Fight Overseas Fees campaign exposes the true cost of spending abroad
The average Brit is losing £16,796 to bad exchange rates when spending money abroad over their lifetime, new research by YouGov and Consumer Intelligence for Fight Overseas Fees reveals today.
A trio of leading consumer financial technology firms – TransferWise, Plum and complaints service Resolver, have teamed up to launch the Fight Overseas Fees campaign, helping tackle unfair hidden fees and charges. For the first time, Brits will be able to find out how much they’ve been charged in secret mark-ups when spending in a foreign currency, using a live calculator that reveals their total loss over the past year.
While advertising holiday money and international bank transfers as ‘free’ or ‘only £X’, traditional providers make the bulk of their money by offering a poor exchange rate, and keeping the difference. Independent research from the Cabinet Office’s Behavioural Intelligence Unit shows that consumers are unable to figure out the true costs of the transaction when it’s priced in this way.
The UK wide YouGov research questioned over 8,000 Brits about the overseas spending moments in their lives and their foreign currency habits. These included studying abroad, overseas weddings, family holidays, city breaks and retirement overseas. Consumer Intelligence then analysed this data against typical exchange rate mark-ups from the most popular banks and high street holiday money providers, plus inflation.
Based on total spend over an aged 16 to 65 year life span, the survey found that;
- Retirees lose £1495 to bad exchange rates when relocating overseas.
- The average family has a lifetime loss of over £800 taken from their annual summer holiday. The most popular way to spend continues to be cash exchanged beforehand at a Bureau de Change
Couples paying for an overseas wedding via bank transfer are losing as much as £160 in lousy exchange rates ahead of the big day