HSBC (SG) overseas transfer: Fees and exchange rates 2022

Global Transfer with HSBC Singapore

Looking to send a global transfer with HSBC Singapore? This guide has you covered with all you need to know about HSBC international transfer fees, and the HSBC international transfer exchange rate.

While HSBC is a global banking giant, traditional banks don’t usually offer the lowest overall costs for sending international transfers. Modern specialist services like Wise and OFX may actually be able to provide a lower transfer fee and a better exchange rate.

Learn more

HSBC Singapore international money transfer comparison

HSBC international money transfer fees can vary based on how you set up your payment, and the type of account you hold. Here are the most common costs involved:

  • Transfer/commission fee - this may be waived if you use the HSBC online or mobile banking service

  • Cable charges - paid to the bank, to cover the costs of processing the transfer

  • Exchange rate markup - percentage charge added onto the exchange rate applied to convert your funds

  • Agent bank fees - you may be able to opt to have the beneficiary pay these charges, share the fees, or pay them yourself

Here’s what you’d pay if you were sending an online transfer of 1,000 SGD to someone based in the UK, to be received in pounds, with HSBC and a few specialist services. 

ProviderTotal costTransfer time
HSBC20 SGD cable charge if applicable + exchange rate markup + agent bank charges as applicablePayments processed through the SWIFT network typically take 3-5 working days
Wise

4.88 SGD - payments use the mid-market exchange rate

80% of payments arrive in 24 hours
OFX

No transfer fee - a markup is added to the exchange rate applied

1 - 2 business days
PayPal6.99 SGD + exchange rate markupInstant

HSBC waives its commission fee for international transfers made online or in the mobile banking service. That’s great - but it doesn’t actually mean your payment is free. You’ll still pay a charge which is rolled into the exchange rate applied, and there could still be a cable charge to cover.

The other important fee to know about is paid to agent banks rather than HSBC. These charges creep in when transfers are processed using the SWIFT network. HSBC allows customers to choose to pay the agent charges themselves, split them with the recipient, or have the recipient cover all costs.

Alternative providers like Wise and OFX can usually offer more transparent - and lower - fees and a better exchange rate compared to regular banks. Shop around to compare a few different international transfer services before you pick the right one for you.

Send money with Wise
Send money with OFX

HSBC (SG) international transfer fees

HSBC international transfer fees for global transfers can vary depending on whether you’re arranging your payment online or in person, and based on the account type you hold. Discounted fees may be available for HSBC Premier customers. 

Transfer typeHSBC international transfer fee 

Standard telegraphic transfer from SGD account - online or mobile payment

HSBC (SG) commission is waived

Cable charges of 20 SGD may still apply


Additional agent bank charges may apply

Standard telegraphic transfer from SGD account - in branch and phone payments

HSBC (SG) commission: 35 SGD

Cable charges: 20 SGD per transaction


Additional agent bank charges may apply

Receiving an international payment10 SGD 

HSBC Singapore exchange rate

The HSBC Singapore international transfer exchange rate is likely to include a markup. That means it won’t be as favourable as the rate you’ll see when you search for your currency pairing on Google, or when you use a currency conversion app. 

Using an exchange rate markup is very common, but it’s not transparent, and it can push up the costs significantly when sending higher value transfers. Bank exchange rate markups are often in the region of 3% - here’s how that would add up on a few different transfer values:

  • Sending 1,000 SGD - a 3% exchange rate markup adds 30 SGD to the total

  • Sending 5,000 SGD - a 3%  exchange rate markup adds 150 SGD to the total

  • Sending 50,000 SGD - a 3%  exchange rate markup adds 1,500 SGD to the total

Exchange rate markups vary by currency. Compare the HSBC exchange rate against the mid-market exchange rate you’ll get from Google to see the markup being used for your international transfer.

Here’s a reminder of the total costs - including exchange rate markups - from the providers we looked at earlier. This is what you’ll pay with each if you set up your payment online and send 1,000 SGD to a GBP denominated account:

  • HSBC: 20 SGD cable charge if applicable + exchange rate markup + agent bank charges as applicable

  • Wise: 4.88 SGD

  • OFX: No transfer fee, but exchange rate markup applies

  • PayPal: 6.99 SGD + exchange rate markup

Send money using the mid-market rate

HSBC additional fees

When you send an HSBC international money transfer you’ll get the option to pay all the costs yourself, or pass some or all of them on to the recipient. Charges include those levied by HSBC, as well as fees from intermediary banks involved in the payment process, and the recipient’s own bank fees. 

