British Expats lose out on exchange rates
According to a survey carried out by the Post Office UK citizens living overseas are currently worse off than those that live at home as they battle falling property values, rising food bills and an unfavourable exchange rate.
The Post Office Payments Index showed that expats were worse off after the cost of household bills and eating out went up by as much as 8%. The worst affected countries were Portugal and Greece as price hikes were worse in the debt ridden countries and the value of property continued to decline.
John Willcock, head of Post Office transactional services, said: “Increases of over 20 per cent for household essentials were commonplace in Portugal with almost one in five expats experiencing this level of price rise.
“In Greece, over two-thirds of UK citizens said their living costs had risen over 10 per cent in 12 months, while three in ten put the increase at over 20 per cent and 17 per cent at over 30 per cent.”
One of the biggest costs to expats was currency exchange as the survey highlighted that many expats were paying charges for their currency transfers. The survey highlighted that most expats use banks for their currency exchange when in reality they could save a lot of money by instead using specialist foreign exchange companies.
Over a third of the expats that were surveyed (35.3%) transferred funds monthly. By using a bank to transfer funds, it cost them up to £184 more on monthly transfers of £500. To avoid such charges it is recommended that expats take advantage of the regular overseas payments plan offered by specialist Forex companies.