This guide aims to walk you through all available options for transferring money from the UK to France.
We’ll recommend the best providers based on your specific requirements.
Additionally, we’ll walk you through each of the steps involved to complete your foreign transfer.
Helping you to swerve any avoidable delays, reduce or eliminate fees, and complete your transfer worry free.
We will explain why in almost all instances, using a specialist international payment (money transfer) company is the cheapest way to send money from the UK to France.
Currency Exchange Rates
GBP to EUR
Current Rate: 1.1667 EUR
Estimated Bank Rate (2.5% markup): 1.1376 EUR
Provider Rate (0.6%): 1.1597 EUR
Indicative rates only. 2.5% was applied as the bank margin and 0.6% as the provider rates, but we don’t guarantee either.
EUR to GBP
Current Rate: 0.8571 GBP
Estimated Bank Rate (2.5% markup): 0.8357 GBP
Provider Rate (0.6%): 0.8519 GBP
Indicative rates only. 2.5% was applied as the bank margin and 0.6% as the provider rates, but we don’t guarantee either.
f you’re one of almost 100,000 Brits who currently own property in France, this guide will also determine the best way to send money to France from the UK specifically for property transactions and other large-sum requirements.
Whether you are buying property in France and need to transfer money from the UK, or make frequent international transfers like mortgage payments – this guide will help you save time and money.
How to Send Money to France [Our easy 4-Step Process]
You can easily transfer money from the UK to France, providing you’re aware of the steps involved, which we’ve outlined below.
Follow this process and you’ll soon have found the best payment solution and provider for your needs, and be ready to finalise your transfer.
Step 1: Choose a Provider (w / local support available in English)
The most important decision to make before sending money to France is choosing the most suitable money transfer company for your payment needs.
This not only determines the total fees you’ll pay, it will also impact the transfer options available to you (such as the option to hedge against FX movements).
From the hundreds of options available to transfer money from the UK to France, banks remain the most popular route by far.
However, banks only account for a small percentage of the total number of companies that can facilitate UK to France bank transfers.
The financial institutions that can facilitate these money transfers generally fit into one of four categories:
⭐ Best Way to Transfer Money From UK to France⭐
Companies operating in the UK and France. These firms top our rankings for cost, credibility, and overall level of service.
If you’re looking for a quick step in the direction, we can confidently recommend all of the providers listed above.
Choosing any of these companies will save you a lot of money compared to using a UK bank.
Many of these providers also offer services only available through specialist currency brokers including dedicated account management, FX hedging, and dealer guidance.
These brokers offer UK citizens looking to buy property in France the option to secure a favourable exchange rate for the future with a forward contract.
Generally speaking, this option is not available with Banks, with exemptions only normally granted to special high-net-worth accounts.
We’ve included Wise despite them not offering a hedging functionality, however their slick online system is arguably unparalleled for customers seeking a purely online solution.
UK Bank Fees and International Payment Costs
UK bank fees are structured more simply than French banks, and can be summarised in the table below:
|UK Bank||Online||Business (online)||Telephone/Branch|
|Lloyds Bank||£0 to EEA / £9.50 ROW||£15||£21|
|Natwest||£0 to EEA / £10 ROW||£15||0.3% (£21 – £40)|
|HSBC||£0 to EEA / £5 ROW||£17 – £30||£0 to EEA / £5 ROW|
The biggest variable in UK international payment fees is between transfers made on the SEPA network and those made to other countries around the world.
This is positive for those making international payments from the UK to France, as it is often the case there are little or no payment fees.
One thing to watch out for is French banks implementing a ‘receiving fee’ for payments coming from the UK even though they arrive via the SEPA network (such as Crédit Agricole’s €18 fee for receiving transfers from the UK).
They get around this by charging a receiving fee to ‘non-EU countries’ as opposed to ‘non-SEPA countries’.
We consider this a bit cheeky considering the money is still received through the same low-cost SEPA network, as opposed to SWIFT.
Whilst this is all good information to know, payment fees should not be the biggest consideration when you transfer money from the UK to France.
To demonstrate why the GBPEUR exchange rate and the FX spread applied should be your focus, we’ll use Lloyds Bank as an example.
‘FX margin’ is the variance between the interbank exchange rate at the time of your transfer versus the rate you’re offered as a client.
Lloyds Bank makes for a very interesting use-case as they are the only UK bank that actually provides transparency around the FX margin they apply to international transfers.
In fact, we believe their margins to be lower than that of other UK and French banks.
Some banks can charge a 4-5% fx markup on international transfers.
