- Stephen Barclay MPHM Treasury
Stop companies using hidden fees to make unfair profits in foreign exchange
For decades, banks and brokers have overcharged consumers wanting to use their money abroad. Whether for a holiday or to transfer money to friends and family overseas, millions of consumers are being ripped off every year.
In 2015 the Government backed TransferWise's campaign to put an end to hidden fees and pledged to stop banks and brokers from using misleading pricing in foreign exchange.
We’re closer than ever to making finance fairer for everyone who needs to send money abroad - but we still need your support.
We’re calling on you to sign our petition today to tell the Government, regulators and banks that you think hidden fees should be history.
Banks and brokers conceal the true cost of transactions by hiding their fees in exchange rate markups. Consumers and SMEs lose over £500,000,000 a year to hidden fees in the UK alone.
The system is loaded against consumers. Unaware of the real costs of foreign exchange, and unable to compare the true prices, they are being ripped off.
This needs to change. It’s time to stop hidden fees in foreign exchange. You deserve to know what you are paying.
International money transfer fees and foreign exchange can and should be transparent.
• For every transaction, a clear breakdown of the cost of the service, upfront.
• Fair exchange rates - the mid-market rate or at least the publication of the difference between the offered rate and the mid-market rate.
• A crackdown on the use of misleading terms such as "free" and "0% commission".
Sign our petition today to call upon the Government to deliver their pledge and help us stop hidden fees for good.
- HM Treasury
Stephen Barclay MP
For years, those wanting to use their money abroad – whether on holiday or needing to transfer money to friends or family overseas – have been charged over the odds as a result of unfavourable exchange rates.
Two thirds of consumers are unaware that the cost of an international money transfer is greater than the stated fee, and 80% of small business leaders have underestimated the cost of sending money abroad. The World Bank has warned that “transparency of pricing is an issue of serious concern for remittance services”.
As a result, millions of UK consumers and small businesses are losing out to the tune of hundreds of millions of pounds every year.
The Government should seek to work with the relevant regulatory authorities to require banks and brokers to:
Provide a clear breakdown of the costs associated with every transaction;
Publish the difference between the exchange rate offered by the provider, and the true, mid-market rate; and
Put an end to the use of misleading terms such as ‘free’ and ‘0% commission’ where hidden charges are applied.
It is high time for transparency in the consumer foreign exchange market. I urge you, as Economic Secretary to the Treasury, to take action to end these unfair and opaque practices.
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