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UK Bank Charges for USD Cheques
The best and the rest?

 2:27 pm on Jan 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

I have been using Lloyds TSB for a couple of years now unfortunately they don't love me anymore so I urgently need fresh info as to where the best value lies. I found Lloyds TSB charges are reasonable(7 to 8/cheque)and their exchange rate ok (Around 3 cents difference from actual) but the manager a t****r for trying to force me into a business account and 15/cheque charges just to cash two cheques a month.

I'm looking for up to date info on UK Bank USD cheque exchange rates as all old posts appear to be a couple of years old.

Citibank appeared to be to be a favorite in past posts, as long as you keep 2000 in all accounts cheque clearance appears to be free. Keeping 2000 in all the time will lose you around 100 in interest a year though but it still looks good value. That said I have read their exchange rate is no longer good, If anyone can confirm this.

My only other experience is the Halifax, 10-20/cheque and a terrible exchange rate 5-6 cents from actual.

If anyone can confirm any charges/exchange rates that would be great.



 6:18 pm on Jan 12, 2008 (gmt 0)

As you say Citibank will do it for nothing



"A monthly service charge of $20 on each US$ Current Account will be levied where the credit balance, across your UK Citibank relationship, falls below the currency equivalent of 2000. "

If you have a lot then it would pay to keep the 2000 there.

If the amounts are small, I take a stack of small dollar cheques on one paying in form to my Barclays account, and only pay one charge


 11:52 am on Jan 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

Citibank sounds attractive but I have read their exchange rate is no longer very good at around 2%.

If any one can confirm approx bank exchange rates they have experienced.


 4:29 pm on Jan 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

I use Nat West - no charge per cheque, just a single fee depending on the total value of all cheques paid in.

0 - 100 total value = 5 charge
100 - 5,000 total value = 10 charge
5,000 - 20,000 total value = 30 charge
Above 20,000 = 60 charge

This is for a personal account - nobody has ever questioned me on where the cheques come from and asked me if I would like to "upgrade" to a business account - where I assume the charges would be higher.

Exchange rates seem fairly reasonable - about 2-3 cents below the current rate, which is a standard kind of rip off charged by all banks - but not excessively so.

[edited by: Tiebreaker at 4:38 pm (utc) on Jan. 13, 2008]


 7:14 pm on Jan 13, 2008 (gmt 0)

Thanks Tiebreaker, a 10 charge to change up to 5000 worth would cover me most of the time and the exchange is comparative with what I had.

With my current doubts about the Citibank exchange rate and the fact all cheques would need to be snail-mailed I may try Nat West first.


 10:34 am on Jan 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

Tiebreaker I have just been into Nat West and they tell me for three cheques in the 3500 range it would cost 10.50 for the first and 10 each for each subsequent cheque, 30.50 total.

The guy in the bank hadn't heard of cheques being bundled together for one price so he rang through to get confirmation and I ended up talking to the other guy down the phone.

Good on you if you got a better deal somehow but I couldn't get it.


 5:13 pm on Jan 14, 2008 (gmt 0)

Maybe they have just changed their fees - it's been about 3 months since I last paid in a bundle.

I usually pay in 2-3 cheques together, with a total value usually of only a few hundred pounds - I have never been charged more than 10

Saying that, I've never paid in a cheque for thousands - my big payers do a bank transfer - the figures I gave you were given to me when I first asked at the bank 3-4 years ago


 2:06 pm on Jan 15, 2008 (gmt 0)

How about Abbey? They do free business banking - not sure about exchange rates though.


 10:20 am on Jan 17, 2008 (gmt 0)

There would still be a charge just to handle a dollar check and this would be higher than that of their personal accounts.


 12:15 pm on Mar 5, 2008 (gmt 0)

I also use NatWest, each USD check I pay in costs me 10.50.

The service is quick - checks usually take a week to clear. I've used it with both a current and a first reserve account. Some bank clerks are a bit flustered, especially if they've not seen a foreign cheque before.

I've just tried Halifax to pay a USD check in as I want to close my NatWest accounts, I'll report back on my findings.

Incidentally, be very careful on whose checks you pay in - if it bounces it could end up costing you a lot of money!


 8:14 am on Mar 6, 2008 (gmt 0)

I can confirm that I've just paid in 3 dollar cheques to Nat West - 1 fairly large and 2 small ones around a hundred dollars each - total commission for all three, 10.50

I don't know why other people seem to be paying 10.50 per cheque - I'd take it up with the bank if I were you.

I have a "current plus" account, if that makes a difference.

[edited by: Tiebreaker at 8:17 am (utc) on Mar. 6, 2008]


 9:17 am on Mar 7, 2008 (gmt 0)

I've got my results back from both NatWest and Halifax. It appears there isn't a great deal of difference between the two.

Halifax charged me 10, but the exchange rate was marginally worse than the Natwest one. However, the Halifax credited my account straight away whereas the NatWest took a week before the money appeared in my account.

I'll be closing my NatWest current account shortly - Halifax pay me a decent rate of interest on my account and the online banking is far superior.

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