Joint research by specialist loan packager Thistle Finance and global currency specialist Mercury FX has revealed that specialist currency firms could typically save their clients up to 4% on transaction fees, compared with the average high street bank.
Expats who transfer the equivalent of £500,000 of foreign currency into GBP to acquire a buy-to-let could make a saving of around £20,000.
The research also found that too many expats were wasting additional funds by taking out specialist expat buy-to-let finance without shopping around.
On a £500,000 loan, the interest rate differential between the best and worst rates can conservatively amount to £4,000 annually, or £20,000 over a five-year period.
Mark Dyason, managing director at Thistle Finance (pictured above), said that far too many UK expats purchasing buy-to-let property at home were being hoodwinked by the high street banks when getting their money back into the country.
“They’re then compounding their misery by failing to search for the best finance rates in what is an increasingly competitive market.
“It’s a painful and wholly avoidable double whammy.
“With more and more demand from expats for UK buy-to-let – particularly in Scotland due to the arrival of challenger lenders with significantly improved criteria and rates – it’s vital they do their homework before they transact.
“The result can be savings of tens of thousands of pounds.”