first direct Lab
Skip menus

One in seven Brits regularly sending money abroad

13 Jul 2017

One in seven adults in the UK are using international money transfer services on a regular basis, a survey from first direct reveals.

  • 14% now using money transfer services at least once a month

  • A quarter of us will use FX in any six-month period

  • More than one in five sending morney to friends and family living abroad

 

Once the preserve of wealthy individuals buying and selling property, cars, art, and other high-value items, the research shows the use of money transfer services is becoming more widespread and mainstream.

The research by first direct – which has launched a new online International Payment service featuring live exchange rates and no payment fees for online payments – found 14% of us transfer money abroad through our bank or specialist provider at least once a month, and half of those are arranging transfers at least once a fortnight. Almost one in four (24%) of us will transfer money overseas at least once in any six-month period.  

The findings reflect the trend towards consumers living international lives, with a variety of personal and professional relationships outside of the UK.

Although paying for holiday accommodation is the top reason for sending money abroad – cited by 31% of those who have used a transfer service – more than one in five (22%) are sending money as gifts to family and friends abroad, and a further 17% transfer money to their children travelling, studying or working overseas.

The growth of people running their own businesses is also evident in the increasing popularity of international money transfers, with 19% paying for goods and services from abroad for their business via a transfer service.

 

Top five reasons for making international money transfers

I pay for holiday accommodation in the local currency

31%

I send money as a gift (e.g. birthdays, Christmas) to family and/or friends living abroad

22%

I have a business with international suppliers who I need to pay

19%

I transfer money to my overseas bank account

18%

I send money to my children/grandchildren, who are travelling, studying or working overseas

17%

Source: OnePoll survey of 2,000 UK adults on behalf of first direct

 

Other less common reasons given for using international money transfers included “buying Star Trek memorabilia” and “paying French lawyers for my divorce”.

Joe Gordon, Head of first direct , said: “first direct prides itself on its customer service, whether this is online, on mobile, or on the phone. We work hard to deliver products and services customers tell us they want. International Payments are growing, so we’ve enhanced our offering to give customers a service able to meet their changing needs.

“With an average transaction of almost £7,000 it’s important to use an International Payment service that not only provides good value for money, is quick and easy but which is also trusted and secure.”

Who’s transferring money overseas?

Adults living in the West Midlands were most likely to transfer money abroad on a regular basis (more than one in five do so at least once a month), while those in Scotland were the least frequent users. However, on average people living in East Anglia transfer the most in a single transaction (£10,039), compared to those in the West Midlands (£3,253).

Regional results

% of adults using an overseas money transfer service at least once per month:

West Midlands

23%

London/S. East

15%

North East

15%

Wales

14%

Yorks & Humb.

13%

North West

12%

East Anglia

11%

East Midlands

11%

South West

11%

Scotland

9%

Source: OnePoll survey of 2,000 UK adults on behalf of first direct

 

% of adults using an overseas money transfer service in a six-month period:

West Midlands 

32%     

North West       

25%

London/S. East

24%

Wales              

23%     

Yorks & Humb.

22%

South West      

21%

East Midlands  

19%

Scotland          

19%

North East       

18%

East Anglia      

17%     

Source: OnePoll survey of 2,000 UK adults on behalf of first direct

 

Average amount transferred in a single transaction, using a money transfer service:

East Anglia      

£10,039

London/S. East

£7,516 

Yorks. & Humb.

£7,276

North West       

£7,237 

North East       

£6,736 

Scotland          

£6,714

South West      

£6,072 

East Midlands  

£6,005 

Wales              

£5,353

West Midlands 

£3,253

Source: OnePoll survey of 2,000 UK adults on behalf of first direct

Ends

+ 0 like this
Share this (opens in a new window)

You may also be interested in …

Samsung Pay will be available from 20 June. Stuart Haire, Head of Retail Banking and Wealth Management UK, HSBC, said: “Samsung Pay is just one of the ways we’re helping customers manage their money in a safe and convenient way.


Share this (opens in a new window)

first direct, the UK's most recommended bank*, is joining forces with mobile phone network 3 to pioneer the future of mobile phone banking. For the first time in Britain, consumers will be able to 'video call' their bank from their mobile phone. first direct's customer representatives, famous for giving the best service in the business...


Share this (opens in a new window)