the most diverse companies when it comes to the services it is offering. From the usual things such as market watch, forward contracts, and limit orders, through unique guides supplied to clients who are purchasing overseas properties.

The fact they own a tax return company makes their service truly holistic.

For businesses, they offer one of the most sophisticated collection offers, connecting directly with online marketplaces, and offer a very advanced payment system which can serve a variety of purposes.


App:

Currencies Direct website works properly on mobile, and in addition to that they have an adaptable mobile app (works on both Android and iPhone devices). The app is quite comprehensive and was recently rebuilt. You can log onto your account, make transactions, watch rates and basically do everything you can do on the desktop website. The only difference is that for the time being you cannot sign up on movile.


Conclusion:

Very few other companies offer as many unique features as Currencies Direct. The hedging department has all the tools you would expect it to have, the online platform is really good and has some unique functions like “Watch Rate Alerts”, the app is fully functional and friendly, and the brokers are helpful.

Special Features Score

Review Summary
  • Credibility Score - 96%
    96
  • Client Feedback - 91%
    91
  • Fees, Exchange Rates - 96%
    96
  • Global Reach, Availability, Service - 99%
    99
  • Added Values - 94%
    94

Bottom Line

Currencies Direct is one of the largest and most established Foreign Exchange companies, and with a special affiliation to property buyers and businesses, its offering is as complete as can be. Both individual clients and businesses are happy with the services provided to them, and as a final vote of confidence, the company was recently purchased by a group led by UK's former Trade minister, for a sum in the range of £200m.

95.2 %

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This review has be republished by Money Business Magazine, a leading business finance and banking news site, on their March 2016 edition (View scan here).  

We at Money Transfer Comparison feel this is a strong testimony to the value it delivers to both corporate and private clients. Please note our site is the original publisher of the review. 

21 comments

  1. compare

    Below are some reviews we have received from Currencies Direct’s marketing team of clients which were referred by us, and left their reviews via email or on TrustPilot.

    “What makes Currencies Direct great is that we have both options available, whether it be popping into the Moraira branch or making a transfer online, with both methods being quick and easy.”

    – Peter

    “…we opted for Currencies Direct who offered very competitive rates and no hidden fees – a real bonus! 12 years later we don’t regret our choice at all. Our first transfer was quick and hassle-free, and we now regularly use Currencies Direct for monthly transfers and whenever we need extra money. They save us money each month and we are absolutely pleased by the service we always receive.”

    – Barry

    “Since first using them when we purchased our house we’ve used Currencies Direct when moving money overseas to buy our car, pay school fees and even hospital bills. We also use them for ongoing monthly payments and have happily recommended their services to family, friends and work colleagues across the world.”

    – Iris

    Posted on October 24, 2014
  2. compare

    Another review, transferred to us via email. It is 100% genuine (checked by us, we have the full details of that client):

    “I was a little hesitant at first, so I tried using the site with a partial payment. My main surprise was how practical and easy it is to use. I was sending US$’s into sterling during the period when the rate was at its lowest, and it worked perfectly for me, and saved quite a bit compared to my normal inter-bank conversion.”

    – Chris

    Posted on July 18, 2015
  3. Potential client

    This is a non-verified comment. We tried to reach this client through communication here and via email and never received a response. Please take this comment with a grain of salt – The MoneyTransferComparison management

    Having reviewed several UK fund transfer groups, Currencies Direct was the most protective, non transparent, and extremely rude. There sales approach was aggressive. They wanted a registration more than a relationship.
    Immediately there was no trust, the firm is small, and it is perceived desperate to get clients.

    Posted on August 29, 2015
    • compare

      Thank you for the review and comment. Could you explain how were they rude with further detail? Could you support your details so I can verify this against Currencies Direct (I will publish your comment but remove your personal details). Also, which company did you eventually receive? What did you like more about it?

      We would be happy to learn more via our readers’ experiences. Thank you very much.

      Posted on August 29, 2015
  4. Wojciech Kalazny

    Unfortunately this company doesn’t offer 100+ currencies. In the form that one has to fill out as proposed currencies that one owns there r only around 30-40 currencies. Can you recommend me money transfer service that works from China and wouldn’t use such exorbitant fees as Paypal? Thanks

    Posted on November 21, 2015
    • compare

      We stand corrected and have amended the number of supported currencies for Currencies Direct.

