“Breakfast With The Boss”

The managers & owners of the best businesses are busy people, helping customers and clients during the day, so in this new online feature, Sunshine Radio’s Richard Dodd will be having “Breakfast with the boss”, to ask them lots of questions before they start work for day.

In this edition, Richard meets Fiona Parsley, Branch Manager at Currency Solutions here in Paphos

Q: Good morning Fiona, before we get down to business, tell us more about you?

Morning Richard. I am the Branch Manager and Head Trader at Currency Solutions in Paphos. I moved here 13 years ago and since being here acquired a husband, we have 3 children and 2 dogs. Before moving over to Cyprus I worked for Barclays Bank for 16 years. I have been working for Currency Solutions for over 8 years.

Q: What’s your favourite “thing” about living here in Paphos?

It’s pretty much the same answer you would get from anyone else. Love the amazing weather, lovely food, what’s not to like?

Q: Tell us about Currency Solutions, is it a Cypriot or UK business?

We are a UK business with a team of over 70 people based in our London office and we are very proud to have a local branch here in Paphos. We opened our Paphos office in 2005. The local office is getting busier all the time and we now have 10 people working here. (The Paphos team are pictured below).

Q: Can you tell us why so many of our listeners now transfer with Currency Solutions? 

It’s because they get more money deposited into their bank account when they transfer with us.

We achieve this by offering better exchange rates than their own bank and our charges are also much lower. On transfers worth £10,000 or more, there are no SWIFT charges.

Q: So almost everyone can benefit, it’s not just for business owners and multimillionaires?

Yes, this is one of those rare occasions when it’s “not too good to be true”.

Anyone transferring £10,000 or more, to or from Cyprus or anywhere else for that matter, will save money with us. On very large transfers, when buying or selling property or businesses, the savings are really amazing.

We do actually work with a few multimillionaires and international corporations, but mainly with thousands of people who have moved to Paphos, part-time residents with holiday homes and, of course, many local businesses too, including the team at Sunshine Radio!

It’s worth mentioning that many of our regular clients work in the Middle East. They are paid in US Dollars and transfer their wages to bank accounts in Cyprus or the UK using our service. And we also have clients who own homes or businesses in places other than the UK and Cyprus. They work with us to manage all their international transfers.

Q: Let us into your “secret”, how is it possible to offer better rates than a bank? 

It’s no secret and I am more than happy to share!

Banks offer exchange rates for the day that will incorporate the daily fluctuations in the market place and that is where their profits are made. There is nothing wrong with that, they have larger overheads to cover and must make money somewhere. When we book a trade we will get a live rate and the rate will be valid for the phone call, so in essence if the rate has moved dramatically during the day the rate will be different from first thing in the morning to last thing at night. This is how we can beat the exchange rate with the banks purely on the fact that our rates are fluid during the day and not a fixed rate for the day, and we actively choose to make a smaller margin on each transfer. We then pass the difference onto our clients. It really is that simple.

In relation to charges, this is the way banks make huge profits from their customers and you should keep a very close eye on these. Even when the bank exchange rates appear to be reasonably competitive, their charges are a hidden sting in the tail. These can range from £10 up to £40 or more and really add up. Huge profits for the banks and a direct loss for you, the customer.

We do not charge any fees on transfers of £10,000 or more and our charges on smaller amounts are still less than your own bank.

Q: So do you have a “typical” client?

As a rough guide, many of our local clients here in Paphos are transferring approximately £12,000 to Cyprus each year, normally £3000 every 3 months. The savings they gain working with us range from £200 – £1000 per year depending on the rates and actual amounts transferred.

These are relevant savings and I always point out, if someone just gave you that amount of money in the street, you’d think they were crazy, but we do this all the time.

We also work with a lot of clients during house sales and purchases, and businesses buying stock from the UK.

The savings and benefits by transferring with us are relevant for doing nothing more than moving your own money.

