Consumer Focus is calling on the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) to investigate the cost of obtaining foreign currency and using credit and debit cards abroad. The concerns raised include:

  • The basis on which banks and credit card providers charge for foreign currency in the UK;
  • The lack of clarity in the charges for using debit or credit cards abroad; and
  • Allegations of misleading references to “0% commission” and “competitive exchange rates” by UK foreign currency retailers.

Under the Enterprise Act 2002, a designated consumer body such as Consumer Focus can make a “super-complaint” to the OFT where it considers there to be features of a market which harm consumers. The OFT announced on 21 September 2011 that it will consider the issues raised and will invite interested parties to make their views known.