October 2008 Where can your money be picked up? Provider information Recipient fees When you send money to Sierra Leone, one of the most important Money transfer providers to Sierra Leone can be one of five types: Many banks in Sierra Leone will charge the person withdrawing factors when deciding who to use, is where the money can be 1. Money Transfer Operators (MTOs) – MTOs are companies money an additional fee, although there may be some banks collected in Sierra Leone. If the person you are sending money to that only send money between countries, such as Western which do not make a charge. Potential recipient charges should has to travel several hours to pick it up it might be worth sending Union or MoneyGram. They do not generally require you to therefore, always be taken into consideration when sending the money with a different provider, closer to their home. open an account and are usually easy to find in high streets, where they can be located in various locations from post money directly to a bank account in Sierra Leone. If there is a fee, it also varies with the amount sent. MTOs often do not charge at Sending money home? The table below shows you who the UK based providers have offices to hairdressers. In Sierra Leone MTOs often have an all but you should always check with the provider you are using. partnered with in Sierra Leone and where the money can be exclusive agreement with a local bank to distribute funds. picked up from. This list is not comprehensive but if you speak to 2. UK banks – The majority of British banks, such as Barclays and Online providers may charge a fee to upload or withdraw money your preferred provider they will be able to tell you exactly where HSBC, will be able to transfer money to Sierra Leone if both you from your account. You should check their website or contact the money can be collected. and the person you are sending money to, have bank them directly about their fees before sending any money. accounts. Sending money via a UK based bank or building society means 3. Online MTOs* – Money can be sent over the internet through Table calculations and exchange rates your money can only be paid directly into a bank account in Sierra companies, often for a very small fee, but you will need to have The final figure in the tables overleaf is calculated as if you have Leone, if the recipient has one. Bank accounts not only make it a bank account or credit card and access to the internet to exactly £100 or £500 to send. For example, if you sent £100 easy to send and receive remittances, but they offer other benefits transfer the money; you will have to register online. The person through Coinstar, the recipient would receive the equivalent of as well. They keep your money secure and allow you to withdraw you are sending the money to may also need a bank account £96.00 (£100 minus the fee, £4.00, which leaves you £96.00 to the amount you need as and when you need it. Also, they often and access to the internet. send). Most companies will offer an exchange rate and deliver the pay interest. Having a bank account helps you gain access to 4. Pre-Pay Card transfers – Companies such as iKobo or Money money in Sierra Leone Leone. It is important that when selecting other services such as loans and mortgages. Express use new technologies for remitting money. A debit the company you send with you also enquire about their card ( VISA or Mastercard) is sent to the recipient that can be exchange rate as this can vary widely between companies. (To Transfer *Number of outlets Where can your money be topped up by the sender whenever necessary. Money can then work out how much will be received, multiply the amount you are provider in Sierra Leone withdrawn in Sierra Leone? be withdrawn through an ATM in the receiving country without sending by their exchange rate.) Abbey - local SL bank where recipient holds account the recipient needing a bank account. At the time of publication Alliance & Leicester - local SL bank where recipient holds account due to lack of coverage by Visa and Mastercard in Sierra Exchange rates also vary on a daily basis and the Leone, the only company to offer this service is Fadugu. bank/agent/outlet in Sierra Leone may charge an additional fee or Free, independent advice to give you the best ways Barclays - local SL bank where recipient holds account 5. Further developments in new technology transfers – There offer a different exchange rate if the money is sent in a currency for you to send money home to Sierra Leone, or Chequepoint 7 Frandia Foreign Exchange Bureaux Coinstar 1 International Commercial Bank are constant developments in new technologies, making other than Sierra Leone Leone (SLL). It is always best to check receive money from family or friends in the UK. Co-operative Bank - local SL bank where recipient holds account money transfers easier and more accessible. Mobile phone with the provider you are using before sending any money. There are a range of products and services to Fadugu 10 Rokel Commercial Bank technology is rapidly progressing, aiming to open up more choose from. GTBank 4 GTBank or other SL