Sending Money to Portugal for the Golden Visa

I used Schwab to send money to Bison, and it was pretty straightforward. I populated the transfer information (IBAN and SWIFT code) on an online form. There was a follow-up confirmation phone call with Schwab, and then it was done. There was no intermediary (correspondent) bank information provided. Did it three times… twice in October 2020 and once in April 2021. All of them went through fine.

Is this correspondent bank coding requirement something new?

edit: my transfers were in Euro, so apparently the correspondent bank was not needed

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I went through my US account to Bison using Wells Fargo. Here is how we did it, and yes we first sent $100 as a test. The transfer time took 2 days. Below are the Fields that Wells Fargo Provided and how we transcribed Bison’s instructions-hope this helps. I should note that all the information is necessary for USD transfer, unlike Euro transfer which does not require the Correspondent bank. USD is the way to go. Bison only charged .02% fee on the USD-EUR conversion, which for the entire investment was a few hundred dollars. A really good rate. Bison does charge a flat 30 Euro fee per transfer regardless of type of currency

Beneficiary Bank Information:
Beneficiary Bank Name-Caixa Geral de Depositos (included SWIFT (BIC) CGDIPTPL)
Beneficiary Bank Country Code-PT
Beneficiary Name-Bison Bank S.A. (included IBAN ending in XXXX99734)
Beneficiary Address-Rua Barata Salgueiro, 33, Piso 0, 1250-042, Liboa)

Additional Instructions (field part of the above Beneficiary Bank/Recipient Information Category):
“Further Credit Your Name/Account at Bison”
“Your USD Account Number/IBAN at Bison”

Intermediary Bank:
Intermediary Bank Name: Citibank N.A.
Intermediary Bank’s Account Number-ending in XXXX9653

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No more so than any other path. IB is a global broker on the size/scale of Schwab or Fidelity. They are large enough to rate their own SWIFT BIC. So should be fine.

Sure, I just mean that it adds hops to your money’s journey, assuming that you haven’t been with IB for some time, and that your money hasn’t been seasoning there for a dignified interval.

I recently sent a wire transfer via Schwab to a bank in Portugal. They call to confirm all international wire transfers and you are welcome to go over the details with the account representative at that time as well.

This is probably a dumb question, but if you can deposit/hold USD into your Bison Bank account, is it possible just to write a check and deposit the check at Bison?

Not sure how long it would take to process/funds become available and maybe there would be hidden fees, but based on how many people seem to have trouble getting the wire done correctly and the costs, maybe it is a possible option? And it seems less likely that the money would get “lost” in the process since it would sit in the US bank until Bison did something to pull it out.

Why do you think Bison bank would honor a check from a foreign country?

Because they are a bank, the account they offer holds USD, they offer term deposits in USD, and some banks cash foreign checks as part of their service offering.

Checks move money by ACH using account and routing numbers. The ACH system is US-specific so I highly doubt Bison Bank is able to use it.

I know you can deposit foreign checks at many US banks. There may be some fees and delays, but this is something they do. None of that is to say Bison will, but cashing foreign checks isn’t particularly exotic.

going thru same thing. tried wire from my etrade acount and even looped in Bison rep Nuno on the phone call. spent hour on phone putting it together with etrade rep. minutes after hanging up received email that transfer was cancelled. According to next person I talked to she said it cancelled because they can only have two banks on the form. I could do it in Euros but it would cost $7000 more than what Bison was giving me.

Now have gone to my bank, Chase, (as well as calling bank) and both told me they dont think it will be a problem. Need to finish that this week once money is in account.

I don’t think Chase is capable of making this happen. I sat with the rep at the branch and saw the form that they fill out … there is no room for any of this information and Chase can’t use any intermediaries. Any instructions I put on the wire were duly ignored and the wire returned back to me after a day. YMMV but my conclusion is that the retail banks here don’t have this capability because it simply doesn’t add to their bottom line. Fidelity/IBKR/Schwab and surprising Wells might be able to swing it.

Good luck and keep us posted!

I think it is more that retail branches simply almost never have anyone coming in and asking to send a complicated wire transfer at all. Really, they just don’t. How often do Americans interact with the rest of the world generally? Much less in a way that requires an intermediary bank? That’s really pretty rare.

Besides, now you have to train the retail tellers on this thing that someone might have to do once a year?

You probably have to punt it all the way to the branch manager or something to go find someone with enough of a clue. Though I don’t get how this wire’s being done, honestly. You don’t normally specify two intermediary banks.

On Schwab there are only two fields that we can punch in numbers on the online form

  1. (Tag 57A) Destination Bank/ Receiving Bank SWIFT/BIC code
  2. (Tag 59) For Credit To IBAN, CLABE, or Account Number

See here for reference MT103 - A standardised SWIFT payment confirmation
It says 56A denotes the Intermediary bank. But Schwab does not have a 56A field.

There is a pdf form here as well

[3] asks for US correspondent Bank information. May be that’s where the Citibank info goes.
[4] asks for destination Bank information. May be that’s where the CGD bank info goes
[5] asks for further credit to information. May be that’s where our Bison Account info goes.