Q: Is it more complicated? It’s no good saving a few hundred pounds if I lose days of my life doing so?

Any international money transfer requires you to instruct your bank (online, telephone banking or at a branch). The only difference when you work with us is that you transfer funds to our secure client account. We have client accounts in the UK.

Just to flash this out for you, the process most our clients choose to follow is as follows:

  • Clients contact us (or we contact them when the rates are in their favour).
  • The amount to be transferred is discussed and the rate is quoted.
  • If our client is happy with the rate on offer at that time, we proceed or agree to wait and see what happens with rates the following day. This is always the clients’ choice.
  • On confirmation of what we call “a trade”, we give our client a reference number (for example, CS9998882HE).
  • The client transfers the money to our client account, so, let’s say, this is money coming from the UK, they would transfer to our UK client account in London and in sterling. We ask them to use the reference we supplied and then we do the rest, moving the money from the UK to their account in Cyprus. We do all of this, offer better exchange rates and if your transfer is worth more than £10,000, there are no charges whatsoever.

Q: Does it take longer for money to arrive using Currency Solutions?

No. Most transfers arrive the following day or an agreed set date in the future, and same day transfers can be made if you are already registered with us and contact us early in the working day.

Q: Can you predict or guarantee exchange rates?

We can never predict exchange rates and we do not speculate on the markets.

Guaranteed rates are available using a “buy forward”. When a client feels the current rates are good for them, they can buy forward, anything up to a year in advance and this can be very useful for budgeting etc.

Clients who utilised “buy forward” when rates were round the 1.40 mark are a great example of how this works. These clients agreed to transfer £3000 for example on 4 specific dates during the year. Even though the rates have now dropped, they still receive the higher rate agreed using their “buy forward”. This works in reverse, too, for people sending money from Cyprus to other countries.

Q: How complicated is the registration process and what documents will I need to provide?

It’s not complicated and it takes around 10 – 15 minutes.

In addition to your basic contact details, if you are a full-time resident of Cyprus, we will need to take a copy of your passport and a recent utility bill no more than 3 months old (electricity bill, CYTA etc.), just to confirm your address.

If you are a resident in the UK and registered to vote, we won’t need any documentation at all.

Registration is simple either way and we can do this online or you can call in to see us and we can arrange everything face to face.

The only other information we will need following registration are details of the bank account/accounts you will be using to receive your funds (we don’t need to know about the accounts you send from) and all the information we need can normally be found on a recent bank statement.

Q: Will my bank be upset with me?

That question will make a lot of readers smile, but we are asked this a lot. No, what you do with your money and how you choose to transfer funds is completely your choice.

Q: Is it safe?

We have over 187,000 registered clients, have completed over 300,000 transfers and sent over six billion pounds since we opened in 2004.

We are fully registered with HMRC (Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs) and authorised by The Financial Conduct Authority in the UK. We are also registered with Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO)​ to ensure all your personal data is fully protected too.

All client transfers run through completely segregated client accounts (separate from our own company bank account) and we never speculate on the markets. All transfers are tracked and traceable through the banking system, so we know where the funds are at any time.

We are a professional company with a strong track record and offer all the protection required by the regulators and more. I would like to be very clear about this, even if something went drastically wrong with our business, clients’ funds are always “ring fenced” and protected as required by the FCA.

Q: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Only that the team here and in the London office are very happy to answer any questions. We are here to help and we appreciate potential clients may want to ask more questions than we have time to answer here.

I would also like to mention we offer many other advanced services and you can find out more about these on our website which is www.currencysolutions.co.uk 

Discover more…

Visit the Currency Solutions website

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See Currency Solutions in The Sunshine Radio Directory

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Telephone Numbers

Local Office: 00 357 26 813 613

 London Office: 0044 (020) 7740 0000

About the author

Richard “Dicky” Dodd hosts our More Music Breakfast Show weekday mornings from 7am – 10am.

Tune in to Sunshine Radio anytime on 90.8FM in Paphos, Cyprus

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