Alliance & Leicester targets the UK leather industry

15 November 2007

Charges for money transfers are excessive, claims Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank, as it launches a £5 international fee

Provider Fee
Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank £5 anywhere, any amount
RBS £20
NatWest £20
HSBC £9 to £21 depending on destination and amount
LloydsTSB £20
Barclays From £20 to £40 depending on amount and destination
HBOS From £14. May vary with destination and amount Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank is targeting Britain’s tanning industry, as the bank strives to increase its share of the international money transfer market. Independent research commissioned by the bank has confirmed that the UK’s leather importers are paying too much for international money transfers – usually to their incumbent banks. ‘The cost of raw materials for UK tanners has increased by over 20% since 2004*, and most of these skins and hides are sourced from overseas’, says Pat Ryan, head of International at Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank. ‘Given that most firms in this sector are involved in importing, many are incurring substantial bank charges. And we think they are currently being under served and over charged with respect to their cross-border payments.’ In response, Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank has launched a £5 per transaction flat fee for businesses making international money transfers anywhere in the world. The bank is also offering its customers a competitive exchange rate and no hidden charges, with instructions taken by internet, post or fax. ‘Customers do not have to bank with us in order to benefit from the £5 fee’, says Ryan. ‘Our aim here is simply to increase our share of the international payment transfer market in the leather industry, which we see as a major import market in the UK.’ Research bears out the fact that the UK’s largest banks have high charges for international money transfers – charging up to £40 per transaction for international payments, with the average around £20†. ‘It is plain to see that there is an opportunity to win international money transfer business from incumbent banks – an opportunity created by overcharging’, says Ryan. ‘The only thing we ask is that the payment is made via a direct debit – simply to make the transaction as efficient as possible. This also overcomes the last hurdle for the importer – ease of execution.’ Indeed, Alliance & Leicester Commercial Bank differentiates itself through the level of service it provides importers with. While instructions are received via internet, post or fax, the client will also be provided with a named contact at the bank’s UK international payments centre to ensure that they can speak to an individual should they require any further assistance. ‘The aim here is to make it as smooth as possible for the client’, says Ryan. ‘We offer several channels for the payments to be made to allow for both out-of-hours instructions for the busy importer, as well as a personal service with a dedicated direct dial contact for those that prefer to talk through their instructions with someone they have dealt with before.’

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