The Financial Regulator has conducted a nationwide examination of foreign exchange charges being imposed by banks and bureau de change for retail foreign exchange transactions. This was conducted through a mystery shopping exercise to confirm whether these charges were in accordance with the relevant legislation. 100 outlets of nine foreign exchange providers were visited. The focus was mainly on the costs imposed by them on consumers when converting euro denominations to sterling and US dollars, and also when converting these currencies to euros. The finding showed a high level of compliance among foreign exchange providers.

The issues identified included:

  • foreign exchange rate boards were either not on display, not clearly visible or were not being regularly updated to reflect current exchange rates; and
  • the commission associated with a transaction was not disclosed to the consumer in advance.

The Regulator will follow up with the relevant institution to ensure that these issues are resolved.