Expats sending money home lose Dh6,000 a year: wealth manager

record fees by banks and money exchange

DUBAI 27 August 2017: Expatriates sending money home are losing an average of Dh6,000 per year on transfers, according to global financial planning firm Guardian Wealth Management.

The estimation is based on transferring 20 per cent per month of GWM’s average annual family salary of Dh600,000.

Expert analysts at the firm believe the money being lost is higher than ever due to record fees being charged by banks and money exchange firms in the region, which are among some of the highest in the world.

The losses can prove substantial for expatriates in countries such as the UAE, which make-up 90 per cent of the population, and whose remittances total billions of dirhams annually.

Guardian Wealth Management, which has launched its own currency trading service aimed at minimising losses for customers, is advising expats to shop around for the best rates to ensure they don’t lose out.

mike coady

Chief Commercial Officer, Mike Coady, said: “With the dirham pegged to the USD, many expatriates are taking advantage of favourable exchange rates against currencies such as the pound.

“Many workers send home large sums monthly to take care of mortgages or to transfer their savings offshore, however they don’t always realise they are losing sizeable amounts of their hard-earned cash each time. Customers are often charged up to 5 per cent in transaction fees by banks and are not receiving the optimum exchange rates”.

Consumers tend to use their bank for international money transfers due to ease and locality, however there are usually several other options which can offer more preferential rates and lower charges.

Exchange rates offered can be up to 5 per cent better than those offered by both major and local banks.

By Rajive Singh