Converting a Cheque in British Pounds to Canadian Dollars

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Toner
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Converting a Cheque in British Pounds to Canadian Dollars

Post by Toner » 19 Apr 2017 20:50

Hello:

As a result of an inheritance from a relative in Great Britain my 90 year old mother has received a substantial cheque in British Pounds. What is the most efficient way of converting this into Canadian $. She lives in a small Ontario town and has access to TD and CIBC and perhaps the Royal Bank.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Thanks

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Re: Converting a Cheque in British Pounds to Canadian Dollars

Post by gsp_ » 19 Apr 2017 21:20

To receive appropriate advice, a ballpark of the amount in question would be helpful.

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Re: Converting a Cheque in British Pounds to Canadian Dollars

Post by Toner » 19 Apr 2017 23:25

About 50000 British Pounds

pmj
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Re: Converting a Cheque in British Pounds to Canadian Dollars

Post by pmj » 20 Apr 2017 00:59

Is this a physical cheque, now in Canada, or is it a future payment that might be appropriately directed before it leaves its point of origin?
Peter

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kcowan
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Re: Converting a Cheque in British Pounds to Canadian Dollars

Post by kcowan » 20 Apr 2017 09:39

Yes have them use one of the FX interchange sites rather than a bank if there is any flexibility.
For the fun of it...Keith

Toner
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Re: Converting a Cheque in British Pounds to Canadian Dollars

Post by Toner » 20 Apr 2017 10:26

pmj wrote:
20 Apr 2017 00:59
Is this a physical cheque, now in Canada, or is it a future payment that might be appropriately directed before it leaves its point of origin?
Physical cheque now in Canada.

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Re: Converting a Cheque in British Pounds to Canadian Dollars

Post by pmj » 20 Apr 2017 12:26

Hmm. Last time I received a £ cheque - which actually was a bankers draft from Barclays Bank - the FX agency I had previously used, and where I had an account, wouldn't accept/process it. So I had to go to a regular bank, and suffer their FX rate and fees.
Since it's a largish sum, you/she might get some help from whichever bank you/she has a good relationship with in getting a "better" rate.

With the luxury of hindsight, for someone who doesn't have a UK account, I'd try to persuade the payor to get their best rate in the UK for C$, and wire a C$ transfer / send a C$ draft.
Peter

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Re: Converting a Cheque in British Pounds to Canadian Dollars

Post by twa2w » 20 Apr 2017 13:09

There is so much fraud that most places will no longer accept a foreign currency cheque or draft.

Even the banks will likely put a 25 day or longer hold on these funds so be prepared. if your mother has a good relationship with the bank, she may be able to get a better rate and have the hold period waived. ( this will only happen if she has more than enough cash to cover the cheque if it comes back)

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Re: Converting a Cheque in British Pounds to Canadian Dollars

Post by AltaRed » 20 Apr 2017 13:39

I suspect the UK Administrator has zero interest in entertaining what PMJ suggests. If I was the executor, I wouldn't acknowledge such a request....except maybe for a hefty fee, e.g. lawyer's hourly rate.

I think all that can reasonably be done is what Twa2w suggests. Try to work out a better than retail rate at Mom's bank and accept the hold. This is new-found cash so it isn't like it's needed to pay for supper tonight.
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Re: Converting a Cheque in British Pounds to Canadian Dollars

Post by gsp_ » 20 Apr 2017 16:57

Check with several banks and see if the amount meets their threshold to contact their trading desk. Make sure they know you'll be shopping for the smallest spread from the mid market rate. You can stay up to date at all times by going on the xe.com website or downloading their app to your phone.

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Re: Converting a Cheque in British Pounds to Canadian Dollars

Post by AltaRed » 20 Apr 2017 18:15

gsp_ wrote:
20 Apr 2017 16:57
Check with several banks and see if the amount meets their threshold to contact their trading desk.
That would worth a try (at Mom's bank especially) though I don't know whether bank branches have ready access to the trading desk. My ex and I have both done that in the past on 6 figure conversions but through our brokerages. They were willing to do it at the wholesale rate given the amount involved and the size of our brokerage accounts. Good suggestion!
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Re: Converting a Cheque in British Pounds to Canadian Dollars

Post by Koogie » 20 Apr 2017 18:24

The TD currency trading desk has stopped dealing in amounts less than 100K
Buy very little, sell even less.

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Re: Converting a Cheque in British Pounds to Canadian Dollars

Post by OhGreatGuru » 20 Apr 2017 20:20

AltaRed wrote:
20 Apr 2017 13:39
I suspect the UK Administrator has zero interest in entertaining what PMJ suggests. If I was the executor, I wouldn't acknowledge such a request....except maybe for a hefty fee, e.g. lawyer's hourly rate. ...
I agree. A good executor would have converted it to something that was convenient for the beneficiary before sending it. And sending a paper cheque for such an amount in the first place is so yesterday. I don't think you will get any sympathy (or service) from this executor. She should consider herself lucky she actually got the cheque at all, instead of it being "lost in the mail".

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Re: Converting a Cheque in British Pounds to Canadian Dollars

Post by pmj » 20 Apr 2017 22:46

OhGreatGuru wrote:
20 Apr 2017 20:20
A good executor would have converted it to something that was convenient for the beneficiary before sending it. And sending a paper cheque for such an amount in the first place is so yesterday.
My opinion too - but in the OP's circumstances it is a hindsight opinion, hopefully for future reference. If someone today sent me a foreign currency regular cheque I'd be so pissed off I'd probably send it back :evil: (except I do have a UK bank account ...).

My experience at TD, probably 20 years ago, after the FX agency wouldn't take a UK bank draft, was that the branch did contact the trading desk (about C$20k IIRC).
Peter

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Re: Converting a Cheque in British Pounds to Canadian Dollars

Post by gsp_ » 21 Apr 2017 07:17

AltaRed wrote:
20 Apr 2017 18:15

That would worth a try (at Mom's bank especially) though I don't know whether bank branches have ready access to the trading desk.
They do if you ask and meet their threshold which seems to vary between 60-100k CAD. Here we are talking about ballpark 85k so it may be accessible at some banks and not others(TD according to Koogie).

Good luck Toner.

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Re: Converting a Cheque in British Pounds to Canadian Dollars

Post by Toner » 23 Apr 2017 20:55

Thanks everyone for your input.

Mother will try to negotiate the best rate with one or more of her local banks where she has done her banking for the last 70+ years. I'm going to give her some of the conversion rates from some online sites including the Bank of Canada. Told her not to hesitate to talk to the Manager if the front line staff can't give her a competitive rate. Also suggested she not hesitate to cross the road to another bank to see how they compare. She says she is comfortable doing either or both of these.

As mentioned above it seems like there could be a 25 day hold on the funds. This is ok with her as this is really unexpected money.

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