International and foreign currency savings

by Barclays Wealth International on October 29, 2010

Interest rates

International interest rate variations

Interest rates vary from country to country so if you are moving money from one currency to another you need to be aware of the base rates set by the respective governing bodies.

However there are other factors that will affect the interest rates that apply to your savings and borrowings.

Savings and investments

Here are some of the key factors that can determine the rate of interest you can expect to earn on savings and investments :

  • Amount. The more you deposit, the higher the likely interest rate.
  • Access. If you are prepared to forego access to your funds, then you will have a greater range of savings products available to you.
  • Interest payments. The less frequently these are made, the higher the interest rate is likely to be.
  • Risk. Higher risk products tend to offer a higher potential rate of interest or return in exchange for this increased level of risk.
  • Breadth. The broader the range of savings or interest-linked investments you are happy to make, the greater the choice of potential earnings.
  • Time. The longer you are happy to commit to leaving your money, the higher the likely interest rates you could be offered.

Different savings products are designed with a varying mixture of interest payments. See our guide to foreign currency and international savings.

See the interest rates available to Barclays Wealth International clients.

Mortgages

The interest rate charged on a mortgage depends on a number of factors relating to your financial circumstances and the structure of the mortgage you require.

Credit history

In the UK, a credit check can be run on anyone who wants to borrow money. If you have recently moved to the UK you won’t have a UK credit record and lenders may be reluctant to lend to you.

If you want to invest in property in the UK then an international banking facility could help, as it will accommodate your overall financial standing. This can be particularly useful for students as it can take into account the parents’ financial position as well.

Fixed rate

A fixed rate mortgage is one that offers an introductory period in which the interest rate doesn’t vary: for example, it might be 5% for the first five years. This rate cannot change during the fixed rate period no matter how other interest rates change.

Standard variable rate

Most lenders have a standard variable rate (SVR). This is generally applied to a mortgage that has reached the end of it’s fixed deal period. The SVR is the rate of interest on the mortgage, and is almost always set a few percentage points above the Bank of England base rate.

Generally speaking, when the base rate increases by, for example, 0.5% so usually does the lender’s SVR, however the lender can increase or decrease the rate by more than the base rate change.

Discount rate (subject to availability)

A discount rate is the SVR minus, for example, one percent. It can be used as an introductory offer for the first two to five years of a mortgage. When this fixed period ends the interest charged on the mortgage usually reverts to the SVR.

Tracker

A tracker mortgage tends to have an interest rate tied to the base rate and will follow this rate up and down. The interest rate may, however, be subject to caps (upper limits) and floors (lower limits) collectively known as collars.

See our guide to foreign currency mortgages.

Offshore

It may be possible to maximise the interest earned on savings or investments, or to minimise interest due on a loan by placing it offshore.

To see if this is appropriate for you, it is strongly recommended that you seek independent professional tax advice.

See our guide to offshore banking.

For more information or to apply

Barclays Wealth International offers a range of day-to-day banking, savings, investments and mortgage products. Talk to them today.

Call their team on +44 (0)141 352 3902†.

Request a call back

Visit their website.

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Terms and conditions apply to all mortgage products. We strongly recommend that you obtain your own independent tax advice before proceeding with an offshore mortgage.

Barclays Wealth will require a first charge over the property.

Barclays Wealth is a responsible lender and when considering your application for borrowing, your financial circumstances will be appraised. Remember should you run into difficulties please contact us immediately.

In all forms of advertising and marketing material where repayments are quoted, we will show clearly a typical Annual Percentage Rate (APR). We will also clearly indicate in all lending-related advertising issued in Jersey that we abide by the Code of Practice for Consumer Lending.

The value of your investments can go down as well as up and you may get back less than you invested.

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The services described on this page are provided by the following companies, which are part of Barclays Wealth: Barclays Bank PLC in UK, Gibraltar, Cyprus, Barclays Private Clients International Limited in Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man and Barclays Bank (Suisse) SA in Switzerland. The International Corporate e-Banking or e-FX Dealer products described on this page are provided by the following companies, which are part of Barclays Wealth: Barclays Bank PLC in UK, Gibraltar, Cyprus, and Barclays Private Clients International Limited in Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man. For further information on these companies and Barclays Wealth please read the Important Information. Each Barclays Wealth company reserves the right to make a final determination on whether or not you are eligible for any particular product or service.

Products and services on this site may not be available in certain jurisdictions. In particular, these products and services are not being offered in Japan or the United States or to US residents. For full details of exclusions and disclaimers please see the Important Information before proceeding. Each Barclays Wealth company reserves the right to make a final determination on whether or not you are eligible for any particular product or service.

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