Choosing a different provider might allow you to secure your trade at a rate much closer to the interbank rate.
The highly established fintech Wise is far also has very transparent pricing, so let’s see how the transfer costs compare with Lloyds.
A £20,000 bank transfer to France via Lloyds will incur a 3.55% FX margin. That means you’d be losing a whopping £710 in the exchange rate margin.
Wise on the other hand, offers FX transfers at the mid market rate, so there is no markup to calculate.
They simply charge a transfer fee, which is a unique amount calculated for each transfer.
A £20,000 money transfer from the UK to France with Wise would cost just £85.84 in fees, saving you more than £624 than if using Lloyds.
On a £200,000 transfer, the FX margin with Lloyds is 2.1%, compared to a low cost transfer fee of just 0.38% with Wise.
This means you could save a staggering £3,440 by opting for Wise on a transfer of this size.
Whilst Wise is certainly a low cost option, customers can only accept the exchange rate provided to them on the day of the transfer.
For larger transfers, choosing a currency broker might save you even more money than using a provider like Wise, both in fees and in your timing of the trade.
Currency brokers provide guidance on the factors that might impact the exchange rate, and how the currency markets have been fluctuating.
For larger transfers, these currency swings can have a much larger impact on the true cost of your transfer than the FX margin applied.
A prime example of this was the Brexit referendum, when it was announced that Britain voted to leave the EU, GBPEUR moved from 1.30 down to 1.18 overnight.
The unexpected announcement caught out a lot of Britons who were hoping to buy a house in France and soon found out their money would not go anywhere near as far.
Whilst moves are not always this extreme, timing a trade correctly can still be the difference in hundreds or even thousands of pounds.
This is why in many instances, we recommend choosing a currency broker to transfer money between the UK and France.
In addition to providing competitive FX margins and charging no fees, these companies also provide guidance on foreign exchange solutions that can help you better time your transfer to maximise your savings.
Step 2: Register With Your Selected Provider
Any new customer registering with a financial service is required to complete an identification and verification check, also referred to as Know Your Customer or KYC.
These checks shouldn’t take more than a few hours and your account should be activated shortly after the company has reviewed your documents.
Many companies have tried to simplify this process in recent years, so it is now fairly commonplace to simply take a ‘selfie’ with your ID held next to your face.
Our dedicated guide on the KYC documents required to sign up with a money transfer service provides more details around some of the nuances of this process.
Step 3: Format Your Payment Details to Transfer Money to the UK
Now that your account has been activated you are read to start formatting the details of your UK to France money transfer.
Those who decide to work with a currency broker will have the choice to do this either over the phone or online.
It’s always critical to double check your beneficiary details, as ensuring these are correct will prevent any unnecessary delays, or worst case, sending funds to the wrong account.
All French bank accounts are formatted as an International Bank Account Number (IBAN), which is the standard governing European bank account numbers and one of the cornerstones of SEPA.
You’ll need the IBAN of the bank account you’re sending money to. If you are simply transferring money between your own accounts, your bank can confirm your IBAN to you.
There may be instances where you also need to provide the destination bank’s SWIFT code. If required, you can refer to our dedicated page that provides a list of France Swift Codes to quickly find the relevant code for your transfer.
With the beneficiary successfully set up, you can now input the amount of GBP you wish to convert, or the amount of EUR you want the beneficiary to receive after the currency exchange.
You’ll then be able to lock-in the exchange rate, entering into a legal contract to purchase the amount of currency requested.
How to Transfer Money to a French Bank Account from the UK
French IBANs are formatted as follows:
27 Alphanumeric characters
FRkk BBBB BGGG GGCC CCCC CCCC CXX
FR = Country code
kk = Check Digits
B = Bank Code
G = Code Guichet (branch)
C = Account No.
X = Clé RIB
Step 4: Fund Your Trade and Payment Will Process
Local bank transfer is the most common way to fund your money transfer from the UK to France, with some companies also permitting the use of debit cards.
Your chosen provider will provide the account number needed, as well as whether or not a payment reference is required.
To ensure your funds are allocated and processed quickly, you need to ensure this information is entered accurately.
Transfers within Europe (including the UK) are typically completed within a matter of hours or minutes, with SEPA instant credit transfers sometimes as fast as 10 seconds.
Should I Use a Remittance Provider for UK – France Money Transfers?
Whilst various Moneygram France Locations make it easy for recipients to pick up cash, the problem lies with their fees, as they are very expensive, often amounting to charges of 5%+ of the transfer.
