Wednesday 21 September 2011

Turning money into other money costs us lots of money, insist Travelex

Following accusations of over-charging, foreign currency exchange providers have insisted that the process of changing money into other money definitely costs them a lot of money.

An industry watchdog said it was unclear how much of the estimated £1bn a year charged in currency exchange fees was warranted, an accusation refuted by exchange providers.

Airport exchange provider David Williams told us, “Just because you see us take some notes, tap a calculator, and give you back some notes doesn’t mean the process hasn’t cost us a great deal of money.”

“There’s the 30 seconds of staff time, the well-oiled drawer to keep the money in.  Plus the calculator, that’s not cheap.  So yeah, those costs really mount up.”

Currency exchange rip-off

Consumer Sharon Jenkins spoke of her experience with the industry, telling us, “You know that fact that no matter how big a sheet of paper is, you can’t fold it more than seven times? Currency exchange is much the same.”

“It doesn’t matter how much money you start with, if you exchange it sevens times you’re left with absolutely nothing.”

“At least when you get mugged on the street they normally have the decency to pull a knife first.”

Williams went on to further defend his business, insisting, “How can we possibly be ripping you off? Look at that massive ‘0% commission’ sign flashing above this booth.  Is that the sort of thing you would expect from a rip-off merchant? Of course not.”

“Our exchange rates? Well, they are highly competitive, obviously.  That frankly enormous gap between the buy and sell prices is standard, don’t worry about that.”

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