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Are you missing out on currency exchange referral fees?

Feb 08, 2012
Removal firms dealing with customers moving to or returning from overseas could be earning valuable extra cash by referring clients with money to transfer to a specialist currency broker.

Despite the pressure on profits in the moving industry it seems there is little appetite for this important and lucrative added value service. While the larger moving companies have established relationships with currency brokers over many years, smaller operators seem reluctant to get involved and are missing out on referral fees that can often amount to more than the profit on the move itself.

And it’s not just about making extra profit, the benefits to the customer can be considerable, it really is a win-win situation for everyone involved – unless that is you happen to be a banker. Most customers are not even aware of the existence of currency brokers and simply contact their bank when they move to another country and need to transfer funds. Few realise there is an alternative and that the fees the banks charge are likely to be up to 5% higher than they need to pay. Someone transferring £100,000 therefore could save £5,000 simply by switching to a broker and most importantly a significant rebate would be paid for the introduction.  

Removals companies are in an ideal position to refer potential customers to currency brokers and in return receive a fee based on the profit from the transaction. One leading company keen to expand its network of introducers from the moving industry is West Country based TorFX, which already boasts some of the country’s largest removals companies among its partners. “A good percentage of our business comes from referrals,” said Colin Lawrence, Head of Business Development at TorFX. “We have partnerships with people like visa agents, accountants, wealth managers and so on, but our most successful introducers are removals companies because they’re talking to potential clients just before they move house and that invariably involves moving large amounts of money.”

Arranging insurance cover for clients moving overseas is a long established source of revenue, so it is surprising that more removal firms don’t offer currency exchange services as well. Two seminars, which were to have been given at the The Movers and Stores Show in Telford last year by a leading currency broker were cancelled when no one - other than a reporter from The Mover - turned up for the presentations!

It is indeed puzzling, especially as the only thing the moving company has to do is briefly introduce the service to the client and obtain his agreement to be contacted by the broker – they do the rest. TorFX also pay an estimator’s fee in addition to the amount paid to the removal company, so there is every incentive for the people on the front-line to get involved. In the case of TorFX, referral fees are also paid for any subsequent business placed by the client, even if it takes place several years after the initial introduction was made.

So, if you’re in the overseas moving business and you don’t already have an arrangement with a currency broker, what are you waiting for?  You could be earning more money from the move, giving your customers a better service and stopping the banks having it all their own way.

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