Bank transfers to remote areas so this is an area look out for. Please note that there may be additional charges for the HBOS - local SL bank where recipient holds account recipient when they pick the money up. Please check with the Information in this leaflet, as well as other countries covered in * Some MTOs and banks will let you transfer the money using the HSBC - local SL bank where recipient holds account money transfer provider as to whether this is the case before the ‘sending money home?’ project can also be found at: internet. You should check their websites to see if this is possible Lloyds TSB - local SL bank where recipient holds account sending your money. and how it can be done. MoneyGram RBS/NatWest 18 - SL Commercial Bank, GTBank local SL bank where recipient holds account If things go wrong www.sendmoneyhome.org Western Union 38 EcoBank, FIB, Union Trust Bank Always keep hold of your receipt/proof of sending, which you should take to the same agent or bank branch that you used to New leaflets with updated information will be printed regularly, so send the money. If you do experience problems, there are a please keep an eye out for them. If you have any information you number of dedicated customer service pages at wish to share with us, please call 0845 004 2432 or email * For money transfers carried out through UK banks the funds will firstname.lastname@example.org. be received at a local Sierra Leonean bank where the recipient has www.sendmoneyhome.org that offer advice and a list of Disclaimer an account. There are very few ATM’s in Sierra Leone and these are organisations that may be able to help. Consumers should never use any of the services mentioned here solely on limited to access for customers with accounts held in Sierra Leone the basis of the information we provide. The details in this leaflet on bank accounts. Visa and Mastercard do not have coverage yet in The first organisation you should approach is the Financial remittance products are provided by the banks, building societies and The UK Government has supported this leaflet and the Sierra Leone. Ombudsman (0845 080 1800). Otherwise the Financial Services money transfer operators, but may not be entirely accurate or up to date, and website, to help you compare services and choose the deal Authority (FSA) regulate all providers of financial services in the UK are subject to change. Consumers should always take the exchange rate into that is right for you. (020 7066 1000) and HM Customs and Revenues (HMRC) regulate account as well as the transfer fee. Consumers should always check MTOs (0845 010 9000). information with the provider before using any of the services mentioned. Funded and supported by Further information is available at www.sendmoneyhome.org Cost of sending £100 to Sierra Leone Cost of sending £500 to Sierra Leone Fastest ways to send money to Sierra Leone Do you need a bank account? Opening a bank account or registering with an MTO Method Transfer Final amount Method Transfer Final amount Transfer Method Speed Opening a bank account in the UK will always be more difficult for Provider of transfer fee in £ received in £ Provider of transfer fee in £ received in £ provider of transfer of transfer foreign nationals than registering with an MTO. You will need to present Chequepoint Cash 1.00 99.00 Chequepoint Cash 1.00 499.00 Coinstar Cash 10 minutes/Instant your passport or certified photo ID and proof of address; some banks Moneybookers.com Online (from bank acc) 1.70 98.30 Moneybookers.com Online (from bank acc) 1.70 498.30 Fadugu Pre-Pay Card 10 minutes/Instant may also ask for proof of earnings (such as a letter from your Moneybookers.com Online (from credit card) 3.60 96.40 MoneyGram Cash 9.99 490.01 MoneyGram Cash 10 minutes/Instant employer) or previous banking records if you have any. Once an Coinstar (Globe Card) Cash 3.80 96.20 Moneybookers.com Online (from credit card) 11.20 488.80 Western Union Online / Instant Cash 10 minutes/Instant account is opened you will very rarely have to show ID. Coinstar Cash 4.00 96.00 Co-operative Bank Bank Transfer 13.00 487.00 Western Union Cash (next day) 12 hours Western Union Cash (next day) 4.90 95.10 Barclays Bank Draft 15.00 485.00 Chequepoint Cash 24 hours To open a bank account in Sierra Leone you will usually need a MoneyGram Cash 4.99 95.01 HBOS Bank Transfer 17.50 482.50 GTBank Bank Transfer (GTBank) 24 hours reference from an existing account holder, photo ID, a reference letter Fadugu1 Pre-Pay Card 5.00 95.00 Coinstar (Globe Card) Cash 19.00 481.00 Alliance & Leicester Electronic Up to 3 days from your employer, a minimum amount of money and two passport Co-operative Bank Transfer 13.00 87.00 Western Union Cash (next day) 19.90 480.10 Lloyds TSB Electronic Up to 3 days sized photographs. Some banks may not ask for all of this, so it is Western Union Online / Instant Cash 14.00 86.00 Barclays Bank Transfer 20.00 480.00 Co-operative Bank Electronic Up to 4 days worth checking with your local branch. Barclays Bank Draft 15.00 85.00 Coinstar Cash 20.00 480.00 RBS/NatWest Electronic Up to 4 days MTOs in the UK may also ask