      Regarding services that trade the RMB, you have companies like TorFX, Currency Solutions (from 10,000 Pounds) and Currency Index. They generally speaking will trade any currency upon demand. Please let us know how it went with them.

      Posted on November 21, 2015
  5. Jacquelyn

    I have signed up to Currencies Direct without any trouble at all.
    A representative contacted me briefly and supplied an excellent pricing, remarkably cheaper than the comparative quote I received from my bank.
    The representative was polite, and helpful.

    Jacquelyn was a mystery-shopper for MoneyTransferComparison.com.

    Posted on April 6, 2016
  6. Ian

    I emailed Currencies Direct with some specific questions regarding transfers from UK to China. Their reply was to request a phone number so they could call me. I would prefer written answers and have informed them of this. They now appear to be ignoring me!
    I find this reluctance/refusal to provide written information deeply troubling – what have they got to hide? Or do they want the personal contact so that they can indulge in a ‘hard-sell’?
    It is impossible to obtain any facts from their website without first registering, which I don’t necessarily want to do.
    Do you have any comment?
    Thanks.

    Posted on April 7, 2016
    • compare

      Hello Ian, and thank you for your comment. My assumption (without directly speaking to them) is that they were not able to provide the service you wanted. They do not handle the Chinese Yuan for private clients. I guess they wanted to understand the purpose of transfer, because they might be able to help you in very specific situations.

      I completely hear what you’re saying about obtaining information without registering, this is how all commercial foreign exchange companies operate. It’s a very competitive field and they are very “secretive”. Of course, it also has commercial viability if you’re already a registered client as opposed a random inquirer via email. This is exactly why our website has been so popular – people come here to find more data about each company, understand how it operates, and also read about other people’s experiences like yours.

      Cheers.

      Posted on April 9, 2016
  7. Fiona Atkinson

    Currencies Direct were quite happy to deal with us when purchasing a house as we were dealing with large sums of money. Once the house sale was complete and we wanted to transfer £5000 for running costs of the home the attitude changed completely. We were informed that Currencies Direct did not deal with small amounts of money and we should look elsewhere. Such arrogance was totally uncalled for and personally I don’t regard £5k as a small sum of money. Obviously salaries are such that this did seem as small amount of cash.

    Posted on May 23, 2016
    • compare

      Hi Fiona, thank you for your feedback. We are sorry to hear your experience wasn’t fully satisfying (or had a bitter ending to it, more precisely). £5000 is definitely an amount of money they handle, but the thing is that transfers of that size or smaller won’t receive “personal attention”. You could use their online platform to transfer the funds, but the personalised dealer option is not possible. It makes perfect commercial sense – the salaries and other overheads they have to deal with each client will not even cover the spread margin they will be taking away from a £5000 transfer. Still, things could have been communicated better to you.

      Posted on May 23, 2016
  8. Robert Pratt

    When comparing transfer rates online every company site except Currencies Direct gave me an immediate clear and up front price. Currencies Direct would not, wanting me to register my details first. Goodbye.

    Posted on June 8, 2016
    • compare

      Hi Robert, thank you for your comment. You can view Currencies Direct’s excellent rates shortly after you sign up. We feel it is the only honest way to go around things. The fact that some other companies show you their estimated rates before sign-up doesn’t mean much. Rates fluctuate heavily, and by the time you have completed your sign-up, the rate you will be offered will be different.

      Posted on June 12, 2016
  9. Another potential client

    The comments here are an anti-thesis to the reporting above. Perhaps further verification and review is needed in the spirit of providing greater awareness amongst the consumers.

    My experience: I had wanted to enquire about the rates. Instead of replying with a quotation as they had advertised, they replied by asking me to click on certain options available on the website (essentially it meant surfing Currencies Direct website) and asking me to provide copies of my ID when I haven’t even expressed my interest to register!

    The registration process painfully long for a business that operates on trust and efficiency. Plenty of documentation was provided, till now I am not even sure whether my account has been set up. The sales personnel isn’t replying. If not for the FCA registration, I would have thought that this is a scam.

