Best Currency Brokers

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Currency brokers can save you money when converting and transferring large amounts of money abroad for property purchases or business because they offer better exchange rates than banks and advice on when to convert currency.  In this guide, we have included some of the best currency brokers for arge international currency transfers ranked by customer and expert reviews. 

Currencies Direct: Best all-round currency broker

4.8
Customer rating: 4.8/5 (644 reviews)
  • Currencies: 40+
  • Minimum transfer: £100
  • Forward contract: 12 months
  • Annual transfers: £7.5bn
  • Number of customers: 325,000

In our 2023 awards Currencies, Direct won “best currency broker”. They scored very highly in our customer survey, with very high scores in customer satisfaction and pricing.  Currencies Direct is also a well-established provider founded in 1996 and has 22 offices around the world.

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About Currencies Direct

Currencies Direct is a specialist award-winning currency broker that can help you send large amounts of money abroad. They were founded in 1996 and are now part of a group that processes around £10bn in international money transfers per year.

Are Currencies Direct a good currency broker?

Yes, Currencies Direct offer a good service for large international money transfers. They are a well-established and competitive currency broker for buying a property abroad or for international business payments at bank-beating exchange rates.

Pros

  • Great for large currency transfers
  • Get a dedicated account executive to help with transfers
  • You can send money over the phone or do transfers online

Cons

  • Better for large transfers

What next?

Corpay: Good for business and complex transfers

4.8
Customer rating: 4.8/5 (89 reviews)
  • Currencies: 30+
  • Minimum transfer: £3,000
  • Forward contract: 24 months
  • Annual transfers: £6bn
  • Number of customers: 30,000

Corpay is a global currency broker that manages money transfers and currency exchange for corporate and business clients. Since their acquisition of Global Reach) Corpay now sends the most amount of money abroad as an individual entity due to its high net worth and business client base.

Alongside excellent exchange rates for currency transfers, this also means they can help with personal and business currency exposure hedging.

Is Corpay a good currency broker?

Yes, Corpay is also one of the best currency brokers we feature which also offers currency options alongside large money transfers for businesses and individuals.

Pros

  • Excellent exchange rates
  • Currency hedging facilities
  • Personal service

Cons

  • More suitable for larger clients

What next?

TorFX: Good for large international transfers and forwards

4.0
Customer rating: 4.0/5 (61 reviews)
  • Currencies: 40+
  • Minimum transfer: £100
  • Forward contract: 24 months
  • Annual transfers: £7.5bn
  • Number of customers: 325,000

TorFX is a currency specialist and currency broker founded in 2004 offering foreign exchange conversion services in 40 currencies. TorFX converts and transfers around £7.5 billion a year and is based in Cornwall, UK.

TorFX is better suited to those who need to transfer a large amount of money as they provide a personal service where you can ask for price alerts, advice on market timing and also protecting your budget through currency forward contracts.

Is TorFX a good currency broker?

A good choice if you are buying a property abroad and want bank-beating exchange rates and personal service to help with the transfer.

Pros

  • Personal service
  • Bank beating exchange rates
  • Currency forwards

Cons

  • Not great for small transfers

What next?

OFX: Zero transaction fees and global offices

4.5
Customer rating: 4.5/5 (40 reviews)
  • Currencies: 55+
  • Minimum transfer: £250
  • Forward contract: 12 months
  • Annual transfers: £2.4bn
  • Number of customers: 1,000,000

OFX is a leading currency broker offering currency services to more than 55 countries around the world. Originally known as OzForex, it was launched by Matthew Gilmour in 1998 as an information-only website. Since then, it has grown rapidly handling more than AUD$150bn transfers with more than a million customers worldwide.

OFX is the largest currency broker by client base with over 1 million customers worldwide. Coming second with around 350,000 clients are TorFX and Currencies Direct (which are both part of the same group).

OFX does not charge any fees on top of the exchange rate you get. Exchange rates are of course bank-beating and are based on size, so the larger your transaction the better the rate you will receive. OFX is also one of the most established currency brokers and have been established since 1998.

Is OFX a good currency broker?

OFX is one of the largest and most trusted currency brokers for large transfers with offices in more than 55 countries around the world. A good choice for sending large amounts of currency internationally.

