International Wire Transfer Rules

Written by carrieanne larmore
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International Wire Transfer Rules
International wire transfer rules are necessary to prevent fraud and money laundering. (United States Passport on Stacks of One-hundred Dollar Bills image by dc_slim from

International wire transfer rules are in place for the protection of all parties involved, as well as to prevent laundering and fund illegal activities. Not only do the banking institutions and money transferring services have their own rules, but so do governments internationally. The U.S. enforced more stringent rules after September 11, 2001, by passing the Patriot Act in order to be able to track money more carefully. Following the rules for conducting an international wire transfer are crucial in order to prevent delays or cancellations of the wire transfers.

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When initiating a wire transfer, the sender must provide identification according to its requirements, which normally consists of either a valid driver's license or passport and proof of address. This can usually be avoided if the sender already has an account at this location, since this information was provided upon opening the account. If conducting the wire transfer through an online banking institution, then it may require additional proof of identification and phone verification.

Paper Trail

The banking institution or money service must keep record of all information pertaining to the wire transfer, such as the sender's name, address, amount of transaction and transaction instructions. It must also save the receiver's name, address and banking information. If the transfer is sent so that the receiver must pick up the money from a location, then the receiver must present identification to collect the money.


Depending on the bank, there are limits to the amount of money that the sender can wire. In general, transactions more than £650 are questioned as to the nature of the transfer. Some institutions have a limit of £1,950 per transaction. The Bank Secrecy Act requires banks to fill out numerous Currency Transaction Reports (CTR), therefore most banks refuse the acceptance of cash as a payment for wire transfers.

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