Canada is one of the most desirable countries for British expats to relocate to. This is due partly because of the English language from previous commonwealth links, liberal & progressive culture, stunning scenery and their equivalent of the NHS meaning no need for the expensive American style private system. Their largest industries are agriculture, water, wood (logging) and their most profitable export but far, oil. Oil (Brent and crude) has the largest impact on the Canadian dollar (CAD) with a strong oil price usually meaning more revenue received per barrel, ultimately making the CAD more valuable. If you pass the lengthy and stringent immigration process to qualify to live and work in Canada, money transfer and setting up financially won’t be far from your to-do list. See below a very simple and clear guide to help you get as many Canadian dollars for your pounds.
It may seem like a small task but setting up a Canadian bank account well in advance of moving abroad is very important. Like anywhere that isn’t your native country you won’t be surprised to learn that the banking systems in Canada are different from those of Europe.
For example, a European bank may request details like BIC and IBAN numbers, however, these details don’t exist in Canada, where accounts have transit codes, swift numbers, and ABA numbers. We don’t recommend going through your banks for international money transfers to Canada, although when compared to other countries national banks Canada does have a more competitive rate but nowhere near what a broker can offer.
Despite Canada being one of the largest countries by physical mass, it is actually a relatively small nation with a population of only around 37 million people. What this means in relation to the banking industry is there isn’t the wealth of choice on offer when compared to Spain for example.
The largest and generally most credible banks in Canada are:
As always regarding the country you are attempting to open a bank with the necessary documentation is required to complement and complete the account set up. Typically for a North American bank account to be set up the below is needed:
The process to open your FX broker account can be done within minutes. The first step is to apply online giving basic personal details and a brief overview of transfer needs. As part of KYC (know your customer) and compliance regulations, a copy of photographic ID (usually your passport or driver license) and proof of residential address via a utility bill is required to open an account.
Specialists such as Currencies Direct have decades of experience in advising and assisting over 250,000 clients all over the globe and saving them thousands of pounds in the process.
Top tip: Canadian banks, for large transfers, have been known to call customers to confirm you are expecting the amount if you don’t have a phone plan in accordance with a bank account set up this can cause significant delays and problem to receiving funds.
Canadian banks relatively speaking, do have a respectable reputation in the currency exchange sector but still compared to a specialist international payment provider such as TorFX or Currencies Direct an FX broker will deliver several benefits below you won’t have considered.
One of the main reasons for using a dedicated broker over a bank is the unrivalled and direct customer care from start to finish of your money transfer process. Banks are large, slow and harder to contact whereas an app such as TransferWise, although convenient for smaller payments, does not have an obvious channel for customer support if and when an issue arises.
Currencies Direct offer modern and easy to use online platforms, app’s and extended telephone dealing hours allowing you to trade at your convenience. The fundamental difference is all clients will receive a dedicated, personalised account manager with a direct email address for a phone number to enable swift and efficient contact and customer service if required.
It is a given that all top International payments providers will hold client funds in segregated accounts. All transactions are conducted in accordance with the FCA regulations and guidelines but we strongly advise you check with your broker on the exact details.
A bank will try to profit on a currency transaction by a wide spread, the difference in the buy and sell of a currency and via a fee for the privilege of the transaction. Depending on the bank exactly, for each transaction, it could cost anywhere from £4 to £4o making it very expensive. A specialist will process your transfer to Canada with no transfer fees and narrow margin (or spread). For some North American transfers, they may re-route your money through several cities and accounts encountering more cost on the way. A reputable broker will have a segregated account network reducing these fees and every stage.
It should be a given that a broker will offer a more competitive rate than a bank but it’s worth re affirming. A bank will, as a rule, be offering a spread of between 2-6% whereas the rates on offer from leading providers like Currencies Direct will be under 1%. The result is simply; a very significant saving. Once your trade is executed, you will be provided with a deal notification showing clearly the base currency amount and the amount of Canadian dollars purchased. Once the deal is agreed and completed, funds can arrive in the account on the same day and usually no longer than 48 hours.