Updated: Sun, 27 May 2012 15:24:42 GMT | By pa.press.net

Exchange rate 'lottery' warning

A postcode lottery on currency exchange rates could be leaving some holidaymakers short-changed, according to a consumer group.


A survey found regional variations in the amount of euros it was offered by different UK branches of the same firm

A survey found regional variations in the amount of euros it was offered by different UK branches of the same firm

A postcode lottery on currency exchange rates could be leaving some holidaymakers short-changed, according to a consumer group.

Which? found "significant" regional variation in the amount of euros it was offered for a £500 exchange between branches of the same provider across 10 UK locations on a single day in March.

Researchers were offered 578.50 euro in London and Glasgow, dropping to 565 euro in Birmingham, Haverfordwest and Sheffield.

Thomas Cook offered its best total of 585 euro in Sheffield and its lowest of 553.80 euro in Manchester, a difference of just over £25 - potentially enough to pay for a taxi to or from the airport.

However, Marks & Spencer offered the same rates nationwide and Sainsbury's showed no significant regional variation. There was some variation between branches of Asda and Tesco, but this was not common, Which? said.

There were also significant differences in the rates offered by online and central London foreign currency providers over an eight-week period, making it vital for consumers to shop around for the best deal, the watchdog said.

Online provider ICICI quoted an average of 587.15 euro compared to HSBC's average online rate of 562.78 euro, a difference of almost 4% or as much as £21 on a £500 exchange.

Which? executive director Richard Lloyd said: "While we understand that local competition may play a part in the rates set, it is unfair that people are missing out on the best currency exchange rates just because of where they live.

"Holidays don't come cheap and these anomalies don't help hard-pressed consumers. Currency providers need to make sure their rates are consistent to ensure a fair deal for everyone."

2Comments
27/05/2012 15:48
avatar
We usually wait untill we're at the country we're going to.we get a better rate than offered in england strange as it may seem
27/05/2012 12:58
avatar

That's fine if you can pay online by cash but usually it's by card that you pay and that incurs a % fee from your bank.  Do the maths before buying online with a card.

 

Report
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
Categories
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?
10 reasons to make MSN UK your homepage (© Microsoft)

more on msn money

msn money poll

Do you agree with the government giving pensioners an estimate of when they might die to help them manage their finances?

Thanks for being one of the first people to vote. Results will be available soon. Check for results

  1.  
    20 %
    Yes - any financial advice that could help pensioners is welcome
    319 votes
  2. 80 %
    No - it's unnecessary interference from the government
    1,288 votes

Total Responses: 1,607
Not scientifically valid. Results are updated every minute.