Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton

Arm and a leg, part II

I mentioned recently that I had to pay a fortune in fees to transfer money to Switzerland.

Today, I sent a message to the bank (I was going to say “sent an email” but I used the web form on the online banking site instead) asking for the details of the charges.

And just now, I received an answer. Not only did they explain how the charges are split up but also how two of them were calculated (“x ‰ of the amount, minimum of y euros”).

So, the charges are still annoyingly high for small transfers, but at least now I know more.

However, that’s not all: the lady answering my request also said she’d refund me the charges (€39.05) this time but that I should be aware of those charges in the future. (She even volunteered the fact that, since Switzerland is not part of the EU, there is no cheaper alternative I could have used.)

So, that’s decent service, I think!

For the curious, the costs split up like this:

€ 8.89amount sent, at an exchange rate of 1.4629
€ 10.00charge for “voucherless” (? beleglos; maybe “paperless”?) orders (1.5 ‰, at least 10 euros)
€ 1.55SWIFT charges
€ 2.50commission for currency sales/purchases (0.25 ‰, at least 2.50 euros)
€ 25.00flat-rate charge for foreign bank fees
€ 47.94TOTAL

So the biggie was the charge for foreign bank fees—I had chosen “sender pays all fees” but had assumed that I’d only pay actual costs incurred rather than a lump sum.

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