Sending Money to Portugal for the Golden Visa

I am having issues with my second transfer to Bison.

The first time Ive sent a small ammount and it arrived in 2 days. Now, its been a week and nothing. Bison says it did not receive anything, HSBC says it sent the money a week ago…

Any thoughts?

Yes, I opened an account at BIG two weeks ago. It was fine.

They were not prepared to open it remotely; they said I needed to come in and sign papers in person. I walked in to the office while I was in Lisbon. I presented my passport, proof of mailing address, proof of employment, and proof of taxpayer ID, then filled out and signed some basic forms. They contacted me the next day and asked for proof of physical address, which I provided by email. They sent a preliminary approval after about two weeks, with an IBAN number, and directed me to fund the account in order to complete the process. I transferred money via SEPA and they confirmed the following day that the account is now open. I’m eligible to request a debit card whenever I get around to it. They can hold the debit card at an office for pickup.

They may have a special provision for remote depository account opening exclusively for American GV fund investors, but I didn’t pursue the question.

HSBC will have to track it for you. The fund maybe stuck at some correspondence bank they use.

It doesn’t hurt to bring the problem to their attention, but don’t get your hopes up that you’ll find out what’s going on and get an answer about when it will be solved. AML rules forbid the banks from telling you what’s going on when the regulators place a hold on your transfer.

Yeah, that sounds more like it. First transfer went very smooth, it does not seems like a transaction error.

Transfered ammount was under 100 k USD so I was not expecting much of a trouble, but who knows, freshly open account, no credit history in the country, it might have been caught somewhere…

They are, but it takes them 5-10 days to do so… lets see what happens

that’s nothing new, people open accounts and move money all the time. Who knows, really, it’s all super confusing especially when you have to use correspondent accounts like that. Ideally you’d transfer in EUR and avoid the correspondent hops, but of course that means paying for HSBC to do the currency conversion and as I recall their rates just sucked.

I was able to open fully remotely. I think you just need to find the right person/department.

I have been happy with it so far. There was a lot of paperwork involved but I suspect that’s the case with all of them. The account opening forms and instructions were all in English and straightforward and easy to follow. I worked with Ana ( and found her very helpful and easy to work with. She never hesitated to jump on a call to clarify questions if needed.

Yeah, I think you are right, Im probably overthinking. Its annoying anyway.

I spoke with Ana. She sounds fine and helpful. Prompt follow up.

Just an observation.
When you transfer ~415000 USD for the GV, the total difference comes to ~2400 USD in markup.
Schwab’s exchange rate (USD to Euro) even with markup was not closer to this.

Sorry, I don’t understand what you’re telling me.

Hi, In your original wise vs bison comparison, I thought you were implying that Bison was giving a favorable exchange rate.
I just did the same comparison with schwab’s exchange rate (including markup) and it was quite lesser than Bison.

Great, glad you had a good experience with that. I’m sure that people shopping for ideas would be glad to see a more detailed cost comparison. What exchange rate was Bison offering, vs. Schwab? What were the wire fees? Were the mid-market rates the same when you were quoting Bison vs. Schwab?

I use Interactive Brokers for currency exchange and transfer these days. I’m quite satisfied with the value and service.

I recently did a big UK to Novo bank I used (Transfer)Wise
It was about 1.5% less than bank to bank (inc all fees). I actually asked my bank to quote me. “Source of funds” proof was a screenshot of my last bank statement (padded in advance :wink: )
TransferWise fee was £850, which sort of shocked me but was still waaaay better than bank to bank