Sending money home from Japan
Now that you’ve made your money and want to pay off the school loan or put in an account which earns (slightly) more than a Japanese bank account what is the best way to send the green home?
The answer is not Golloyds!
This service is widely promoted throughout Japan and while it is easy to use the exchange rates they offer will actually cost you a lot of money.
For example the exchange rate fro Golloyds today is GBP / JPY 143. However the spot rate on the forex markets is 139. That’s a difference of 4 yen per pound.
Now I’m crap at maths but even I can see that over a transfer of 300,000 yen you will lose money:
300000 / 143 GBP2,097
300000 / 139 GBP2,158
That’s a GBP60 difference.
There are two methods.
The first is to open a Citibank account in Japan. They have a multicurrency account option that enables you to keep cash in Yen, then transfer it into a range of currencies at a more competitive rate than Golloyds. Once the cash is in the foreign currency you can either put it in a term deposit to gain interest (e.g. Australian $ has a good rate at the moment compared to the rest of the world!), or transfer it via an electronic fund transfer to your bank back home.
These sites offer great forex rates as they rely on volume of transactions to make a profit. After you open an account you can wire the money to their local bank account (e.g. their account in Tokyo) and the money is then routed into your online account. Once there you can choose your currency exchange and transfer the cash into your account back home.
There are a couple more charges to pay this way (for example the furikomi fee from your JPY account to the forex trader’s JPY account, and then maybe a charge for the wire transfer from the trading account to your home account), but in the end you will end up saving more cash due to the better exchange rates.
World First has a case study which shows the savings possible.
In short, Golloyds charges you a significant chuck of change for the convenience of sending your cash back home. Better deals are available and don’t take much extra effort.
Good luck with your forex transactions.