Which companies are best value, safest and most efficient for changing pounds into euros? R.E.
The best-value way to convert money is to make a transfer from a British bank account in pounds to a French one in euros. You can arrange for your British bank to do this directly, or do it via a transfer to a middleman, who then makes the transfer into the French account for you, at a competitive rate.
Several such currency transfer firms advertise in Connexion and we have a helpguide on these topics, priced €5 available via our website.
Once you are registered with them, the process is straightforward and with some firms transfers can be arranged over the internet.
If the firm is British, it should by now have registered with the Financial Services Authority (FSA), though newer ones (set up since December 2007) have until May 1 to be
fully authorised. This shows it meets recognised standards.
Larger ones are called an “authorised payment institution” and smaller ones are listed as a “small payment institution”. The larger ones must safeguard your money, that is, keep it separate from their own funds, so that, if the firm went bankrupt, your money would be safe. Small payment institutions may also choose to do this.
You can check a firm’s status at www.fsa.gov.uk/register/psdFirmSearchForm.do