for photo ID and sometimes proof of HBOS Bank Transfer 17.50 82.50 GTBank Bank Transfer (GTBank only) 20.00 480.00 HBOS Electronic Up to 5 days address to register to use their services and will only require to see Barclays Bank Transfer 20.00 80.00 Lloyds TSB Bank Transfer 20.00 480.00 Abbey Electronic Up to 5 days Provider them again if you are sending a large amount of money. It is advisable GTBank Bank Transfer (GTBank only) 20.00 80.00 RBS/Natwest Bank Transfer 20.00 480.00 Moneybookers.com Online Up to 7 days to carry some form of photo ID when sending money just in case. Lloyds TSB Bank Transfer 20.00 80.00 HSBC Bank Transfer 21.00 479.00 Barclays Electronic Up to 8 days RBS/Natwest Bank Transfer 20.00 80.00 Western Union Online / Instant Cash 37.00 463.00 GTBank Bank Transfer Varies* Exchange rates HSBC Bank Transfer 21.00 79.00 Abbey Bank Transfer 25.00 475.00 HSBC Electronic Varies* The majority of providers send money to Sierra Leone in British Pounds Abbey Bank Transfer 25.00 75.00 GTBank Bank Transfer 25.00 475.00 Barclays Bank Draft Dependent on postal times or Sierra Leone Leone; if you have access to the internet before visiting GTBank Bank Transfer 25.00 75.00 Lloyds TSB Bank Transfer (Express) 30.00 470.00 a provider you can check the market price for these currencies at Alliance & Leicester Bank Transfer 30.00 70.00 Alliance & Leicester Bank Transfer 30.00 470.00 Key: www.sendmoneyhome.org. Exchange rates change on a daily basis Lloyds TSB Bank Transfer (Express) 30.00 70.00 Fadugu1 Pre-Pay Card n/a - Varies* – Clearance time at the recipient banks are dependant on local practices. and providers usually offer different rates from each other, which can All days referred to are ‘working days’, i.e. Monday-Friday and speeds of transfer are affect the amount of money received in Sierra Leone. also dependent on the recipient organisation. Transfer Do you need a bank Does the recipient provider account to send the money? need a bank account? Key Please Note: Informal Transfers Abbey Yes Yes Cash - The sender pays in cash to the Express - Priority Bank Transfer Banks and online providers will require that you open an account or register with them Sending money home with close friends or relatives is also a legal method for a Alliance & Leicester Yes Yes provider, the money is transferred 1 - Money is loaded onto a pre-pay card before you can send any money. reasonable sum of money (Customs allow an individual to carry up to a maximum of Barclays Yes Yes electronically and then the receiver which is then sent to the recipient, who SLL50,000 local currency or US$5,000 when arriving in Sierra Leone). It is essential in Most high street banks will also offer Bankers Drafts or International Money Orders. These these situations that the sender trusts the person they have asked to take the money to Chequepoint No No collects in cash in local currency can use it at an ATM. The sender can top are cheques purchased from the bank by the remittance sender, made out personally to the deliver it safely to the recipient. There are no guarantees or protection with informal Coinstar No No Bank Transfer - A transfer of money by up the money on the card from the UK. recipient in Sierra Leone. They are a safe, low cost way of sending money without the need electronic means from a bank account in HBOS – Halifax Bank of Scotland arrangements such as these and of course there is the general safety aspect of carrying a Co-operative Bank Yes Yes for an account, however they are dependant on local postal systems. On receipt, the the UK to a bank account in Sierra leone RBS/Natwest – The Royal Bank of large amount of money on your person. Fadugu Yes No recipient will need to cash the cheque at a bank or post office where they will also be SLL - Sierra Leone Leone Scotland and Natwest required to show their ID. Local clearing times will then determine how long in takes for GTBank Yes Yes Online - Online transfer - A transfer where GTBank – Guarantee Trust Bank the money to become available. HBOS Yes Yes the customer deals with the money HSBC Yes Yes transfer process over the internet Lloyds TSB Yes Yes Moneybookers.com Yes No Using the tables MoneyGram No No The tables in this leaflet give you a guide to the fees that the Some of the MTOs in the UK offer an exchange rate which is various providers charge, and let you know roughly how much the guaranteed, but you should always check with them before sending RBS/NatWest Yes Yes recipient can expect to receive. your money. Western Union No No Most UK based banks and building societies will not exchange your Some providers require that a minimum amount is sent. This is often, money into Sierra Leone Leone (SLL). They will send British Pounds but not always, GB£1. Some providers also have a standard charge (GB£) to a bank account in Sierra Leone where the money will then regardless of the amount being transferred, this can make sending be exchanged automatically by the bank receiving the money. This larger amounts at one time more cost effective. means that the exchange rate cannot be guaranteed by the bank you are sending your money with.