Transferring a large sum of Money From the UK at minimum cost and risk

SimonT

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An Argentine friend has been left a fairly large sum of money after the death of her UK fiance,

I've been helping settle up his affairs in the UK. There is about £105,000 remaining in the estate so a bit over $130,000 if we convert at the current terrible Brexit exchange rates.

My friend is financially naive having never had a bank account in Argentina. She walked into a Santander bank and they proposed transfer fees of something around 20% + other undisclosed fees.
Obviously this is a ridiculous amount to pay for what amounts to a bank wire. Surely?

As she is hoping to buy a small investment rental property even $130,000 (including purchase costs) won't get her much in Buenos Aires and with these crazy fees it would be impossible.

Does Any one have any experience of transferring similar sums into Argentina that could suggest a less expensive route/ bank ?? presumably she should open a Dollar account with the most suitable bank.

Sadly, she is not comfortable bringing such a large sum in as cash, as she is afraid it will be confiscated even though she has a paper trail to show where it came from.

We had considered leaving the money in a foreign account but unfortunately seems as though we are unable to open an account for her in the UK.(Whenever you enter Argentine nationality on an international bank account application it automatically rejects. Sigh!)

Not sure about her opening an account in Spain as a non resident Argentine. Have spent fruitless hours on the phone to Spanish banks without getting a useful answer.

Someone also suggested her getting a Uruguay account but unsure if that's a real option, or of benefit?

Any banking advice would be welcome as well as property search & investment advice.

Thanks
 

perry

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An Argentine friend has been left a fairly large sum of money after the death of her UK fiance,

I've been helping settle up his affairs in the UK. There is about £105,000 remaining in the estate so a bit over $130,000 if we convert at the current terrible Brexit exchange rates.

My friend is financially naive having never had a bank account in Argentina. She walked into a Santander bank and they proposed transfer fees of something around 20% + other undisclosed fees.
Obviously this is a ridiculous amount to pay for what amounts to a bank wire. Surely?

As she is hoping to buy a small investment rental property even $130,000 (including purchase costs) won't get her much in Buenos Aires and with these crazy fees it would be impossible.

Does Any one have any experience of transferring similar sums into Argentina that could suggest a less expensive route/ bank ?? presumably she should open a Dollar account with the most suitable bank.

Sadly, she is not comfortable bringing such a large sum in as cash, as she is afraid it will be confiscated even though she has a paper trail to show where it came from.

We had considered leaving the money in a foreign account but unfortunately seems as though we are unable to open an account for her in the UK.(Whenever you enter Argentine nationality on an international bank account application it automatically rejects. Sigh!)

Not sure about her opening an account in Spain as a non resident Argentine. Have spent fruitless hours on the phone to Spanish banks without getting a useful answer.

Someone also suggested her getting a Uruguay account but unsure if that's a real option, or of benefit?

Any banking advice would be welcome as well as property search & investment advice.

Thanks


To transfer money into Argentina is not that expensive and at most is 4% and less . I have been working in real estate transactions here for over 10 years and now it is easier than ever to transfer money into Argentina or send money out of Argentina . Santander Rio is completely wrong in their advice and it seems criminal their quote . I can suggest two excellent options for you to bring money to Argentina completely legally . It is very important that if you are buying a property here that the transaction happens at your bank and the transaction is done there .
 

nikad

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Sorry to hear about the 20% it seems she talked to the wrong person! She should not pay more than 1% in fees. Banco Galicia is friendlier and once she has an account open in place ( tell her to open in pesos and dollars ), she can get in contact directly with their foreign commerce department. She can justify the source of funds if this money was inherited. I believe it should fall under any of these codes

http://comex.bancogalicia.com/optimice-su-operatoria/portal-de-individuos.aspx

I07 Transferencias personales

http://comex.bancogalicia.com/media/97341/tarifario.pdf

Make sure she has all the papers to prove the source of this money, and get them apostilled in the UK.

