Spread the wordWhat are they really charging you?
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Stop 
hidden 
fees 

For decades, banks and brokers have used hidden fees to overcharge consumers on international transfers and travel money.

Two years ago TransferWise launched a campaign calling on the Government to Stop Hidden Fees through confusing and misleading exchange rate mark-ups. Early on we saw a lot of success and David Cameron’s Government made an election pledge to stop banks and brokers from using misleading pricing in foreign exchange. Unfortunately that pledge never resulted in any action.

We’re asking the new Conservative Government to deliver real change, and stop misleading pricing in foreign exchange. We need your support to make this happen - sign our petition to help stop hidden fees.

It’s time to bring transparency to foreign exchange.

 
supporters
Help us reach our goal

What's the problem?

When you send money abroad or buy holiday money, banks and brokers charge an extra fee by hiding a mark-up in the exchange rate. That’s how they get away with using phrases like “0% commission” and “free”, and that’s why so few consumers understand the real costs.

YouGov research, June 2016

71%

71% guessed the charge wrongly, with 52% misled into thinking the transfer would be free.

29%

When given standard pricing for sending money abroad where hidden exchange rate mark-ups are used, only 29% of those who send money abroad regularly understand how much they're being charged.

Transparency of pricing is an issue of serious concern for remittance services.

— The World BankiProject Greenback 2.0 – Remittance Champion Cities' Launched in Turin, Italy
Click to open a link
iProject Greenback 2.0 – Remittance Champion Cities' Launched in Turin, Italy
Click here to open a link

What are the real costs?

It’s no wonder consumers are confused.
Banks and brokers hide huge fees in unfair exchange rates. Here’s what it really costs.

The real costs of sending £1,000 to euros
iAll pricing data was obtained independently by leading market research company TNS through audit phone calls and online research. The fieldwork was carried out between between 25th January and 4th February 2016, and shows the quoted overall costs of sending pounds internationally from the UK to [Europe] through major UK banks and brokers for the sums of £100, £1,000, £5,000 and £10,000 via their online and phone services. TransferWise has calculated how much its average customer saves based on the pricing data collected by TNS and the profiles of TransferWise's customers.
They saidYou paid
Santander£25.00£56.72
HSBC£4.00£41.45
Lloyds£9.50£35.16
Natwest£22.00£47.02
RBS£22.00£64.04
The real cost of changing £500 into euros
iThe fees shown in this table were quoted by telephone by the customer service departments of the providers listed during a mystery shopping exercise to establish the costs of transferring £1,000 to euros, from a UK bank account to a euro bank account located in Germany. The telephone research was conducted for TransferWise by Charterhouse Research Ltd and took place between 6th-12th June 2014. The overall fee was calculated by establishing the exchange rate mark-up (i.e. the difference between the mid-market exchange rate at the time of the quote and the exchange rate offered by the provider) to send £1,000 in an international money transfer. All rates were applicable at the time of the quote.
They saidYou paid
Post OfficeFREE£30.47
M&SFREE£19.87
Thomas CookFREE£22.57
TescoFREE£19.30
Travelex (Online)FREE£11.66
Travelex (Heathrow)FREE£51.97
MoneyCorp (Online)FREE£14.89
MoneyCorp (Gatwick)FREE£50.67

See how much you’ve lost in hidden fees

GBP
You lose an average of £0.00 every year
i All hidden fee data was obtained independently by leading market research company TNS through audit phone calls and online research. The fieldwork was carried out between between 25th January and 4th February 2016, and shows an average of the quoted overall costs of sending pounds internationally from the UK to Europe, India, Australia and the US through major UK banks and brokers for the sums of £100, £1,000, £5,000 and £10,000 via their online and phone services.

Hidden fees cost people billions of pounds each year in the UK alone
iFigures taken from, respectively: the Office for National statistics (ONS) Travel Trends - Section 5 UK Residents Visits Abroad, 2013; YouGov polling survey of 2,034 British consumers. It was carried out online between 6th-7th November 2014; a YouGov survey of 565 senior decision makers in businesses with 1-49 full-time employees. For full details of how calculations were made, please see read our manifesto, footnotes 5 7.

£1.3 billion
The amount UK consumers paid in hidden fees on holiday money during 2013
91%
Proportion of UK consumers that believes “free” or “0% commission” should mean a service is totally free
80%
Proportion of small business leaders that underestimated or didn’t know the costs of sending money abroad

The problem hurts small businesses too

Banks and brokers are so good at hiding the true costs of sending money abroad that 80% of small businesses underestimated or were unaware of the overall costs.

YouGov polling
iYouGov survey of 565 senior decision makers in businesses with 1-49 full-time employees. The survey was carried out online between 8th-11th October 2013. 80% of respondents either didn’t know the costs of sending money abroad or thought it was less than the average cost calculated from two mystery shopping exercises carried out by Charterhouse Research LTD for TransferWise, in June and November 2014.

In general, how much do you think banks charge for processing international payments?

Fees charged
Percentage of responders
More than 5%
6%
4-5%
7%
3-4%
7%
2-3%
16%
1-2%
19%
No Fee
3%
Don't know
28%