UK: Office of Fair Trading received super-complaint about travel money
On Sep. 21, 2011, the Office of Fair Trade (OFT) has received a super-complaint from Consumer Focus about the cost of obtaining foreign currency and overseas use of credit and debit cards. Consumer Focus identified three features which it has called on the OFT to investigate:
- the charges applied by some banks and credit card providers for purchases of foreign currency within the UK are unfair and may restrict competition and consumer choice
- the complex and unclear charges applied when using credit or debit cards abroad are confusing and may prevent consumers from making well informed choices
- the use by some UK foreign currency retailers of phrases promising '0% commission' and 'competitive exchange rates' may mislead consumers and prevent them from shopping around.
The OFT will now consider the issues raised in the super-complaint in order to establish whether or not any feature, or combination of features, in the relevant market is, or appears to be, significantly harming the interests of consumers. The OFT will shortly invite interested parties to provide any information which they consider may be useful to its assessment. For more information please see the super-complaint page.
The OFT has 90 days to consider a super-complaint and will publish its reasoned response on or before 20 December 2011.