Pros

  • Bank beating exchange rates
  • Personal service
  • Online or telephone transfers

Cons

  • Better for larger transfers

What next?

❓ Methodology: We have chosen what we think are the best currency brokers based on:

  • 20 years in the currency brokerage industry
  • Interviews with the currency broker CEOs and senior management
  • Over 17,000 customer reviews and votes in our annual awards
  • Analysis and testing of the platforms and pricing

You can use our comparison of what we think are the best currency brokers to compare how many currencies they offer, the minimum and maximum transfer, what type of transfers they offer, how much currency they transfer annually, how many customers they have and when they were founded.

What is a currency broker?

A currency broker can help you get better exchange rates on large international money transfers. They specialise in converting money from one currency to another and making onward international payments.

Currency brokers differ from banks in a few key ways:

  1. Better exchange rates on large transfers: You’ll get a better exchange rate with a currency broker than your bank.
  2. Risk management: Banks generally don’t offer forward contracts to lock in an exchange rate.
  3. Advice: You can call up a currency broker almost any time to ask for advice and progress reports.
  4. Hedging: Currency brokers offer a variety of ways to protect your foreign exchange exposure with hedging.
  5. Options: Some currency brokers offer OTC FX options for buying and selling currency.
  6. Receiving foreign currency: If you receive a foreign currency into a UK bank, they will generally convert it automatically, giving you no control over costs and pricing. With a currency broker, you can choose when to convert foreign funds bank into GBP.

Pros & cons of currency brokers

Here is a round-up of the advantages and disadvantages of using a currency broker versus your bank :

Pros

  • Better exchange rates: Currency brokers offer much better exchange rates compared to banks
  • Market timing: You can choose the exact time you convert currency giving you more control over the exchange rate
  • Buy now, pay later: You can use a currency forward to lock in a favourable exchange rate for up to two years in the future
  • Personal service: Most currency brokers have assigned account executions to help you out with all aspects of a currency transfer

Cons

  • Not suitable for small transactions: Sometimes currency brokers will only convert £1,000 upwards, you are better off using a money transfer app for those.
  • Extra administration: You’ll need to open an account with a currency broker, but you will already have one with your bank.
  • No FSCS protection: Currency brokers are not covered by the FSCS (Financial Services Compensation Scheme), so your money is safer at the bank as they have enhanced protection on customer balances.

⚠️ FCA Regulation

All currency brokers that operate in the UK must be regulated by the FCA. The FCA is the Financial Conduct Authority and is responsible for ensuring that UK currency brokers are properly capitalised, treat customers fairly and have sufficient compliance systems in place. We only feature currency brokers that are regulated by the FCA, where your funds are protected by the FSCS.

Which currency broker offers the best exchange rates?

You can use our currency quote request tool to see which currency broker is currently offering the best exchange rates.

You should roughly expect to be charged along these lines:

  • 0 – £1,000 – 1%
  • £1,000 to £10,000 – 0.75%
  • £10,000 to £100k – 0.5%
  • £100k to £500k – 0.4%
  • £500k to 1m – 0.3%
  • Over 1m – 0.2%
Currency Broker Mark-Ups

Currency brokers offer better exchange rates than banks because they buy and sell currency on their client’s behalf closer to the live interbank rate.

Fees for converting currency are built into the exchange rate and can be worked out as a percentage from the mid-market.

For example, if the GBP EUR exchange rate is 1.20000, a high street bank may let clients sell GBPEUR 4% below the mid-market at 1.1520 and let them buy it at 4% above the exchange rate at 1.248.

However, a currency broker may offer rates 0.3% from the mid-market, which is an exchange rate selling at 1.1964 and buying at 1.2036.

A currency broker will buy and sell currency through banks, however, as they exclusively deal in currency transfers and executive significant volume, they can negotiate better rates for themselves and their clients than if they were an individual conducting a single transaction.

How can you check a currency brokers commission?

You can use our exchange rate mark-up calculator to see how much a currency broker has charged for converting currency. Enter the mid-market exchange rate at the time of your transaction as well as the exchange rate you were give by your broker. It will show the percentage mark-up that was charge, or how much the currency broker earned from your currency exchange.

Enter the exchange rate at the time of your transaction.
Enter the exchange rate you were given by your currency broker.
The percentage increase from the mid-market exchange rate and your exchange rate.
The numerical difference between the mid-market exchange rate and your exchange rate.

