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Ways to convert currency

When converting currency there are a number of factors you need to consider:

  • When do you need the currency?
  • How many payments do you need to make?
  • How will exchange rate fluctuations affect you?

Our currency specialists will help you decide which type of transaction is best for your needs. This includes the facility to reduce your currency risk by fixing the exchange rate for up to two years ahead.

How you can reduce your currency exchange risk

  • In most cases you can convert your money immediately, your currency can then be transferred just two business days later.

    This is the quickest way of exchanging one currency for another. A 1% deposit will usually be required when placing your order.

  • In five months' time you need to pay a French developer €200,000 for your new property. You decide not to take the risk that the exchange rate in five months' time could result in your property costing more in sterling.

    You call Hargreaves Lansdown and discuss your options with a currency specialist. You decide to fix the exchange rate for a set date in five months' time when you will need the euros. You accept the exchange rate of €1.2050 and pay the required 10% deposit which will go towards paying the final amount in five months' time.

    You are now safe in the knowledge that whatever happens to the exchange rate, the cost to you is fixed at £165,975.10 (€200,000 / €1.2050).

    Download our forward contracts factsheet

  • You are buying a French property costing €200,000 and receive a rough estimate of when it will be finished. Without an exact date of when you need to pay the €200,000 you decide to fix the exchange rate for a set period of time to cover the eventuality of building work finishing earlier or later than expected.

    You call Hargreaves Lansdown and request a quote with a settlement period of between three and six months' time. You're quoted €1.2045 and decide to go ahead after paying a 10% deposit. In five months' time you receive notification that the building work is finished and payment is due. All that remains for you to do is call Hargreaves Lansdown, pay the balance of your transaction and arrange a transfer date for your euros.

    Alternatively, if the building work had taken the maximum amount of time, you could have waited until the end of the six months to pay the balance and receive your euros.

    Download our forward contracts factsheet

  • You choose when to receive your currency over a three month period. The last receipt date can be up to two years ahead.

    This type of transaction gives you the added flexibility of splitting the overall value across a number of payments.

  • Regular transfers are collected by Direct Debit and you have the option to either fix your exchange rate at the outset of your plan or it can be converted each month at the prevailing exchange rate. Regular transfers are free for amounts over £500 per month (£7 below).

  • A market order allows you to place an order for a currency transfer at a specific target rate. If your specified rate is achieved in the future, your currency will automatically be purchased.

    Download our Market Orders Factsheet

Speak to a foreign exchange specialist

If you need any help or would like to speak to a currency specialist about your options, call our Helpdesk on 0117 311 3257 (8.00am to 6.00pm, Monday to Friday). Alternatively you can email us.

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The Hargreaves Lansdown Currency Service is a trading name of Hargreaves Lansdown Asset Management Ltd, which is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hargreaves Lansdown Plc, One College Square South, Anchor Road, Bristol, BS1 5HL. Company Registered in England & Wales No. 1896481. Hargreaves Lansdown Currency Service is provided by Hargreaves Lansdown Asset Management Ltd which is authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) as a Payment Institution under the Payment Services Regulations 2009. The Firm Reference number is 115248. You can look this up on the FCA register website.