I was receiving payment from UK-based company. I asked them to send me money to my account overseas (not based in UK, but it's in GBP).

Unfortunately, they've sent me EUR instead of GBP (despite the fact that their account is also in GBP and we were talking only about GBP). Because of that banks' exchange rates were applied two times and I received around 8% less money in the end, because of banks' spread.

I asked that company why they've sent me EUR - and they responded that in international transfer the bank may change currency into EUR and that was outside their control. (They're using HSBC bank in UK)

Is that true and they couldn't send me just GBP - or did they make a mistake?

3 Answers 3


GBP is widely traded currency and it is definitely possible to send GBP internationally with out any conversion.

Of late banks are trying to maximize the FX and if they see a Euro country the sending bank assumes the beneficiary account is in Euro and converts to get FX spread than letting the beneficiary bank decide.

Keep complaining to your bank and then the sending bank will put your account in exception and not convert next payments

  • Keep complaining very strongly. You can be assured that HSBC did not make a mistake but did this intentionally.
    – gnasher729
    Commented Dec 19, 2015 at 23:40

The company says it's out of their control - it isn't. All they have to do is to INSTRUCT HSBC to send a certain amount of GBP, and then HSBC MUST send GBP.

Obviously the bank doesn't like that because they make money through the conversion. That's not your problem. When told to send GBP, they must send GBP.

Depending on what your relationship with that company is, you lost money because they didn't send the GBP. At the very least, they sent you four percent less in Euros than they should have sent you. So send them a bill for the difference. It's unfortunate that your bank charged for the conversion Euro to GBP, but fact is that less than the agreed amount arrived at your bank, and that's the responsibility of the sender.


I think the bank is effectively just cheating you out of some money, and you should complain - and learn from it.

i do regular wire transfers between different currency countries, and fortunately, the bank's website lets me chose the currency I want to transfer in - but they ask at least five times if I'd not rather have them convert it because it might be sooo much cheaper than having it done by the bank on the other end.

This is free money for the banks, and each side would love to get it.

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