Want your results by email?

Enter your full name.
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Which currency broker offers the most currencies?

For large international transfers, OFX offers over 55 different currencies, but you get more choice when dealing in small amounts below £10,000 with Xe offering 98 different currency corridors.

Currencies offered by currency brokers
This is another point where currency brokers differ. Some currency brokers can only send money to major destinations, whilst others offer a more comprehensive service and you can send currency to almost anywhere.

It’s important to note that the more obscure the currency or destination, the higher costs and the length of time the currency transfer takes will be.

Major currency routes like euros to Europe of Dollars to American will be cheaper and quicker than sending large amounts of funds to India or China, for example.

The banking networks are different and there are additional anti-money laundering rules for different regions.

Which currency broker has the best customer service?

In our 2023 awards Currencies, Direct received the best feedback from their clients for customer service. Over 85% would recommend them to a friend, which was 10% higher than the next currency broker recommendation scores.

Why customer service is important!

  • Currency brokers offer account executives to help with the actual conversion, the process of sending funds abroad and advice on market timing.
  • One of the major concerns clients have when transferring money abroad is the safety of their funds and that they will arrive at the destination.
  • Unlike banks like NatWest or money transfer companies like TransferWise, which almost entirely operate online and have no point of contact to discuss transactions with, personal account executives are available to discuss all aspects of a transaction.
  • Account executives can also help explain the best time to buy and sell a currency, if a currency forward may be appropriate, and how to get the best exchange rate when sending large amounts of currency abroad.

What currency brokers offer the longest forward contracts?

Corpay Partners and TorFX will let you do a currency forward contract up to two years into the future. The majority of other currency brokers offer currency forwards up to one year.

If you are using currency forwards as part of your overall currency hedging strategy, Corpay would be the better choice because they also offer currency options.

Currency Forward Lengths By Currency Broker

Currency brokers can lock in the current exchange rate for transactions that do not need to be done for some time in the future.

Most currency brokers offer currency forwards up to a year in advance, but some specialists offer forwards for two to three years.

A good example of the use of a currency forward contract is buying a holiday home abroad. If a couple knows they will need to buy EUR 500,000 in six months time and do not want to risk the exchange rate moving against them, they can buy the euros at today’s exchange rate but not have to pay for them until the currency forward settles after six months.

Which is the most established currency broker?

Currencies Direct is the most established currency broker we feature having been founded in 1996.

Oldest Currency Brokers

Established currency brokers offers are a little more expensive than start-ups because new providers come to market to undercut the established companies. As such, overall prices are driven down, which is good for the consumer.

However, currency brokers that charge so little that they do not make any profit present more of a risk than established currency brokers who operate on health margins and are well capitalised.

When choosing a currency broker based on how well established they are, you may find that you pay a premium for security versus opportunistic fintech start-ups.

Start-ups also tend to either be heavily focussed on technology, which makes the process very quick and cheap, but offers little personal service.

Or, a new currency broker may focus only on personal service with commission-based salespeople. However, personal service comes at a cost, as commission-driven currency brokers may not be the cheapest option.

Which currency brokers are best for a mixture of large and small transfers?

Currencies Direct and TorFX with both let you send as little as £100 abroad. However, it is important to note that if you will only be doing small money transfers you will be better off with a money transfer app.

Currency BrokerMin TransferMax Transfer
TorFX£100Unlimited
Currencies Direct£100Unlimited
OFX£250Unlimited
Corpay£3,000Unlimited
Xe£1£500,000
Remitley£1£5,000
Wise£1£1,000,000

In theory, you can send as little as £1 with all providers, but a currency broker will expect clients to transfer a minimum of £10,000 at some point to make their services cost-effective.

Currency brokers specialise in transfers above £10,000 so for small deals there may be a fee, some will treat small transfers as a loss leader for larger conversions.

Currency brokers do not have a maximum amount you can send, although the maximum you can convert in one go will depend on the liquidity of the currency pair.