    Posted on June 28, 2016
    • compare

      Hi! Thank you for the very helpful comment. Indeed there are some neutral or negative comments here, some of which seem justified, and some aren’t. We are continuing to monitor all client review platforms and in direct contact with Currencies Direct and have no doubt that most clients are able to sign up and satisfied with the service. As part of our referral agreements we see the genuine numbers and we can compare them side-by-side to other companies with similar agreements… and Currencies Direct seem to register more clients, and a large number of them do decide to trade. That doesn’t go out to say that your review is not significant and that we will not factor this in.

      Regarding your specific experience: although some companies offer, perhaps, a smoother registration process which requires less details before offering a quotation, and some companies are fully transparent (like Transferwise / Currencyfair) – what you described here is how the industry works. You provide a proof to your identity, and then able to access the system and view the rates. In fact, the rates that you will see on the system aren’t the best rates, and if you are transferring a significant amount, you will be offered with better rates on the telephone (which will also be applied to the online system). The plethora of documentation which is required in order to sign up, and the “bureaucracy” are unfortunately also a part of the industry due to Anti Money Laundering laws (we have written about that extensively on our website).

      The most worrying part of this all was the support team which never replied to your inquiry. It’s no excuse by any means, but their site has crashed on the Brexit day and I think they are still recovering. I will be happy to contact them on this matter if you allow me to pass your email address to them.

      Last comment we have is that we’re sorry you had a bad experience and we will definitely look into it; in any case Currencies Direct is a legit company as can be. We have visited them many times in their offices and inspected their conduct, and albeit their services were not up to par in this case, they are 100% legit.

      Posted on June 29, 2016
      • compare

        We wanted to update that we have looked into it and ran a thorough check for all referrals and it is a VERY rare event that the trader doesn’t reply instantaneously to a client. So it does happen, as all human errors, but it is unlikely to happen.

        Posted on July 18, 2016
  10. compare

    Here’s a fresh, verified, client review from November 2016. It has been forwarded to us via email together with identifying details to prove it is one of the site’s referrals.

    In short – absolutely wonderful service! And the politest people ever. You guys have come out shining as compared to at least one of your direct competitors that I have dealt with earlier.

    Regards,

    Bikram

    Posted on November 28, 2016
  11. Janine Springall

    just a bit of information the rate for the commission is between 1.3 to 1.5 percent which is no better than a standard banK. We rang them and pointed out this fact and said that we would not do the transfer with this rate. Their reply was are you threatening us, nomwe were simply pointing out the facts and now because of their reaction do not trust sending the money to transfer because who knows what they will do. I will be sharing this with all my friends as we were very unhappy with their reaction and unprofessionalism.

    Posted on November 28, 2016
    • compare

      Thank you Janine for your feedback. 1.3-1.5 per cent margin sounds quite reasonable for a small trade, and usually represents a good saving against the bank (depends on which bank you use, and which currencies are involved in the trade). I am sorry to hear about the bad reaction you got on behalf of Currencies Direct. It’s the exact opposite of what our mystery shoppers said when they tried Currencies Direct out. Could you please supply us with the name of the person who dealt with your account?

      Posted on November 28, 2016
    • compare

      I have submitted your case for review by Currencies Direct. They should be able to report shortly. Thank you.

      Posted on November 28, 2016
    • compare

      I got the factual details from Currencies Direct.

      – The margin that was applied to your deal considering there are no wire fees is cheaper than any bank. It was a very small 6,000 Euro deal, you can’t expect it to be much better.

      – You booked a trade online, and then called up the company to negotiate your rates. Once a deal has been booked (with any company, not just Currencies Direct), it cannot be undone.

      – The reason booked deals cannot be reversed, changed, or negotiated, is because the rates move too swiftly. For example, if you booked a trade for GBPEUR on yesterday’s rate of 1.18, and today’s rate is 1.168 (these are the actual mid-market rates), you could potentially book at a better rate than the rate they booked your currency for yesterday.

      – I would say that you failed to understand the process. Instead of booking a trade online, you could have called them and negotiate the price prior to booking the deal.

      BR,
      MoneyTransferComparison staff

      Posted on November 28, 2016

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