The OFT has received a super-complaint from Consumer Focus in relation to the cost of obtaining foreign currency and overseas use of credit and debit cards. The Enterprise Act 2002 provides that “designated consumer bodies” can make super-complaints and Consumer Focus is a designated consumer body. The OFT will now determine whether or not any feature, or combination of features in the relevant market is, or appears to be, significantly harming the interests of consumers.
In particular, Consumer Focus identified three features in its super-complaint which it wants the OFT to investigate: the unfair charges applied by some banks and credit card providers for purchases of foreign currency, the confusing nature of charges applied when using cards abroad and the use of potentially misleading phrases such as '0% commission' and 'competitive exchange rates'.
The OFT has 90 days to consider the super-complaint and will publish its response by 20 December 2011.