Whether you have your own business, kids studying abroad or simply expenses to cover overseas, most expats living in Hong Kong occasionally have to deal with the hassle of sending money abroad. While banks will happily provide this service, the amount of money lost in the exchange can be staggering, with charges rendered for every step of the process, from receiving the funds, to making the exchange – not to mention lengthy on-hold phone calls if anything goes amiss.
Until now, this has been a bothersome burden that we all must bear. However, a new kid on Hong Kong’s financial block is offering an attractive alternative. Mercury FX, based on Pedder Street, Central, offers its customers foreign exchange services on the wholesale market, allowing for transactions of anything from HK$15,000 to US$50 million at absolute base rates. With a no-obligation free account, you or your business can make international payments in more than 40 different currencies, with even small savings adding up to huge amounts over the course of regular payments.
Established in London in 2006, the FCA-registered company was bought to our shores in April this year by Frazer MacRae, who invested in the business after growing tired of working for Hong Kong’s corporate fat cats. Speaking to Localiiz, the former Merrill Lynch trader explained the “little-guy” ethos that attracted him to Mercury FX.
“I’m sure anyone who has to deal with the big banks here on a regular basis comes out frustrated, and if you get anything done it’s an achievement,” said Frazer. “What we do at MFX is all about getting away from corporate inefficiencies, adapting and being flexible to what the clients want. We feel it’s like choosing between a boutique local coffee shop or Starbucks. We want to inject a bit of personality and service into Hong Kong’s service industry.”
MFX can hedge risks for customers, meaning that several transactions can be fixed at a favourable rate but delivered at a later date. This protects individuals from suffering salary slashes (sometimes by as much as 15%) due to exchange fluctuations, and is essential for businesses that need to accurately forecast future financial flows. Clients can also benefit from a daily business brief email, giving them a quick update on the foreign exchange markets and empowering them to make informed decisions about their financial futures.
Mercury FX’s customers comprise of individuals, businesses and charities, all looking to cut their losses on foreign exchange transactions. Most recently, the company saved a jaw-dropping HK$120,000 for a client buying his dream home in France.
“It’s a bit of a no brainier really,” said Frazer. “The only people who lose out are the banks.”