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I work in US and I needed to send some money home to Europe. I set up a dollar account in my European bank and sent the money via wire transfer from Bank of America. BoA charged me $45 and the European bank charged me $15.

This month I did a transfer for $7,000. BoA again charged me $45 but I only received $6,624 in my account in European bank. The fees charged were $316 more than I paid last time.

When I spoke to the transferring department in BoA, they told me that they have no control over the intermediary bank and that they are not responsible nor are they able to help in any way.

Has anyone had a similar experience and is there any way to get this partially reimbursed from BoA?

  • US financial institutions have enormous variation in international wire fees. You might inquire of, say, Schwab Bank whether they can do better for you. Of course, they can't help with charges for receipt of the wire. – Andrew Lazarus Aug 22 at 22:06
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    you should setup a Euro account at your European bank. Then Bank of America can lock in the FX rate and the Euro bank doesn't have to figure out what FX rate for USD they want, as they'll just settle Euros. – CQM Aug 23 at 0:47
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    "they told me that they have no control over the intermediary bank". Unless you think BoA is lying (which is perfectly possible), why are you blaming BoA for someone else's actions? – RonJohn Aug 23 at 1:43
  • Not an answer to the specific question, but you might want to look into solutions like TransferWise to avoid such high fees. – molnarm Aug 23 at 6:11
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Using the bank foreign wired money transfer services will definitely give you the worst rates and with hefty service charges. Because banks prefer to shield them from the risk of exchange rates and choose to use the old wired-funds transfer and clearing system, which every step will incur a lot of costs(even though all is actually done electronically).

There are plenties of trustable Peer-to-Peer money transfer around the world you can use versus the expensive bank wired transfer. Here are some trusted services you can use: Currencyfair, Transferwise, XE, Worldremit, OFX. etc. All these services are legal and go through bank peer with a track record. Transferwise is transparent on charges, so you should check it out first.

Maybe you want to ask why international bankers reluctant to create similar Peer-to-peer services? There can be due to regulation, and maybe the current business is too lucrative to create a competitive product, like yesterday Kodak to its film business. In addition, for a huge amount of wired-transfer, it is possible for such a client to negotiate for much better rates than a retail client.

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