Halifax international transfer

This article covers everything you need to know about Halifax international transfers including: how much they cost, how long they take, and how to make one.

Despite being part of the largest banking group in the UK, Halifax might not be your best option if you want to send money overseas. There are plenty of other services like Wise, Western Union and OFX, which can be cheaper, faster and easier to use.

Halifax international money transfer comparison

Let’s start with a comparison of the costs and delivery times on offer from Halifax against a few specialist providers. In this example, we’re sending an online payment to a friend, and we want them to receive 5,000 EUR in the end:

ProviderTotal costTransfer time
Halifax 149.65 GBP Next working day
Wise 14.88 GBP 80% of payments arrive in 24 hours
Western Union 35.52 GBP Up to 2 days
OFX 46.27 GBP

1 - 2 business days

*Fees and rates correct at time of research - 24th November 2021

In our example, Wise is the cheapest when it comes to total costs. In fact, with Wise you could save 134.77 GBP compared to using Halifax Bank to make your transfer. Wise uses the mid-market exchange rate and a transparent transfer fee. Halifax on the other hand adds a 3.55% exchange rate markup. That means that even though Halifax has no transfer fee for this payment, you’ll still pay a total of 149.65 GBP in markups.

If you’re sending a payment to the EEA in euros, Halifax will deliver it the next day as long as you set up the transfer before their cut-off time. Cut-off times are between 2pm and 3pm, and transfers are only processed on working days because they rely on the SWIFT network to get moving. Specialist providers are often faster than regular banks, as they use their own payment systems which can operate more flexibly. Many transfers with Wise arrive instantly and almost all are received within 24 hours, regardless of the time of day they’re processed.

Specialist international payment providers often operate mainly - or entirely - online and via mobile apps. That means you can initiate your payment easily, 24/7. And because their core business is payments, it’s usually easy to get set up and make your first transfer.

Halifax international transfer fees

Halifax international bank transfers can involve up to 3 different charges:

  • Halifax transfer fee
  • Exchange rate markup
  • Correspondent bank fees

Which fees apply - and the total amount you’ll pay - will depend on where you’re sending money, and the currencies involved.

Often the cost you need to look out for the most is the exchange rate markup. In the example we used above, there’s no Halifax transfer fee, and no correspondent charges to add in - the entire cost of the transfer is wrapped up in the rate being used. We’ll look at the Halifax international transfer exchange rate in more detail in a moment.

Although Halifax doesn’t charge a transfer fee for euro payments, there are transfer charges when you send other currencies - here are the Halifax bank international transfer fees you should know about:

Transfer typeHalifax bank fee
Euro payments No fee
All other payments 9.50 GBP
Correspondent bank fees

Europe (Non-EEA), USA, Canada - 12 GBP

Anywhere else - 20 GBP

Receiving an international payment

Free to receive euro payments from the EEA or UK

Other payments:

Transfers under 100 GBP - 2GBP receiving fee

Transfers over 100 GBP - 7GBP receiving fee

Halifax exchange rate

International payments with Halifax use their standard exchange rate. This isn’t the same as the rate you’ll find on Google. Instead, Halifax adds a markup - an extra fee - onto the mid-market exchange rate to create the rates they pass on to customers. The markup varies by the value of the payment being made:

Payment value in GBPHalifax exchange rate markup
Up to 10,000 GBP 3.55%

10,000 - 50,000 GBP

3.55% - 2.40%

50,000 - 100,000 GBP

2.40% - 2.10%

100,000 - 250,000 GBP

2.10% - 1.50%

250,000+ GBP

1.50%

As you can see, the bigger the payment you’re making, the smaller the percentage exchange fee you’ll pay. However, overall, in many cases the exchange rate markup costs far more than the transfer fee or any correspondent bank charges.

Here’s what you’ll pay in exchange rate markups for a few different transfer values:

  • Sending 1,000 GBP - 35.50 GBP exchange rate markup fee
  • Sending 10,000 GBP - 355 GBP exchange rate markup fee
  • Sending 50,000 GBP - 1,200 GBP exchange rate markup fee

Banks tend to have higher exchange rate markups compared to specialist providers. Some specialist providers don’t use exchange rate markups at all.

Here’s a reminder of the total costs - including exchange rate markups - from the providers we looked at earlier. This is what you’ll pay with each if you want your recipient to end up with 5,000 EUR in their account in the end:

Halifax additional fees

Earlier we mentioned Halifax correspondent bank fees. These are also referred to as agent bank fees. Additional correspondent bank fees apply to most international payments processed through the SWIFT network - however, whether the sender or recipient pays them can vary.

The SWIFT payment network involves banks working in partnership to pass international payments safely to the right account - much like taking a series of connecting flights to get to your destination. However, because each bank involved needs to spend time sorting out the processing, they can also charge a fee for the service, on top of any fee you pay your own bank. When you transfer money internationally with Halifax, correspondent bank fees can add 12 - 20 GBP to the overall costs.

