It used to be said that the sun never set on the British Empire such was the geographical extent of its territory. Even today, the UK remains a truly global nation with a buoyant international stock exchange and a cosmopolitan population drawn from all around the world. Despite a tumultuous few years, the UK’s pound sterling (GBP) remains one of the worlds power currencies – it’s traded globally by business’, spent across the world by British tourists and sent home to the developing world by economic migrants who have settled in the UK in search of a better way of life.
But sending money to and from the UK can prove kinda expensive especially if there is a currency exchange involved along the way. European settlers working in the UK routinely complain that their UK bank charges a small fortune for sending their hard earned brass to Bucharest and Budapest. It’s just as tough for B2B forex too – for example wine exporters based in France have sometimes had to think twice about sending their vino across the channel because of unflattering pound to euro currency exchange rates.
This is why the UK’s more financially savvy residents are increasingly turning to currency brokers and money transfer specialists to help them move their money across the world and between currencies.
What Is a Currency Broker?
Put simply, a foreign exchange broker (aka a forex broker) is a broker that helps you buy or sell currency. Currency brokers act like middlemen between traders and ‘the interbank’ – the global market that allows you to trade foreign currency.
Members of the public are not allowed access to the interbank and cannot take advantage of the favourable exchange rates that banks offer between themselves. If you simply send money from your bank account to an overseas bank account, then the bank will take full advantage and apply the exchange rate that favours them, meaning that you lose out.
Therefore, a currency broker like Torfx (more on TorFX to come) is something of a necessity. Of course, they do charge a fee for their work but a good broker can still help you get the best value from your exchange by finding the best rates.
There are loads of currency brokers out there and with the UK boasting such a booming Financial Services market, a hell of a lot are based, registered and regulated in the UK. Today we are going to take a look at TorFX, how they operate, and the range of services they offer.
Established in 2004, Tor Fx specialises in helping both personal and business customers move money across the world and helping them buy foreign currencies, finding the best possible exchange rates and cutting them the best deals. TorFX specialises in medium to larger size transfers and exchanges (above £4000) so it perhaps not the best option out there if you are looking to move smaller amounts.
TorFx are based in Penzance in the UK and as such are regulated by the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority. They partner with Currencies Direct in Spain for their EU transactions. This high level of governance and regulation along with the highest possible credit rating means that any monies you deposit with them are in safe hands.
They operate by assigning each customer their own dedicated account manager who then scours the interbank exchange to try and find their client the best possible rates for their exchange.
A TorFX money transfer doesn’t come with a fixed fee on their exchanges but they do charge a Margin on TorFX’s exchange rate and Other assorted fees.
TorFx customers appreciate their excellent customer service and 5 star service (whilst researching this article they were very helpful) and the option of making 24/7 transfers.
As a specialised currency broker, TorFX offer a wide range of services which we shall take a closer look at;
A spot contract is when you are looking to transfer money immediately or in the next few days and need to find the best possible exchange rate. As you probably know, exchange rates can change very fast and in global currency markets a few days can be a long time. TorFX can help you secure a great exchange rate.
Forward Contracts are agreements that business or individuals make with a broker to buy a set amount of currency at an agreed time in the future – either all at once or in increments. The advantage of Forward Contracts is that they allow customers to “Lock in” an exchange rate protecting them from fluctuations in the market.
Of course, forex rates do go up and down so Forward Contracts can prove something of a gamble. But one thing they do guarantee is certainty which in business, is invaluable.
Market Orders can be useful for customers who only need to exchange into one particular currency. Examples are a business that has a monthly Euro payroll for its Dublin office (and payroll can already be problematic enough) or an importer who buys goods in USD from a New York supplier on a regular basis.
The 2 versions of Market Orders that Tor Fx offers are;
- Limit Orders
An order to buy or sell a given currency with a restriction on the maximum price to be paid, or alternatively the minimum price to be received. If the order is filled, it will only be at the specified limit price or better.
- Stop Orders
The order is agreed in principle but only fulfilled when the price of the currency reaches a specified price -known as the stop price.
Basically, Market Orders are great for clients who know they will need foreign currency and want to make sure that they are poised to take advantage to buy or sell when the rate is at its best rather than simply waiting until they need the currency before making the exchange. By setting up market orders, clients are spared from having to constantly monitor the forex markets.
The drawback with both is that neither is guaranteed. If neither the Limit or the Stop is reached, then no currency exchange will take place and the client will have to find other ways to change their pounds into dollars, rubles or rupees.
As you can see, there are many advantages of using currency brokers. Whilst the UK’s Financial Services sector is spilling over with options, TorFx remains one of the most popular currency brokers with personal and business customers alike with good reason.
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