Is she currently in Arg or abroad? Regarding RE market, it is currently a sellers market, nobody is buying and prices keep going down ( 3rd month in a row ). I would sit on muy usd and wait.
 

SimonT

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Thanks so much, to you both. Max 4% fees is an improvement and 1% or less seems much more reasonable if she can get it.
Yes she is in BA, we were going to bring her to the UK if necessary to sort things out but assuming we can convince the Executor to wire the money abroad that should hopefully not be necessary.
Glad to hear RE prices are moving down. Is there a big correction anticipated or when would it be wise to start looking at buying? The downside to Dollars sitting in a bank account for too long are not producing much if any interest I assume ?? so no income and then the temptation to spend on Emergencies.
 

SimonT

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Briefly looked at the bank links you gave.. Now I think I understand why you need a Peso account as well as a Dollar account as bank charges are in Pesos and taken from that account?
Are we going to have a bootstrapping problem where we need to have at least $1,300 USD in Pesos in that account to fund the transfer before we can send the wire to the dollar account??
 

nikad

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Briefly looked at the bank links you gave.. Now I think I understand why you need a Peso account as well as a Dollar account as bank charges are in Pesos and taken from that account?
Are we going to have a bootstrapping problem where we need to have at least $1,300 USD in Pesos in that account to fund the transfer before we can send the wire to the dollar account??
It is not allowed to open an account in dollars only. I guess your friend will have to fund her account in pesos ( take some cash with her, and exchange at the bank ) or just ask the bank clerk about how to proceed.
 

earlyretirement

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Yes, Nikad is right. Although I've had a US dollar account in Argentina at HSBC for many years, I also have to have a peso account. Whenever I wire my US dollars back to the USA or UK they withdraw the fees out of my Peso account.

Personally I wouldn't buy any real estate right now in BA as property prices are very high. As you correctly noted, $100,000 isn't going to get you much at all. Other better options vs. keeping the cash in Argentina (unless she needs cash here) is to go take the ferry over to Uruguay and open up a US dollar account there. They don't charge you anything to receive the cash. Also, even if she isn't a US citizen she should be able to open up a US dollar account in the USA if she flies to Miami. Several of my Argentine friends opened up accounts at Bank of America and Wells Fargo.
 

Kaz

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Hi Simon

You have the opposite problem to what I have, I am just currently in the final stages of selling my house here in Argentina and I am going back to the UK to live. I have quite a few dollars which I need to get back to the UK and at the moment I cannot find a solution. If you wanted some of your money over here, then you could buy the dollars from me and deposit pounds sterling into my UK bank account, if I understand your position correctly then that would work for both of us, and it wouldn't cost you anything, just to buy the dollars at today's rate.
 

SimonT

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Thanks Kaz.

You certainly picked an interesting time to return to the UK. In your case the current exchange rate and falling house prices will work in your favour, assuming you can transfer the funds quickly.
If it were my money I would certainly consider working on a direct exchange per your suggestion. But as we have to work with Lawyers who are the executors of the estate working through the Bank will be our safest and easiest bet if we can make it work.
At the moment we're working through getting her an bank account set up with Banco Galicia as was suggested. However we already hit a snag with that as she doesn't have a tax ID. Sigh!!
We may come back to you if we can't make any more progress. Best of luck with your move back home.
 

Patagone

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Hi Simon

You have the opposite problem to what I have, I am just currently in the final stages of selling my house here in Argentina and I am going back to the UK to live. I have quite a few dollars which I need to get back to the UK and at the moment I cannot find a solution. If you wanted some of your money over here, then you could buy the dollars from me and deposit pounds sterling into my UK bank account, if I understand your position correctly then that would work for both of us, and it wouldn't cost you anything, just to buy the dollars at today's rate.
I am thinking about selling a property in San Martin de los Andes and would have the same problem. Easiest might be to open up a crypto account and then transfer using BTC etc and selling in Europe, but I am not sure whether BitInka, Ripio etc actually work well and are trustworthy at the moment.
Keep us updated about your solution, hope it doesn't involve a dozen return flights carrying cash USD...
 
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