DBS
ATM machines at Plaza Singapura shopping mall, Singapore. Reuters

A majority of Singaporeans are spending nearly five times more when transferring money overseas, according to a research by money transfer platform TransferWise.

TransferWise research included price comparisons for money transfers from Singapore to abroad across the major financial institutions, which revealed that on average Singapore banks charge S$30-40 for upfront fees and exchange rate markup for an overseas transfer of S$1,000.

DBS Bank charges customers about S$10.36 and is the cheapest of major bank providers when accounting for upfront fees as well as exchange rate markups.

Standard Chartered and HSBC, on the other hand, are the most expensive as they charge S$55 and S$57 for a single overseas transaction.

That compared to S$5.86 charged by TransferWise for sending S$1,000 to the UK.

The research also revealed that it was most expensive to send money to India, followed by Australia and then Hong Kong, across all amounts of money to transfer.

"Many banks tell their customers they only pay a small upfront fee for international payments, but in reality customers pay much more through poor exchange rates," TransferWise Head of Banking, Lukas May said in a release.

Payments company PayPal has the highest exchange rate markup compared to all other providers – more than 4 percent across all routes and transaction amounts, the research showed.