Lloyds International Transfers (Clearly Explained)

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July 15, 2024
5 min read
An international money transfer can be a minefield full of jargon, confusing costs and information overload.

If you’re a Lloyds customer, you may think that using them for your international transfer is a cheap and safe option.

In this guide, I’ll explain how an international money transfer works using Lloyds.

I’ll unravel all the important information and make it clear whether Lloyds are a good option for sending money abroad.

You’ll find out how much they cost, what their transfer limits are and if you should use an alternative instead.

A Lloyds branch
Is Lloyds Bank a good option for international money transfers?

How much does Lloyds charge for international transfers?

High street banks tend to overwhelm customers with information about how much an international money transfer costs.

Naturally, it can get quite confusing.

When you make an international transfer into a different currency, you’ll require a currency conversion.

To put it simply, costs for international transfers come in two forms:

  • Transfer fees
  • Exchange rates

Lloyds are no different, and here’s how their transfer fees and exchange rate costs stack up.

Lloyds transfer fees

At Lloyds you can make an international money transfer without any transfer fees.

This doesn’t quite mean that an international transfer is free though.

It just means you’re not charged a flat add-on fee each time you make a transfer.

It’s quite refreshing to see a big bank remove their annoying and unnecessary transfer fees.

Another big bank, Santander, charges up to £25 for an international transfer.

As good as it is to not have a transfer fee, let’s not get carried away.

Lloyds also warn you that the final amount received could vary as exchange rates fluctuate constantly.

This is not unique to Lloyds. 

Nobody can control exchange rate movement, or how frequently they move.

Regardless, this is where many people slip up.

They’ll see “send and receive money internationally for free” and happily proceed, not aware of the exchange rate costs they are about to face.

Lloyds exchange rates

By far the largest cost of any international money transfer comes from the exchange rate margin.

Lloyds make their exchange rate margins available for customers to see.

Here’s how they fair, alongside the maximum charge you could face:

Transfer amount Exchange rate margin Maximum charge
£0 to £10,000 3.55% £355
£10,000 to £50,000 3.55% - 2.4% £1,775
£50,000 to £100,000 2.4% - 2.1% £2,400
£100,000 to £250,000 2.1% - 1.5% £3,750
£250,000 and above 1.5% £3,750+

As you can see, when you start transferring large amounts of money, the exchange rate costs soon add up.

Even the smallest percentage can cost you thousands!

It’s crucial to make sure you get the very best exchange rate possible.

You may dismiss 2% or 3%, but you can see here how much care you really need to take.

Lloyds offer a ‘currency international’ account which offers slightly better exchange rate margins.

This is definitely worth investigating if you’re a Lloyds customer.

Here are the exchange rate margins charged for a Lloyds Currency International Account:

Transfer amount Exchange rate margin Maximum charge
£0 to £25,000 2.7% £675
£25,000 to £50,000 2% £1,000
£50,000 to £99,999 1.2% £1,199.98
£100,000 to £149,000 1% £1,400
£150,000 to £499,999 0.75% £3,749.99
£500,000 to £749,000 0.5% £3,749.99
£750,000 and above 0.2% £1,500+

When you calculate how much this will cost you, these exchange rate margins are much more acceptable when transferring large amounts internationally.

They’re actually pretty competitive when compared to the rest of the industry.

Barclays, for example, charges between 3% and 4% of your transfer volume.

From the list of ‘Currency International Accounts’, it appears that you may only be able to transfer between GBP, EUR and USD.

Make sure you’re aware of all the details when applying for one of these accounts.

Some Euro notes and coins on top of some paper.
Be careful not to get charged extortionate amounts on exchange rates

How long does a Lloyds international transfer take?

According to Lloyds, an international transfer should reach a recipient’s bank in 1 to 3 working days.

Unfortunately, this is quite vague.

They’ve given a general gauge, but based on my experience in the international money transfers industry, I can be more specific.

For transfers between the UK and the Eurozone (SEPA transfers), some smaller transfers can happen as quickly as within minutes.

Larger transfers between the UK and Europe are usually completed within 1 to 2 working days.

Anything else (usually a SWIFT transfer) and it’s reasonable to expect it to take 3 working days.

As with most things though, anomalies can occur that make payments take longer.

These are things like time differences, weekends, public holidays and missing cut-off times.

The time it takes is down to the time it takes for the money to clear at each end.

It’s not something you can change, it’s just the nature of the business.

Always plan your international transfers ahead of time to avoid missing any deadlines.

For example, get yourself signed up with a company and load your account with some funds.

What is the maximum amount I can transfer internationally using Lloyds?

With Lloyds, you can transfer up to £100,000 a day internationally.

This is a major inconvenience.

Imagine you’re transferring money for a house purchase abroad.

This could delay the whole process for days.

And if you’re sending money outside of Europe, for example the USA, the process already takes a while.

It could potentially be over a week before the full amount finally reaches where it needs to be.

That’s not to mention having to complete the process each day.

Sending a large amount of money abroad is stressful enough without having to needlessly go through it all multiple times.

You’d save a lot of time and be less stressed if you could send it all in one go.

Can you make international money transfers through the Lloyds app?

The Lloyds online banking app allows you to make international transfers.

So yes, you can. But should you?

Personally, I’d avoid it.

I’m all up for using online banking apps for day-to-day domestic banking.

I use mine all the time and I find it very easy.

However, an international money transfer isn’t something that’s quick and easy.

You’ve seen that it can cost you thousands!

Why whizz through and rush a process where you could lose that amount of money?

I’d like to take my time and speak to an expert who can help me.

Lloyds have a team of relationship managers who you can contact and speak to over the phone.

This is a step up from what most banks offer.

But speaking to people at the bank can be hit and miss.

It usually takes me ages to get through to the right person and explain my issue.

I’m sure we’ve all had interactions like that at the bank…

Currency brokers, on the other hand, are specialist services with people on-hand to solely deal with international money transfers.

They offer a very similar service, except much cheaper, and are specialists at dealing with the exact queries you’re likely to have.

A Lloyds branch
You should consider alternatives for your money transfer

Are Lloyds a good option for international money transfers?

Overall, Lloyds are a solid option for international money transfers.

Their exchange rates are transparent and pretty competitive when compared across the industry.

(Provided you are using a Currency International Account)

To summarise, Lloyds are one of the better banks out there for international money transfers.

They’ve clearly spotted that most banks offer a sub-par service in this area of banking and looked to offer something better.

However, there are still some limitations.

Our recommendations would be to use a currency broker.

Currency brokers typically offer a better exchange rate and operate without annoying transfer limits.

Lloyds’ £100,000 daily limit for online transfers makes it highly inconvenient if you wish to transfer more than this. 

You either have to visit a branch, or set up multiple transfers over multiple days, adding significant time onto how long it will take.

With a currency broker, you can send the entire amount (no matter how much) on the very same day.

No limits, no stress.

They also have dedicated 1-on-1 account managers who will offer bespoke guidance on your currency transfer.

If you have a question, they’ll be able to answer it, no matter how specific or difficult you think it might be.

However, currency brokers are really only suitable for transfers above £25k.

For any amount below that, you’ll be better off using a money transfer app.

You’ll get a much better exchange rate for lower amounts, and you can do all the work yourself on an app if you so wish.

Fill in the quick form below to get some comparison quotes for your international transfer.

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