Newer remittance companies like WorldRemit and Small World Money Transfer France are cheaper than Moneygram France but still work out more expensive than both currency brokers and money transfer companies when sending money from the UK to France via bank transfer.
Only when a recipient has the requirement to pick up money in cash should a remittance company be used.
⭐ Best Way to Transfer Money From UK to France – By Every Use Case⭐
Here we provide our recommendations on the most suitable payment provider for some of the most popular use cases of sending money from the UK to France.
Overseas Property Purchase
A change in visa rules limiting UK nationals visiting the EU to just 90-day visits per 180 days, has naturally dampened demand for some.
However, there are still many British nationals choosing to move across the channel for the chance of owning a château or even a small village.
Currencies Direct has over 20 years’ experience and a team of dedicated currency experts to help you make the most of your money.
When it comes to currency exchange and paying your Notaire, they are well versed in the process and will advise on the best way to transfer money to France.
To hedge against market movements and ensure you stay within budget for purchasing your property, Currencies Direct offers the option to fix today’s exchange rate for the future with a forward contract.
Repatriating Rental Income / Paying Overseas Mortgage
If you do happen to be repatriating rental yields, you’ll be bolstered by the reduction in social levy tax in France to 7.5%.
Those required to make regular money transfers between the UK and France will benefit greatly from choosing a provider that offers automated regular transfers.
With Currencies Direct regular transfers, you have the option to set each regular transfer up through a forward contract.
That way, for a period of up to 2 years, you can guarantee an exchange rate to protect yourself from potential currency swings that might affect you negatively.
You do also have the option to just accept the current exchange rate at the time of each transfer.
We also highly recommend moneycorp for all UK residents planning to buy a property or pay a mortgage in France.
moneycorp offers a similar suite of products and services as Currencies Direct, and also has a strong base in France, located in Paris.
Supplier Payments (B2B)
moneycorp: moneycorp is our no.1 rated business money transfer provider.
Considered a pioneer in non-bank business foreign exchange services, they offer a full suite of foreign exchange solutions specifically catering to SMEs and their unique needs.
This account allows you to hold multiple currency balances (including GBP & EUR).
Wise is another provider we’d recommend, particularly if you’re looking for a debit card functionality attached to your account.
With the Wise debit card, you can spend from multiple balances, make online payments to other bank accounts, or convert your balances into any number of currencies and withdraw funds to your own primary bank account.
Whilst wise does guarantee low spreads and low fees, it’s important to remember they offer no hedging tool, so you will have to accept the current exchange rate at the time you wish to trade.
A valid Wise alternative to also consider is Revolut.
Papaya Global : Papaya Global keeps everything consolidated, automated and easy by seamlessly connecting people, payroll and payments.
If you’re looking to safely automate your global payroll in line with regulatory compliant processes, Papaya Global’s secure, all-in-one solution is a great choice.
In total, payments can be made in any currency, anywhere to over 160 countries.
They provide guidance on how to transfer money from the UK to a french bank account for the purpose of salary, as well as additional guidance on local taxes, employment law, social benefits and staff contracts.
Cheapest Way to Transfer Money From the UK to France
The majority of currency brokers and payment service providers adhere to a straightforward pricing principle: the larger the transfer sum, the more favourable the exchange rate you’ll secure.
The exception to the rule is fixed-rate providers such as Wise.
For this reason, Wise tends to be the more cost-effective choice for smaller transfers, whereas currency brokers typically work out more cost effective for more substantial transactions.
- Cheapest Way to Transfer Money from the UK to France – Under £20,000: Wise will likely prove to be your cheapest option when transferring money to France under the value of £20,000.
Currency brokers might offer guidance to make it more cost effective by better timing the deal, but on standalone charges we’d recommend Wise for smaller amounts.
- Cheapest Way to Transfer Money from the UK to France – Over £20,000: For higher value transfers, speak with a currency expert from Currencies Direct or moneycorp to see what kind of rate you can secure, as you may be able to negotiate the FX spread.
Summary: Bank Transfers UK – France
Despite UK banks applying some of the worst FX margins around the world, they are still the first choice for some 80% of individuals who transfer money between the UK and France.
According to our analysis, banks are one of the most expensive ways to send money to France.
They also provide very little in terms of service and foreign exchange products.
We encourage readers to do their own research and conduct their own rate comparison.
However, we hope to have represented some of the alternatives for your next international bank transfer, that can hopefully help you to make substantial savings.
Choosing the right provider will uniquely depend on why you’re transferring money from the UK to France and how much it is you’re looking to send.
Sending Money From / To
View all routes on our sending money abroad guide