If you opt to have the recipient cover the costs, the fees will be deducted from the amount being sent. If you’re paying the charges yourself you’ll need to make sure you have sufficient funds in your account to cover both the principal amount being sent and the extra charges.

How long does a HSBC (SG) international money transfer take

HSBC global transfers have varied cut off times based on the currency you’re sending. That means that if you initiate your transfer after the relevant cut off time - which can be as early as 8:00am for some currencies - it won’t be processed until the next working day.

Once your payment is processed, it could take 3 or more working days to arrive in the destination account.

Here’s a reminder of the delivery times for international transfers from HSBC and a few other providers:

  • HSBC: 3 - 5 working days

  • Wise: 80% of payments arrive in 24 hours

  • OFX: 1 - 2 business days

  • PayPal: instant

Pros and cons of transferring money abroad with HSBC

Pros:

  • Pay online, by phone or in branch

  • No HSBC fees for some online and mobile payments

  • Reliable and familiar service

Cons:

  • Overall costs can be high

  • Exchange rates are likely to include a markup

  • Cut off times for payment processing vary and can delay your transfer

If you’re sending a payment online or using the HSBC mobile banking service you won’t pay any HSBC fees - but there can still be agent charges and an exchange rate markup to consider. Overall, it’s usually cheaper - and often faster - to send your transfer with a specialist provider instead.

How to make an international transfer with HSBC

Sending your HSBC international money transfer online or in the HSBC mobile banking service means you’ll pay less. Here’s how to arrange your transfer:

  • Log into your online banking on the HSBC website or app

  • Head to the payments section and look for Worldwide transfers

  • Select the currency and enter the amount you want to send

  • Check the rates and fees

  • Enter your recipient’s personal and bank account details

  • Confirm to complete the transfer

What information do you need to make an international transfer with HSBC?

To make sure your HSBC international transfer is processed safely you’ll have to enter the following information about your recipient:

  • Recipient’s full name and address

  • Bank name 

  • Account number

  • Bank SWIFT code

You’ll also need to confirm who will pay for the bank charges, following the on screen prompts.

Transfer limits and available countries

You can send payments with HSBC to over 200 countries and regions around the world. For online transfers, your account will be set to a default limit of 5,000 SGD per day. However, you can increase this limit within the HSBC app to a maximum of 250,000 SGD per day if you would like to. For higher value payments, visit an HSBC branch.

Receiving money from abroad with HSBC

To receive a payment to your HSBC account you’ll need to give the sender the following information:

  • Your name as shown on your HSBC account

  • Account number

  • Bank name: HSBC Bank (Singapore) Limited

  • Bank code: 9548

  • HSBC SWIFT Code

There’s a 10 SGD fee for receiving an international payment into your HSBC Singapore account.

HSBC SWIFT code

SWIFT codes are assigned to banks around the world to make sure international payments can be processed safely. You’ll need to give anyone sending you money the HSBC Singapore SWIFT code before they initiate the payment. Giving the wrong SWIFT code - or making a payment with incomplete information - can mean your transfer is rejected or delayed.

  • HSBC SWIFT/BIC code: HSBCSGS2

Send money with Wise
Send money with OFX

Conclusion

You can send money almost anywhere in the world with HSBC - but it’s not necessarily the cheapest or fastest way to get your money moving. Modern alternative providers often have innovative approaches to processing payments, which can mean payments arrive faster. And because they have fewer overheads than a traditional bank, you may also get lower fees and a better exchange rate.

FAQ

How much does an HSBC international transfer cost?

HSBC international transfer fees include 35 SGD in commission and 20 SGD for cable charges. Additional agent bank charges may apply. HSBC commission may be waived for online payments.

How long does an HSBC international money transfer take?

HSBC payments are processed using the SWIFT network, and are likely to take 3 - 5 business days to arrive.

How to transfer money internationally with HSBC?

Set up your HSBC international payment by phone, in a branch, online or with the HSBC mobile banking service.

By Ileana Ionescu
Updated 18 July 2022