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Worth moving money out of SG?

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DrE4MeR
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Worth moving money out of SG?

Postby DrE4MeR » Fri, 26 Dec 2008 6:58 am

Hi guys :)

First post here.. I have been reading posts on this forum for a couple of weeks now - great stuff!

I am a French fresh graduate who will be joining a financial services company in a couple of weeks. I was hired as a local employee so nothing much of an expat package here. I am neverthelesss thankful to have the opportunity to work in SG/Asia and gain more work experience over time (having in mind the current economic context)!

As I will get paid in SGD, I will need to open a bank account in Singapore. I read here and there that DBS is the way to go.
Do you guys know if it offers reliable and cheap international money transfer? Or any other banks that do? That would mean foreign exchange + money transfer.

I am contemplating saving some money every month and wiring it out to my French bank account. Or should I do this in one go (let's say when I definitely leave SG)?

I am not even sure if this is worth the hassle given the associated costs. Interest rates on savings accounts/life insurance plans are pretty low nowadays (except my mistake).

Would appreciate your feedback.

Thanks!
David

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Postby durain » Fri, 26 Dec 2008 7:19 am

if you dont need money in france, then just leave your SGD in singapore. when you go back to france for holiday, etc, you can exchange the money in a local money changer and take some back. just take into consideration the current exchange rate, interest rate and charges for doing a electronic money transfer.

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Postby louy » Fri, 26 Dec 2008 9:16 am

I am also looking for cheap, easy and flexible money transfer.

I would like to send money over to my account in HK and also in UK on a regular / monthly basis.

I am with DBS, not too impressed with their service levels. And have been too lazy to look into any fund transfer service they may have.

DrE4MeR
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Postby DrE4MeR » Fri, 26 Dec 2008 11:21 pm

Durain,

Thanks for your post. I totally agree.

I will somehow try to get in touch with some French expats who receive their salary in EUR and make a swap againt SGD. No commission but there might be a greater risk depending on the person's reliability.

Louy,

Hope someone will reply to your query.

In the meanwhile, you can have a look at the following DBS links:
http://www.dbs.com/posb/payment/outward ... fault.aspx
http://www.dbs.com/posb/payment/additio ... fault.aspx

Cheers
David

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durain
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Postby durain » Sat, 27 Dec 2008 12:02 am

you might want to check with citibank or hsbc. if you open an account in singapore and your home country, you can do an electronic transfer between your accounts. important thing is you need to check the fees and charges and what exchange you are getting! some bansk give you very bad exchange rate that is way off the interbank or spot rate.

another alternative is to use a money broker. they will give you a better rate and usually no fees or charges.

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Postby Splatted » Sat, 27 Dec 2008 11:20 am

citibank to citibank , internationally is free for a lot of countries and the exchange rate is very close (if not the same) to any of the Singapore money changers I've compared it to.

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Postby louy » Thu, 01 Jan 2009 11:02 am

Am I correct in thinking that with the weak pound, and I expect the GBP to get weaker, now would be a good time to send my SGD and convert to GBP to make as much payments towards my mortgage in UK.

Does it technically mean my house is now cheaper for me.

With regards to Citibank -> Citibank, I dont have one in UK or SG. Is it possible to open a UK one whilst I am in SG ??

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Postby durain » Thu, 01 Jan 2009 11:23 am

no one knows when is a good time to do a fx exchange. for all you know, the new year might push the GBP up to S$3.00 to GBP1.00. that decision is with you.

dont understand what you mean your house is cheaper now. all properties in the UK has gone down.

you will need to be present to open a bank account with relevant docu and credit checks. this is to prevent fraud, scam and money laundering.

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Postby louy » Thu, 01 Jan 2009 12:45 pm

durain wrote:no one knows when is a good time to do a fx exchange. for all you know, the new year might push the GBP up to S$3.00 to GBP1.00. that decision is with you.

dont understand what you mean your house is cheaper now. all properties in the UK has gone down.

you will need to be present to open a bank account with relevant docu and credit checks. this is to prevent fraud, scam and money laundering.


I mean, the exchange rate today means I get more GBP per a SGD than before. One SGD would buy say 0.35 GBP but now im looking at nearer 0.45 GBP. So its better to buy more GBP now right ??

Although house prices have gone down, my mortgage remains the same. So im thinking if the price of GBP has gone down, does that mean my mortgage is now cheaper too. Therefore I should buy as my GBP with SGD now.

Especially like you say, no one knows whats tomorrows rate will be. If its cheaper still, I should buy more then too.

This exchange rate thing is confusing.

Think I need to go ly down

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Postby durain » Thu, 01 Jan 2009 10:50 pm

louy wrote:This exchange rate thing is confusing.


you just need to do a little maths! yes, SGD will buy you more GBP, so if you can overpay your mortgage in UK without ERP, then do it.

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Postby jfd » Fri, 02 Jan 2009 5:26 pm

Can anyone give me an idea of the rate at a money changer? What I mean here is, is there any money changer that has rates you can see online?

If not, can anyone tell me what there normal spread is? I.e., what is the gap between their buy and sell rates. So, checking online now, I see the S$/US$ rate is 0.6883. If I was an FX trader for a bank, I could probably trade with maybe a 3 point spread so the buy/sell rate would be 0.6883/0.6880. However, no one on the street could get that spread personally, so the spread would be much higher. I would hope that you could get better than a 200 point spread, which would look something like this: 0.6983/0.6783.

The worst I have seen is a 2,000 point spread, which is close to extortion!

Through my search of Citibank Singapore online, they seem to have free transfers between Citibank accounts based in different countries, which means there is no fee ON TOP OF that built into the spread, but I cannot see online an example of their rates, so cannot see what their spread is.

So, on the question of when to transfer, the short answer is, no one knows. Some like to think you could tell what the future will bring based on the past, but it is truly hard to know. In any case, you can use Yahoo to show charts for any currency set for periods from 1 day to 5 years. Here is an example of a 5yr chart for S$/UK£:

http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=SGDGBP=X&t=5y&l=on&z=m&q=l&c=

Good luck

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Postby durain » Fri, 02 Jan 2009 7:32 pm

ok, just checked the interbank rate on bloomberg and a fx broker and the difference are not much. before when i was changing cash fx for SGD, the money changer are only slight off the interbank rate but the banks are way off! that's where they make their money off you! but with the money changer, you have to shop around as not all of them are the same. OK if you are doing small fx but big difference if changing a laundry bag worth of cash!

one of the fx broker i use to check is www.hifx.com. click on the "market info" for fx rates. here's DBS rate - www.dbs.com/ratesonline/Pages/fxbra.aspx


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