Since becoming a member state of the European Union, Poland has seen a large number of its citizens take up residency in the UK. Many of these new residents wish to transfer money home. Learning how to do this can be a perplexing proposition for new residents unfamiliar with a new country and its institutions. Besides the common method of using local, privately-owned money transfer agencies, you can send money to Poland from the UK using some of the following methods.
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Open a UK current account for Polish speakers. The most cost-effective way to transfer money to Poland from the UK is to open one of these specially adapted current accounts for which a debit card is issued. NatWest bank's Welcome Account, for example, comes with a separate Money Transfer account into which you can transfer funds. The account allows you to pass on one debit card to a family member to use in Poland in the same way you would use yours in the UK. Other accounts that have money transfer facilities are Lloyd TSB's Silver and HSBC's Passport, both of which also offer the benefits of an ordinary bank account.
Carry out a bank wire transfer. All of the High Street banks in the UK offer money transfer services to Poland. You will need to provide your bank with the recipient's full name and his/her International Bank Account Number (IBAN), which allows individuals to make and receive bank payments across borders in Europe. You will also need to provide the recipient's Bank Identifier Code (BIC), which is always used in conjunction with an IBAN. Both of these can only be issued by the bank servicing the account they identify and are usually printed on bank statements. Bank transfers take approximately three to five working days to process and incur a charge of about £30.
Use money transfer services. By far the quickest way to transfer funds to Poland is through international money transfer agents such as MoneyGram and Western Union. Both of these companies guarantee your money will be available for collection within 15 minutes. Sending fees vary according to the amount you are sending but are usually a fraction of a bank's charges. You have the option of conducting the transfer by phone, by visiting an agent's location in person or online. The recipient, however, must visit an agent location and bring the 10-digit transaction code you will have provided him/her, along with some form of identification.
Set up a Euro-denominated current account. Under European laws, banks are required to treat international transfers from one Euro-denominated country to another as though they were domestic transactions. For most personal accounts, transferring money between accounts is free. Due to the nature of the account, however, you will incur two currency exchanges: one from Stirling (GBP) to Euros (EUR) and then from Euros to Polish Zloty (PLN). Nonetheless, because currency exchange commissions are usually lower than other money transfer fees, this option may be cost effective.
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