Banks mop up as much of our money as they can these days, because they have their fingers in a lot of honey pots, including foreign exchange.

If you're an expat, then currency exchange rates are likely to be of particular concern to you as they can make the difference between hundreds and thousands of pounds being lost or saved. Yet so many people still make the wrong choice by taking their money to the bank or the bureau de change.

The problem with a 'jack of all trades' is that, whilst they get the job done, it's not always going to be done as well as someone who specialises in that particular area. For foreign exchange, an expert is precisely what you need, especially if you have specific requirements and don't have time to monitor the markets.

You can't expect any kind of forewarning when there's a sudden gust of misfortune in the exchange rates and other extra costs are needlessly picked up from bank charges and commission fees. It's like trying to fend off invisible thieves with holes in your pockets.

Step 1: Ditch your bank and give the bureau de change the boot. It may seem easy and there's undoubtedly one on every high-street but that shouldn't be costing you more when you can do it at a better exchange rate from the comfort of your own home.

Step 2: Consider your options. The amount of time and money you'll save with a Money Transfer Specialist is reason enough to explore the various ways you can move your money.

A 'Spot Trade'' is a quick way to transfer a lump sum of currency or make a payment to another country. Any good Money Transfer Specialist will ensure that payments are processed as soon as funds are cleared and the recipient will receive the funds within 3 - 24 hours of a payment being sent.

Or you could opt for a 'Forward Contract' which allows you lock in an exchange rate for a future date. In this case you may expect to pay a deposit on the payment of around 10-15% and once the rate is fixed, you will be safe from market volatility. This option has been beneficial to a lot of UK expats in the last year, as the pound has depreciated 30% against the euro.

For salaries, international mortgages, maintenance costs, savings or school fees you can make 'Regular Payments' overseas. This means that you set up an automated payment at a fixed exchange rate, allowing you to budget your payments and benefit from an automated service, meaning you won't have to deal with the bank every month.

Step 3: Last but not least, you may as well make the most of the service available to you. As well as maximising your savings and giving you more time to spend them, make sure you're dealing with a company that give you access to experts that will be just a phone call away for advice and information.

To find out more about saving time and money on your currency transactions call +44 (0)20 7740 0000 to speak directly to an expert or visit Currencysolutions.com for a free quote.

Posted 11Mar2010