Research Shows “Substantial Hidden Charges” in International Money Transfers

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UK Consumers Charged Up To £57 to Transfer £500 Abroad

Stephen Heath, Chief Executive, FairFX.com

Stephen Heath, Chief Executive, FairFX.com

Most consumers transferring money overseas have no idea of what they are really paying in terms of costs for the service and we are calling for an industry wide standard defining a fully disclosed “true cost” to the consumer for these services.

Research released by FairFX.com today shows a huge range of both disclosed and hidden charges made by UK Banks and specialist online money transfer businesses for Brits wanting to transfer small and medium size amounts overseas. For amounts from as little as £250 to as high as £50,000, there are a myriad of providers offering both phone based and specialist lower cost online services.

“Unfortunately for the UK consumer who wants a good deal when transferring money overseas, what you see is very often not what you get “ said Stephen Heath chief executive of FairFX. “Just like the travel money sector, many providers claim zero fees and/or commissions or even headline grabbing promotional fees of 99p for money transfer, when the true cost is substantially more when the effect of exchange rates offered is factored in.”

The research revealed a number of examples of hidden and additional disclosed charges that resulted in shocking “true costs” for consumers. Examples of these include:

1.    Charges as high as £57 (11.5%) to convert and transfer £500 into Euros made by one High Street bank and £178 to transfer £2500 into Euros at the same bank.
2.    Claims of “we don’t charge any transfer fees” and “zero fees” by one specialist online provider when the true cost of converting and transferring £500 into US$ was £19 and £1000 was £37 when exchange rates were factored in.
3.    A high profile offer of “send up to £2,500....for as little as 99p” when the true cost of transferring £2,500 into Euros was £65.

Heath said, “Most consumers transferring money overseas have no idea of what they are really paying in terms of costs for the service and we are calling for an industry wide standard defining a fully disclosed “true cost” to the consumer for these services. There are substantial hidden charges that the consumer should be aware of.”

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David Bain
FairFX Plc
(020) 7778 9300
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