Commission-free bureaux de change have been accused of ‘misleading’ customers.
Research from FairFX, the foreign exchange business, reveals that 44% of British adults think 0% commission means there is no charge for their holiday money. Even more, 58%, look no further than the 0% commission tag many providers use to promote their services. But, once exchange rates are taken into account the best and worse rates can differ by as much as 15%.
Further research found that consumers who exchange money at airports get the worse deals, as these providers not only offer uncompetitive exchange rates, but also impose transaction fees, of up to £3.99.
The best rates were provided by prepaid travel card providers, travel cash specialists, and online currency providers. A customer buying £400 of euros on 1 April would have received €380.40 (at St Pancras International), €48.60 less than they’d have got from FairFX.
More transparency needed
FairFX chief executive Stephen Heath said: ‘People may think they are paying 0% commission, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. When it comes to holiday money, people are being swayed by the misleading headline advertising tactics adopted by many providers. FairFX is calling on the Office of Fair Trading to enforce fair, industry-wide, transparent advertising for foreign currency.’
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