If you arrange your payment online, or if you’re sending a transfer to the EEA, your recipient will pay the correspondent bank charges. This means they may get less than you expect in the end. For other payments - including transfers set up in a branch - you can sometimes choose between paying all the additional fees yourself, sharing them with the recipient, or having the recipient cover all additional costs themselves. You’ll see your options for paying correspondent bank charges when you set up your transfer.

How long does a Halifax international money transfer take?

If your transfer is arranged before the relevant cut-off time (2pm to 3pm) on a working day you can expect the following delivery times:

Payment typeHalifax delivery time
Payments in euro to the UK or EEA Next working day
Payments in any other currency within the EEA No more than 4 working days
Payments to North America, Australia, New Zealand, Middle East and Far East Should take no more than 4 working days
Any other international transfer Should take no more than 14 working days

Depending on the type of transfer you’re making Halifax may not be your quickest option. Let’s see how the Halifax international transfer delivery times measure up against the other providers we looked at earlier:

  • Halifax: Next day for euro payments to the EEA, 4 days for major currencies, up to 14 days for unusual currencies
  • Wise: 80% of payments arrive in 24 hours
  • Western Union: Up to 2 days
  • OFX: 1 - 2 business days

Pros and cons of transferring money abroad with Halifax

Pros:

  • Send money online or through the app for convenience
  • Get face to face service in branch if you’d prefer
  • No transfer fee for euro payments to the EEA
  • Competitive delivery times for euro payments

Cons:

  • High exchange rate markups
  • Correspondent bank fees of 12 - 20 GBP may apply
  • Payments in unusual currencies can take up to 14 working days

Sending money with your regular bank is familiar and secure. But specialist international transfer services usually offer better overall costs and delivery time. Specialist providers offer convenient payments which can often cut out the SWIFT network. That means your money can move faster and at a lower cost - while still being just as safe as when you make a payment with your regular bank.

How to make an international transfer with Halifax

Make international bank transfers with Halifax online or in the mobile app, in a branch, or over the phone. The costs are the same whichever option you choose, although online transfers tend to be quicker and more convenient.

Here’s how to send an international transfer with Halifax using their online banking service:

  1. Log into your online banking and select More actions, then Payments and transfers
  2. Select Send money outside the UK
  3. Click Pay someone new for first time transfers, or Select an international recipient if you’ve paid your recipient before
  4. Check over or enter the recipient’s details
  5. Enter the value and currency of the payment you want to make
  6. Select Continue to review payment details, and Confirm Payment if everything is good to go

You may be asked to enter your password online, or if it’s the first time you’ve made a payment to that recipient you may need to confirm the request through a phone call.

What information do you need to make an international transfer with Halifax?

If you’re sending a payment to the EEA or UK you’ll need to have:

  • Recipient’s full name and address
  • Recipient’s IBAN
  • Recipient’s SWIFT/BIC code

For transfers anywhere else you’ll need a little more detail:

  • Recipient’s full name and address
  • Recipient’s IBAN
  • Recipient’s SWIFT/BIC code
  • Name and address of the recipient’s bank
  • Clearing code
  • Reason for the payment

Transfer limits and available countries

You can send Halifax international money transfers in 30+ currencies. Limits may apply to the maximum amount you can send, based on the payment type:

Payment arranged:Halifax international transfer limit
In a branch No limit
Through online or mobile banking 100,000 GBP/day
By phone 5,000 GBP/day

Receiving money from abroad with Halifax

You can receive an international payment in pounds or other currencies into your Halifax account. If the payment arrives in a foreign currency, Halifax will convert it to pounds before depositing it into your account. In this case, exchange rate markups will apply which may mean you receive less than you’re expecting in the end.

There’s a fee to receive an international transfer:

  • Payments under 100 GBP in value - 2 GBP
  • Payments over 100 GBP in value - 7 GBP

Halifax SWIFT code

When you need to receive an international transfer you’ll have to give the sender your IBAN and your SWIFT code. The SWIFT code is a unique identifier assigned to each bank which helps payments be received quickly and securely.

The Halifax Bank SWIFT code is LOYDGB2L - that’s because Halifax is part of the Lloyds banking group

Conclusion

It may be a surprise to learn that sending international payments through regular banks can be one of the most expensive and slowest ways to get your money where it needs to be. Banks offer a really broad range of services, and international payments just aren’t core business for most of them - that can lead to higher fees and more clunky processes compared to specialist services.

Choosing the right way to send your international payment is a very personal thing. Use this guide to help you research and compare a few providers before you get started, so you can get the right balance of cost and convenience for your transfer.

Interested in making international transfers with banks? Read our guides on Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, Santander, NatWest, RBS, and Nationwide.

Halifax international bank transfer FAQs

How much does a Halifax international transfer cost?

The cost of a Halifax international bank transfer can include a transfer fee, an exchange rate markup, and correspondent bank fees. The final amount you pay depends on where you’re sending money to, and the value of the transfer.

How long does a Halifax international money transfer take?

Next day for euro payments to the EEA, 4 days for major currencies, up to 14 days for unusual currencies.

How to transfer money internationally with Halifax?

Send a Halifax international bank transfer online, using the mobile app, in a branch or by phone.