Compare Currency Brokers

Currency BrokerNumber of CurrenciesMin TransferForward ContractsSame DayCurrency OptionsGMG RatingGet Quote
Currencies Direct Currency Broker40£10012 months✔️
(4.1)
Request Quote
TorFX Currency Broker40£10024 months✔️
(4.1)
Request Quote
OFX55+£25012 months✔️
(4.5)
Request Quote
Global Reach Currency Broker30+£3,00024 months✔️✔️
(4.4)
Request Quote

Currency Broker FAQs:

When you use a currency broker, your funds are not protected by the FSCS, which guarantees a certain amount of a customer’s account balance, should an investment or savings account provider go into liquidation. When choosing a currency broker, you should ensure that your funds are held in a ring-fenced, segregated account that is separate from the firm’s operational activities. This offers more protection than if your funds were mixed with the brokers, but does not guarantee complete protection. Make sure your money goes in and out of the currency broker as quickly as possible.

In most circumstances, it is possible to open a currency broker account online and be ready to transfer funds that day. However, in some cases, it can take longer.

When transferring large amounts of money abroad, currency brokers have to conduct anti-money laundering checks before any transfer can be made. This usually takes place when you open your account, where a currency broker will ask what type of transfers you will be making, what they are for, and where the funds are from and going to. This may seem intrusive but it is very important to provide any information you are asked for promptly. If you do not, it may cause a delay in your account being opened and your ability to transfer funds abroad.

If you have a particularly complex transaction to an exotic destination, the process can take some time whilst checks are being made. This is one of the rare occasions when you must decide if your bank can make the transfer on time, at a higher cost, or if you can wait for your currency account to be in place and take advantage of their reduced fees.

The best way to ensure that your international money transfer arrives on time is to open a currency brokerage account before you need it and be absolutely upfront about what the transfer is for and provide all the necessary supporting documentation beforehand.

Our guide on preparing for a large currency transfer goes into more details about the process.

Currency brokers make money by widening the spread between the price at which they buy currency and the price you buy it from. Banks can charge a spread of up to 4% for currency transfers. Currency brokers charge around 0.5% for transactions above £10,000. Currency brokers will charge a smaller spread margin for larger currency conversions.

In the past, currency brokers would charge a commission on top of the fees included in the exchange rate. However, as the market has become more competitive, this is no longer commonplace.

Currency brokers are not the same as forex brokers. Forex trading brokers are used for speculating on the price of currency markets and can be used to hedge currency exposure with derivative contracts like futures, options and swaps. Currency brokers are different because they do not offer speculative services; currency brokers only provide currency conversion for buying and selling foreign currency for international payments. Currency brokers can offer hedging facilities through currency forward contracts, but currency forward transactions settle on a specific date to reduce risk, rather than speculate for profit.

Yes, you can convert and transfer funds over the phone with a currency broker. Dealing online is easier, faster and safer than ever, but you may find having a broker at the end of the phone beneficial, especially for larger currency transfers. However, this may cost you a little more. Pricing is the same as fixed-rate brokers. There are many advantages to doing large currency transfers online, as you can keep an eye on the exchange rate and do the conversion at the exact second the price is right for you. However, for one-off, large, personal transactions, having a dealer taking all the risk or making a mistake on the other end of the phone can make life a lot easier. You can see which brokers offer telephone support in our comparison table above.

Yes, currency brokers can offer OTC trading products like FX options. However, FX options are sophisticated financial products that are generally reserved for business hedging. However, firms like Assure Hedge offer a simple options product for private clients.

Currency brokers are often confused with money transfer companies, foreign exchange brokers and currency exchange specialists. The key differences between the different types of service are:

  • Currency brokers – large international transfers
  • Money transfer firms – small international transfers
  • Foreign exchange brokers – speculation on currency movements
  • Currency exchange specialists – converting physical cash currency

Money transfer providers are generally better for small regular transfers and currency brokers for large currency conversions. Some currency brokers will offer the facility for their clients to make small regular currency transfers as part of their overall service, but would not generally accept clients that only do small transactions.

Often, the minimum transfer a currency broker would expect a client to do would be upwards of £10,000. This is because it is not cost-effective for them to onboard clients that would not generate enough revenue to cover the cost of maintaining the account. On the contrary, money transfer providers can provide quicker onboarding and lower fees for small transfers because as the amounts transferred are generally less than £10,000, they do not have to conduct such stringent anti-money laundering checks.

This article contains affiliate links which may earn us some form of income if you go on to open an account. However, if you would rather visit the currency brokers via a non-affiliate link, you can view them directly here:

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