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Brits overpay more than £1bn on foreign currency exchange each year in hidden charges and fees | LondonlovesBusiness.com

This lack of awareness in charges resulted in almost all (98%) travellers considering convenience among their most important factors when buying foreign currency. Travellers who do shop around spent an average of just 12 minutes comparing conversion rates before purchasing.

In light of the findings, Travel Money Club is lobbying for greater transparency in the pricing of retail foreign exchange to allow those travelling abroad to make a more informed choice about where to buy their travel money and how to benefit from the best rates. Currently foreign exchange rates are packed with stealth charges, making it difficult for travellers to understand which providers offer the best value.

Don Clark, Founder of Travel Money Club, said: “The truth is that foreign exchange is still a wild west when it comes to retail regulation, with no restrictions on what can be charged to consumers and how much can be added in the form of hidden fees and charges. This results in hugely different prices between providers, and even across branches of the same company. Leads and lags are also commonplace, with delays in publishing better rates, and the accelerating of poorer rates ahead of market drops, inflating profits for retail currency exchanges – a similar pricing strategy to the one used by petrol stations when oil prices fluctuate.

“We want to lead the way in campaigning for fairness and transparent pricing, so consumers properly understand their options and can make an informed choice. We look forward to the day when all businesses, whether commercial or retail sellers in the foreign exchange sector, follow suit. Following Ofgem’s introduction of regulatory guidance for home energy providers, we encourage the retail travel money and exchange sector to follow suit, bringing transparency to British customers.

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Brits overpay more than £1bn on foreign currency exchange each year in hidden charges and fees | News | LondonlovesBusiness.com.

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