Acting in your Client's best interest

Some law firms may only deal with a handful of probate cases with beneficiaries based in foreign jurisdictions each year, so the issue of exchange rates can often be easily overlooked when dealing with the administration of the estate.

However, the rate at which currencies are converted can have a considerable impact on the overall amount of the estate that is preserved.

Exchange rates are one of the ways that high street banks make large profits and there have been UK instances of client complaints due to unfavourable exchange rates used to convert currency, particularly involving conveyancing and probate cases. While there is no SRA protocol on the process for making international currency transfers, practitioners may wish to exercise SRA principle 4 to act in the best interest of each client by using a currency specialist to convert and transfer funds rather than a high street bank.

Example

The beneficiary of a UK estate residing in France is due to inherit GBP300,000 and their wish is for the funds to be paid into their French personal bank account, which holds Euros.

There are two options available to the practitioner handling the administration of the estate: instruct their bank to transfer GBP300,000 directly to the beneficiary’s French account, or introduce a currency specialist into the transfer process.

 

 

  Amount in GBP Exchange rate Amount in Euros received
High Street bank £300,000 1.10 €330,000
Currency Index £300,000 1.13 €339,000

By using Currency Index to convert the sterling amount into Euros, the beneficiary receives some EUR9,000 more than if the high street bank had converted the currency.

To discuss how your firm can reduce exchange rate costs for your client, please contact Joe Goodwin: joe.goodwin@currencyindex.co.uk | +44 1923 725 738 or complete the enquiry form.

Process

Implementing a process for international currency transfers need not add complexity to current systems and can be set up with relative ease.

Either the beneficiary or the solicitor firm may register online and submit the necessary compliance documents. The most appropriate option will depend upon the circumstances surrounding the specific requirement.

In both cases, the practitioner will need to instruct the law firm’s bank to transfer funds to Currency Index’s client account. The funds will then be converted and transferred to the beneficiary’s account with the requested payment reference.

For more information on how to implement a currency process without adding complexity to current systems, please complete the enquiry form or contact Joe Goodwin joe.goodwin@currencyindex.co.uk | +44 1923 725 738.

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Simply complete this form and we will be in touch to discuss your requirements and how we can help you and your clients efficiently manage their currency transfers.

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